The Southern Journal of Philosophy

Volume 47, Issue 2, Summer 2009

Joe Mintoff
Pages 159-186

In Defense of the Ideal of a Life Plan

Aristotle claims at Eudemian Ethics 1.2 that everyone who can live according to his own choice should adopt some goal for the good life, which he will keep in view in all his actions, for not to have done so is a sign of folly. This is an opinion shared by other ancients as well as some moderns. Others believe, however, that this view is false to the human condition, and provide a number of objections: (1) you can’t plan love; (2) nor life’s surprises; (3) planning a whole life is of no use since the world changes too much; (4) as do our values; and (5) planning a life is something only dreary people would do. The aim of this paper is to examine these objections, as part of a broader attempt to defend the relevance of a eudaimonistic approach to the question of how to live well.