The Good Life

22 Nov 2022
The Good Life
A talk by Professor Daniel Miller, Director, Centre for Digital Anthropology, University College London


This talk introduced the author’s upcoming book, The Good Life. Building on 16 months-long fieldwork with middle-class retirees living in a small town on the east coast of Ireland, the book juxtaposes ethnographic insights with philosophical inquiries into what constitutes a happy, free, and virtuous life. The author argues that anthropological modalities can allow one to evaluate the good life in comparison to the perspective of philosophers ranging from Socrates, Kant and Rawls to Hegel and MacIntyre . Aspects of the good life discussed in the book include freedom, equality, the satiable society and sports. 

Speaker bio:  

Daniel Miller’s earlier books include Material Culture and Mass Consumption, Stuff, A Theory of Shopping and The Comfort Of Things. More recently he has been working in Digital Anthropology including two advanced ERC five-year projects. Why We Post, which produced twelve volumes including How the World Changed Social Media. The Anthropology of Smartphones and Smart Ageing is also on course to produce a further book series including The Global Smartphone and Ageing with Smartphones in Ireland (with Pauline Garvey or Maynooth University). These books are available as open access with UCL Press. He is currently combing digital with medical anthropology to create a health campaign in Trinidad (together with Sheba Mohammid).  


This event was linked to PRECNIGHTS, a project about women migrant night workers' marginalisation via precarity and invisibility, in Ireland. Funded under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), PRECNIGHTS is hosted by ISS21 Migration and Integration cluster, UCC, under Caitríona Ní Laoire’s mentorship, and it is led by Julius-Cezar MacQuarie.

A recording of the seminar is available here


Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

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