This book is a highly original exploration of what life could and should be.
It juxtaposes a philosophical enquiry into the nature of the good life with an ethnography of people living in a small Irish town.Â Attending carefully to the everyday lives of these people, the ethnographic chapters examine topics ranging from freedom and inequality to the creation of community and the purpose of life.
These chapters alternate with discussions of similar topics by a wide range of philosophers in the Western tradition, from Socrates and the Stoics through Kant, Hegel and Heidegger to Adorno, Rawls, MacIntyre and Nussbaum. As an ethnography, this is a book of praise that reveals just how much we can learn from a respectful acknowledgment of what ordinary modest people have achieved.
By creating community as a deliberate and social project that provides the foundation for a more fulfilling life, where affluence has not led to an increase in individualism, the people in this town have found a way to live the good enough life.
The book also shows how anthropology and philosophy can complement and enrich one another in an inquiry into what we might accomplish in our lives.
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