Morphogenesis and Human Flourishing

Part of the series Social Morphogenesis pp 239-260


Eudaimonic Bubbles, Social Change and the NHS

  • Tony LawsonAffiliated withFaculty of Economics, University of Cambridge Email author 

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Eudaimonia is a term for a society in which we all flourish in our differences. The world we live in is far from that, even though, I argue, there are persistent tendencies pushing us in its direction. A fundamental question that arises is whether we can achieve a degree of flourishing along one set of axes at least, in the here and now. To this end I introduce the notion of eudiamonic bubbles, by which I mean relatively advantageous, if often precarious, conditions in which sub-communities can insulate themselves, relatively speaking, from specific sets of dehumanising or oppressive features characteristic of the wider community within which they are located, and which allow a degree of flourishing. I explore the conditions of their emergence and survival and illustrate using the case of the (English) National Health Service. I also identify systematic forces working continually to burst this particular bubble and question whether, even in the immediate future, the NHS, qua a eudaimonic bubble, can survive.


Human flourishing Eudaimoic bubbles National Health Service Community awareness Critical ethical naturalism