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Conclusions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 April 2023

David Machek
Affiliation:
Universität Bern, Switzerland
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Summary

The account of the best life for humans, that is, of happy or flourishing life, was the central theme of ancient ethics. This book addresses other important questions about the value of life that likewise received much discussion in antiquity: What does it take to have a life that, if not happy, is at least worth living, in comparison to being dead or never having come into life? Does every human life have some non-instrumental value that makes it worth living? And do all lives that are worth living for those who live them also have to be meaningful, in the sense of making a positive contribution to other humans or world at large? In reconstructing, for the first time, philosophical engagements with these questions from a range of ancient philosophers, from Socrates to Plotinus, the work offers a fresh narrative of ancient ethics. It explores these views against the background of the pessimistic outlook on the human condition adopted by the Greek poets, but also points out continuities and contrasts between the ancient perspective and modern philosophical debates about related themes in biomedical ethics and in the ethics of procreation.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Conclusions
  • David Machek, Universität Bern, Switzerland
  • Book: The Life Worth Living in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
  • Online publication: 29 April 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009257916.008
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  • Conclusions
  • David Machek, Universität Bern, Switzerland
  • Book: The Life Worth Living in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
  • Online publication: 29 April 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009257916.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Conclusions
  • David Machek, Universität Bern, Switzerland
  • Book: The Life Worth Living in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
  • Online publication: 29 April 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009257916.008
Available formats
×