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Eudaimonia and ‘species being’: a Marxist perspective

Dean, Hartley (2016) Eudaimonia and ‘species being’: a Marxist perspective. In: Vittersø, Joar, (ed.) Handbook of Eudaimonic Well-Being. International handbooks of quality-of-life. Springer International (Firm), Cham, Switzerland, pp. 507-520. ISBN 9783319424439

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Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-42445-3_34


This chapter connects the concept of eudaimonia with Karl Marx’s concept of ‘species being’. It contends that whereas, for Aristotle, eudaimonia represented the natural purpose of a privileged minority of humanity; for Marx, it represented the historical and developmental purpose of an entire species, radically characterised by its specific forms of consciousness, work and sociality. The chapter additionally considers how in the light of subsequent historical events, Hannah Arendt saw eudaimonia in terms of what it means for a human being to live well in common with others. Seizing on the idea that in the contemporary era social policy and social development are, or ought to be, concerned not only with living well, but living better, the chapter seeks to build upon Marx’s particular concept of species being as the basis for a life-first ethic: an ethic that seeks consensually to define and prioritise human fulfilment and the essential meaning of social welfare and human well-being.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2016 16:54
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 10:02

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