For centuries philosophers have wrestled with the dichotomy between individual freedom on the one hand and collective solidarity on the other. Yet today there is a growing realization that this template is fundamentally flawed. In this book, Mark Young embraces and advocates a more holistic concept of freedom; one which is not merely defined negatively but which positively provides the preconditions for individuals to actively exercise their autonomy and to flourish as human beings in the process. Young posits the idea of 'freedom in community' and traces its origin back to Aristotle. Taking as his premise that humans are deeply social beings who live their lives intricately interwoven with each other, he examines what type of political community is relevant for us in this post-Classical, post-Enlightenment and, indeed, post-Existential world. Identifying the failure of traditional 'statist' models of politics, Young instead argues for a civil society: a globally interlinked and free set of liberal communities as the best context for nourishing human flourishing. In this way we can achieve a proper setting for Eudaimonia in a modern sense.
Table of Contents
Contents: Connecting free people: a neo-Aristotelian proposal; Revisiting Aristotle: in pursuit of happiness; Constructing the Good Life: narrative as a path to Eudaimonia; Aristotle's Polis: the soil of Eudaimonia; The freedom of community: can virtue be pluralistic?; Civil society: modern Aristotelian Polis?; Negotiating the Good Life: conflict management in a pluralistic democracy; Modern communities: a rejoinder to Putnam; Bibliography; Index.
'... Young's book is thought provoking and it sets the agenda for future inquiry in addition to making an original contribution to the important Aristotelian tradition set in motion by MacIntyre's After Virtue.' Ethical Theory and Moral Practice ’Mark A. Young's Negotiating the Good Life is an important book.’ The Journal of Value Inquiry