Formal criteria for the concept of human flourishing: the first step in defending flourishing as an ideal aim of education

Ethics and Education 10 (1):118-129 (2015)
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Human flourishing is the topic of an increasing number of books and articles in educational philosophy. Flourishing should be regarded as an ideal aim of education. If this is defended, the first step should be to elucidate what is meant by flourishing, and what exactly the concept entails. Listing formal criteria can facilitate reflection on the ideal of flourishing as an aim of education. We took Aristotelian eudaimonia as a prototype to construct two criteria for the concept of human flourishing: human flourishing is regarded as intrinsically worthwhile and flourishing means ‘actualisation of human potential’. The second criterion has three sub-criteria: flourishing is about a whole life, it is a ‘dynamic state’ and flourishing presupposes there being objective goods



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Anders Schinkel
VU University Amsterdam

References found in this work

Critique of practical reason.Immanuel Kant - 1788 - New York,: Liberal Arts Press. Edited by Mary J. Gregor.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
The morality of happiness.Julia Annas - 1993 - New York: Oxford University Press.
IX.—Essentially Contested Concepts.W. B. Gallie - 1956 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 56 (1):167-198.

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