Date of Thesis Acceptance
Major Department or Program
This paper develops a new account of eudaimonia, i.e. the highest good for human beings. To develop this account, I draw extensively on the accounts of eudaimonia offered by Aristotle and alternative educator Maria Montessori. I argue that eudaimonia is the only end desired for its own sake, and that this intrinsically desired end is actualized by intrinsically motivated work. I define intrinsically motivated work as effortful engagement in activity for the sake of itself, and I use Aristotle and Montessori to show that individual instances of this work constitute eudaimonia as a whole. Further, I claim that only a certain kind of intrinsically motivated work actualizes eudaimonia: this work must be excellent in a progressive sense, rational, respectful of others and their ability to actualize eudaimonia, and promote human culture. In addition to intrinsically motivated work, I argue that integrated extrinsically motivated work can actualize eudaimonia when this work is situated in the context of larger-scale intrinsically motivated work. In order to integrate extrinsically motivated work, I claim that one must reflectively endorse their actions at the highest level of reflection that is possible given their stage of development. I conclude by suggesting that this account of eudaimonia has profound implications for the way we educate, work, and live in contemporary industrialized society.
Aristotle -- Eudaimonia, Aristotle -- Nicomachean ethics -- Eudaimonia, Maria Montessori (1870-1952), Intrinsic motivation, Motivation (Psychology), Industrial society, Education -- Children, Whitman College 2017 -- Dissertation collection -- Philosophy Department
Public Accessible Thesis
Eiford, John D., "Eudaimonia is Actualized by Intrinsically Motivated Work: Using Aristotle and Montessori to Develop a New Account of Eudaimonia" (2017). Honors Theses. 336.
In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).