Ancient Views on the Quality of Life by Alex C. Michalos

By Alex C. Michalos

This monograph describes the contributions to our present realizing of caliber of lifestyles made through crucial historic philosophers within the Western culture. It does so from the perspective of a modern researcher in caliber of existence or human healthiness. Revisiting old texts from approximately six hundred BCE to three hundred BCE, the e-book explores the earliest principles in recorded western philosophical and medical heritage that have been considerably relating to present study and realizing of the standard of lifestyles or health and wellbeing for people and groups. It examines the issues and suggestions present in those texts and their connection to nonetheless present primary concerns and questions similar to: ‘What is an efficient life?’, ‘What is the easiest type of individual to be?’ ‘How can one inform if one’s society is making development to a few type of fascinating nation or falling backwards?’ The ebook indicates that throughout time and throughout many cultures, the human species bears a few impressive similarities.

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In Michalos et al. (2005, 2011a) there is good evidence that most people would not identify good health with a good life. Antisthenes of Athens (c. 446–c. 366 BCE) Antisthenes lived most of his life in Athens, although he was not an Athenian citizen. As Laertius (2000b, p. 3) remarked, “he was not of pure Attic blood”. According to Piering (2006, p. 3), he was a NOTHOS, meaning “someone born of an illegitimate union (due to being born from a slave, foreigner, or prostitute, or because one’s parents were citizens but not legally married)”.

Irwin (1991, p. 66) connected these implications to an important claim by Aristotle. If one conceives happiness as a good life for oneself or as the achieving of one’s own good, one must conceive oneself as having a life – a sequence of actions and experiences that belong to one subject lasting through time. The incapacity of animals and young children to form such a conception of themselves is probably Aristotle’s reason for denying that they can be happy…. Given their epistemological views, they could not have any confidence in the existence of or see any value in past or future pleasures.

Most of their contemporaries identified happiness as the proper end, although there was considerable disagreement about the nature of happiness and about the means to achieving it. Since the Cyrenaics believed that their knowledge was limited to transitory experiences or affections and that, so far as they knew, there were no essential natures, they saw no point in reflecting on life as a whole and no point in trying to conduct their affairs in the interest of achieving the end supremely identified by those natures.

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