Johnson, Matthew Thomas (2013) Conclusion. In: Evaluating Culture. Springer, pp. 168-173. ISBN 9781137313799

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I began the substantive content of this book with a discussion of the obstacles to evaluation. I think that there are good reasons to believe that a eudaimonic approach can serve seriously to challenge the notion that there are no goods independent of cultural construction and the belief that people’s interests lie solely in their living in accordance with a particular, authentic way of life. Put simply, although we are nothing of meaning without culture, culture itself can fail fully to promote our interests as human beings. The distinctive aspect of the approach I have presented is that it is aimed, on this basis, at evaluating culture, rather than social conditions or well-being, establishing the performance of institutions within given circumstances. This has advantages over approaches, such as those of Sen and Nussbaum, which evaluate opportunities for well-being of individuals within a particular society, but which fail to assess the broader functioning of culture in dealing with a variety of circumstantial pressures. The aim of my approach is to identify and trace dysfunctions through various cultural program to their source. This explanatory work is essential to establishing the necessity of, say, capability constraints and, where the constraints are unnecessary, to developing means of promoting well-being.

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30 Mar 2020 14:15
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