on June 13, 2003
This transformed dissertation on Aristotle, by a long-practiced philosopher who has spent much of his life working with people with different handicaps had the potential to clarify Aristotle's valorization of happiness and at the same time show how happiness as an end in itself holds for every human being. The writing is clear and the examples drawn from contemporary life are particularly vibrant, but this book is not all about Aristotle. It seems to me that the author's vision has been informed more by his spiritual position than by his wrangling with Aristotle. The author is benevolent (benevolent, whose etymolgy is erroneously revealed in these pages) but he writes with the intent of applying Aristotle as a salve for the modern problems he finds most disastrous. Vanier writes best about Aristotle on the topics of desire and friendship. The rest of the book appears a conflation of many ideologies, with Aristole the minimum ingredient.