The contemplative life: Three ways of life available to us in modernity

The title of my fall course at Kaos Pilots is ‘The Good Life and Sustaining Life.’ I want to think further about the sorts of things I’ll be teaching.

Five things can be said immediately about this relationship. First, each is sui generis: the good life is unto itself, sustaining life unto itself. Second, the good life is logically prior to sustaining life: the question of what it means to lead a flourishing life must come before that of what it means to sustain human life. Third, the good life is and must be higher than sustaining life in our table of values. Fourth, sustaining life provides ‘infrastructural support’ for the good life. That is, the good life is ontologically independent of bare life yet is also materially dependent on some viable model for making a living. And fifth, how one makes a living must be ‘consonant with’ or ‘in tune with’ how one seeks to live flourishingly.

Some obvious implications:

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