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Strategies For The Good Life

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses strategies and two ideals (paradigms of personal identity and of inner nature) for pursuing good life. The paradigm of personal identity emphasizes the need for the subject to secure a fixed identity. The ideal is to construct a more or less stable and unified personal identity, capable of remaining essentially the 'same' throughout the shifting situations of life. Crucial is the act of identification, i.e. the conscious act whereby the subject recognizes what it is and wants to be. The self needs to maintain its own unity and continuity, and to protect itself from alienating influences in its environment. The paradigm of inner nature, seeks the good in the movement of self-transcendence, self-distancing or self-forgetting, in the dissolution of the self that results from the pliancy and openness to the external world and to the impulses of an essentially amorphous inner nature.

Keywords: good life; inner nature; personal identity



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