University of David
Human nature perfectionism identifies the human good with the development of human nature. This looks like a monistic ideal, one that identifies a single form of life as best for all human beings. But, in fact, the ideal leaves many issues open. Let us stipulate that the best life for a human being is the life that maximizes the development of his nature. Then, it still could be true that for different human beings different activities and pursuits would best promote their good. This could be true, since different people may be able to best develop different aspects of human nature. Given their temperament and talents, some do well to concentrate on artistic pursuits, while others do well to focus on theoretical studies or athletic achievements. Moreover, even those who do well to focus on the same type of perfection, may find that some activities and goals serve this end better for them than for others. And, finally, it may not be true, as the above supposition holds, that the best life for a human being is one that maximizes the development of his nature. For the most perfect life for a human being may require him to sacrifice his own self-development to some extent for the self-development of others. Different tradeoffs between one’s own perfection and the perfection of others may be rationally eligible; and this fact, if it is indeed a fact, also would contribute to the plurality and variety of modes of life consistent with the perfectionist ideal.