Constructing the Good Life: Narrative as a Path to Eudaimonia
Aristotle has told that happiness consists of a life well lived, and is discovered by a human being flourishing as he develops character and, guided by excellence and virtue, thus comes to fulfill his unique function or ergon fully. It is fair to say that Aristotle's world, and indeed most concepts of both rationality and virtue in classical and medieval Western philosophy up until roughly the time of Descartes, were dominated by the idea of that which is in the world, i.e. the objective paradigm. The narrative approach to ethics, best exemplified in the current literature by MacIntyre, Taylor and Ricoeur, provides an innovative and promising way to interpret Aristotle in the modern age. In a modern interpretation of eudaimonia, the happy life is constituted by the ongoing search for the right story. This fairly clear-cut path to the good life is unfortunately no longer available to modern philosophy.