Hill, Thomas E.
About the author: Thomas E. Hill is the author of four previous books concerning ethics, theories of knowledge, and meaning. He taught for many years as a Distinguished Professor at Macalester College, and he is now a Visiting Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Educated at Davidson College, Union Seminary in Richmond, and the Universities of Edinburgh and Tübingen, he also spent several terms as a visiting scholar at Harvard and Oxford.2004 0-7734-6340-2
This book explores the question “What is a Good Life?” from the perspectives of several major regulative ends characteristic of human lives. This important question tends to be neglected among contemporary philosophers or else treated merely as an aspect of Aristotle’s philosophy. The author examines relations between the ends of personal happiness, personal fulfillment, a just community, and a loving community. Drawing from a broad range of philosophical and literary sources, he argues that lives exclusively or primarily devoted to any of the first three ends would fall short of an ideally good life. A principal conclusion is that the values of a loving community include but transcend the values inherent in the other major regulative ends. This work is unusual in its systematic treatment of an important but too rarely discussed topic, in its commitment to drawing together the best from many philosophical resources, and in its critical insights regarding deficiencies in lives exclusively devoted to relatively narrow ends.