ON-Lion Letter

What is human happiness, and how is it attained?  What is the connection between human excellence and human flourishing?  These venerable but often-neglected questions are once again the subject of serious inquiry and empirical research, including at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C.

The deepest, wisest, and (arguably) most-relevant exploration of human flourishing and its connection with human excellence may be found in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, the truth(s) of which were set forth and defended in Leon R. Kass 's January Bradley Lecture at AEI.  In "Human Flourishing and Human Excellence:  The Truth(s) of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (with a look at Winston Churchill)," Kass paid special attention to Aristotle's great-souled man and the enduring relevance, even in modern democratic times, of this peak of moral nobility.

A Bradley Prize recipient, Kass holds the Madden-Jewett chair at AEI.

The 50th anniversary of the death of Winston Churchill, he concluded the lecture, "reminds us of the limitations of our craft, and therewith of our duty.  We have no higher duty, and no more pressing duty, than to remind ourselves, and our students, of political greatness, human greatness, of the peaks of human excellence.  For we are supposed to train ourselves and others in seeing things as they are, and this means above all in seeing their greatness and their misery, their excellence and their vileness, their nobility and their triumphs, and therefore never to mistake mediocrity, however brilliant, for true greatness."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports several AEI projects, including the lecture series.

Actions: E-mail | Permalink |