The Good Life

1 Commentby   |  01.18.13  |  Student Posts

What is the good life?

The good life. I guess I am a skeptic because trying to answer this question frustrates me. I know that I will never have a satisfactory answer. Unfortunately, I cannot dismiss the question as a skeptic would because I am also a student, and this is an assignment.

So, my thoughts on The Good Life:

First, I assume a “Good Life” or a “Not Good Life”. Just because there is a “Not Good Life” does not mean it is a bad life. For now, until we define “The Bad Life”, I will refer to the “Not Good Life” as “Life”.

We live Life in pursuit of The Good Life which we will never find because the Good Life can only be understood in the context of Life. But we have to keep searching, because by giving up on the idea of The Good Life we give up on the meaning of Life.

Life is your current state of being, whether it is real or meaningful is different question. The Good Life is everything you want but do not have. The Bad Life, which can also only be understood in the context of Life, is everything you do not want. The Bad Life can exist without The Good Life but when the exist together they make each other more meaningful. For example, when you experience Life and discover what you do not want you end up wanting things that prevent the things that you do not want. Likewise, when you discover the things you want, you know the things that will prevent you from having what you want so you do not want them.

These obnoxious circular arguments are known as the Problem of Universals. Universals are qualities that exist between two or more entities. My book is brown and the table is brown. Brown,therefore, is a universal. Nominalism denies universals altogether and argues that only individuals are real. Realism argues that universals exist apart from the entities to which they are associated. Conceptualism is supposed to be a compromise between Nominalism and Realism by stating that the Nominalism is correct in that, there are only individuals, but, in Realism’s defense, because the universals are abstract, they are more than just words.

So how do you get The Good Life?

You already have it. It is everything you want but do not have.


*Information on the Problem of Universals was found in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (

1 Comment

  1. Jason Hendrix
    1:22 am, 01.22.13

    Hope some others read this. I definitely identify with the the idea that we are destined to be forever searching. There really is no way to have the perfect “good life” with everything you want because there is no end to human desire. We will always want more. I also like that you pointed out that the good and bad only have meaning with relation to each other. Great post. Thanks

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