chapter  7
Reason, ethics, and the end of life
Pages 18

This chapter discusses the implications of human mortality for human choice-making, and that its limitations are precisely due to the thinness of its normative-ethical presuppositions. It proposes the insights for fleshing out the ethical foundations of economics useful for policy formulation may be obtained through the study of ancient philosophy and particularly that of the Hellenistic period of Greek and Roman civilization. The Epicurean and Stoic schools of ancient ethical thought, in common with their classical ancient Greek predecessors, emphasized a eudaimonic conception of the good life. Eudaimonia recall basically translates to human flourishing or, even more simply, human happiness and provides a superior normative-ethical foundation than the narrower, hedonic tradition that underlies mainstream economic theory and policy.