A lecture by Prof. Candace Vogler (The University of Chicago)
"According to an ancient truism that I have no interest in challenging, people want happiness. According to more contemporary thought on the topic, in seeking love, wealth, health, friendship, adventure, something that counts as family, some sort of supportive community, interesting work, and the kinds of security associated with these things, people are seeking happiness. Alongside these goods, people sometimes take an interest goods that go beyond the stuff of personal well-being and the well-being of those in their immediate proximity. They want to be good people. They want to play the good that they enjoy forward in some area of human life. They want to work for social justice, say, or for other good causes. But according to the ancient truism that understands this human busy-ness as directed at happiness, genuine happiness shows itself in complete satisfaction. Drawing on the thought of Thomas Aquinas, I will urge that it is folly to think that a very good life will all by itself be completely satisfying. While allowing that sources of temporal happiness really are sources of happiness, I will suggest that human life points beyond itself to a kind of spiritual good that we cannot secure on our own."