Title

Eudaimonia is Actualized by Intrinsically Motivated Work: Using Aristotle and Montessori to Develop a New Account of Eudaimonia

Presenter

Jack Eiford

Abstract

Aristotle identified a highest good for humans (eudaimonia), and rightly asserted that examining this good improves our ability to live a good life. In my presentation, I use Aristotle’s and alternative educator Maria Montessori's accounts of eudaimonia to develop my own account. I argue that eudaimonia is actualized by intrinsically motivated work, i.e. effortful activity engaged in for its own sake. Working from this central claim, I consider three features of intrinsically motivated work: that it has an internal standard of excellence, proper content, and that the highest kind of pleasure supervenes on it. I then examine the role of material goods in my account of eudaimonia. I also argue that eudaimonia should be taught by allowing children to engage in intrinsically motivated work without interference from rewards and punishments. I conclude by suggesting that my account of eudaimonia has important implications for modern society.

Faculty Sponsor

Patrick Frierson

Tracks

Motivating Influences

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Maxey 104

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 11th, 2:45 PM Apr 11th, 3:00 PM

Eudaimonia is Actualized by Intrinsically Motivated Work: Using Aristotle and Montessori to Develop a New Account of Eudaimonia

Maxey 104

Aristotle identified a highest good for humans (eudaimonia), and rightly asserted that examining this good improves our ability to live a good life. In my presentation, I use Aristotle’s and alternative educator Maria Montessori's accounts of eudaimonia to develop my own account. I argue that eudaimonia is actualized by intrinsically motivated work, i.e. effortful activity engaged in for its own sake. Working from this central claim, I consider three features of intrinsically motivated work: that it has an internal standard of excellence, proper content, and that the highest kind of pleasure supervenes on it. I then examine the role of material goods in my account of eudaimonia. I also argue that eudaimonia should be taught by allowing children to engage in intrinsically motivated work without interference from rewards and punishments. I conclude by suggesting that my account of eudaimonia has important implications for modern society.

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