What Aristotle can teach us about building a better society

More than 2,300 years ago, Aristotle wrote about eudaimonia—commonly translated as human flourishing—and discussed how we can best live our lives. It is a concept that has influenced philosophers through the ages, from Thomas Aquinas to Martha Nussbaum, who have in different ways developed theories about how we can live the good life and fulfil our true capability and potential as human beings.

The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us all just how important these ideas are and shown the interconnection of every aspect of our lives, from health to the economy, the environment and education. As we build for the future, we need to think again about the well-lived life and the values—or virtues, in Aristotle’s terms—by which we live it, argues Nigel Crisp in Prospect.

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What, exactly, is an emotion?

Emotions are crucial to our lives, so you might be surprised to hear that psychologists don’t have a consensus definition of what they are or how they work, explains Laith Al-Shawaf in Pschychology Today.

Despite the chorus of different voices, there are some things emotion scientists agree on. Most researchers agree, for example, that all emotions have a physiological component, a phenomenological component (what it feels like to experience that emotion), and a behavioral component (for instance, some emotions prime you to fight, whereas others make you more likely to play).

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On Turkey’s financial crisis

Turkey’s financial crisis has thrown into turmoil a country that is pivotal to the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Asia and forms the boundary between the Middle East and Europe, writes economist Adam Tooze on his blog. According to Al-Monitor: “Turkey’s monthly consumer inflation is expected to hit a staggering 15% in December and bring the annual rate to at least 35%. The Turkish Statistical Institute is due to release the official figures Jan. 3.” But accessing the statistical agency can be difficult for opposition politicians.

And its not only the economics: the political logic of Erdogan’s maneuvering as baffling. As Atilla Yesilada, an analyst at the consultancy GlobalSource Partners, remarked: “this is not a policy that benefits any identifiable constituency, including his family . . . or his cronies”.

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How errors, inaction sent a deadly Covid variant around the world

India’s hampered response to the discovery of the Delta variant of Covid was characterised by months of inertia from the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and a startling lack of resource, report Chris Kay and Dhwani Pandya in Bloomberg.

This goes some ways toward explaining why two years into this pandemic, the world remains on the brink of economy-shattering shutdowns, with another new variant emerging out of vulnerable, under-vaccinated populations. But while South Africa acted swiftly last month to decode the heavily mutated omicron and publicise its existence, India’s experience perhaps better reflects the reality faced by most developing countries – and the risks they potentially pose.

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