Eudemonia is the Greek word for the good, thriving, happiness, and it is exactly what Jefferson and Locke are saying, respectively, when they are describing the "pursuit of life, liberty and happiness," and the "pursuit of life, liberty and property." Earlier, in all sorts of ways, Milton is saying the same thing; across his work, this fits into the figure he develops combining Christian charity, God's love, and the purpose--central to the nature of a marriage between a man and a woman--of shared Bible study, intellectual adventure and amorous intimacy.
Ethics is not a matter of theoretical speculation, nor is it an assessment of various theories, as if through an examination of these "theories" we can progress toward a normative or prescriptive moral theory that is legitimately authoritative. Rather, moral philosophy is the consideration of what is good, and how to achieve it. Rather than providing rules or guidelines, moral philosophy points the way to improving our ability to act in appropriate ways.
These are interesting matters. Please click the following links for additional highbrow analysis:
Aristotle and the Meaning of Eudaimonia
An Introduction to Modernity, or a few lines on Locke, Jefferson and Milton off the top of my Head
|"Adam Inspired by Eve and Rosie Dawn" Terrance Lindall|
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