About this book
Made for Happiness
Discovering the Meaning of Life with Aristotle
Jean Vanier • Ian Brown • Kathryn Spink
This bestselling work is an uplifting and practical look at philosophy and how it can be applied in our everyday lives from the author of the international bestseller, Becoming Human.
In Made for Happiness, Jean Vanier examines the basis for modern moral philosophy and its role in our lives today. Having discovered through his work with the intellectually disabled the degree to which our society is divided, and our values misplaced, Vanier invites us to read with fresh eyes theories of happiness written 2,400 years ago.
The book follows the links between psychology, spirituality, and morality: psychology helps us face our fears and limitations; spirituality gives us strength; and morality helps us to choose the best actions, those that will make us happier, and thus more human. The combination of these paths to knowledge and wisdom gives meaning to our lives and allows us to make the best use of our freedom on our way to happiness.
Many of Aristotle’s principles are valid for any ethics. Being human doesn’t mean simply obeying laws that come form outside, but attaining maturity. Being human means becoming as perfectly accomplished as possible. If we do not become perfectly accomplished, something is lost to the whole of humanity. For Aristotle this accomplishment derives from the exercise of the most perfect activity: that of seeking truth in all things, shunning lies and illusions, acting in accordance with justice, transcending oneself to act for the good of others in society.
About the Author
Jean Vanier is the son of former governor general Georges Vanier, and founder of L'Arche, an international network of communities for people with developmental disabilities. He has written a number of books, including Becoming Human (the 1999 CBC Massey Lectures), Finding Peace, Made for Happiness, Encountering the Other, and Befriending the Stranger. Jean lives in Trosly-Breuil, France.