The goal of this paper is to formulate several observations on the psychological relations between vita contemplativa and vita activa which manifest in the context of the two following problems: what basic psychological mechanisms may propel an agent to forsake one type of life for the sake of another; and what effect an agent’s deep involvement in VC may have for his attitude towards VA as well as for his manner of pursuing VA. In the paper, the distinction is made between VC in the strong sense and VC in the weak sense, and it is argued, among others, that the two features of VC in the strong sense—selflessness and otherworldliness—make VC a desirable complement of VA : the involvement in the public sphere motivated by VA is likely to be not only more effective, but also more durable than the involvement propelled by disappointment with the private VA. Therefore, human beings should not be thought of as divided into two rarely interpermeating categories namely those who are ‘psychologically destined’ for VC and those who are ‘psychologically destined’ for VA. Rather, the opposite seems to be true, namely that there exist strong motivational links in the direction from VC to VA.
Keywords vita activa   vita contemplativa   disappointment   selflessness   private life   public life
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DOI 10.26913/avant.2019.01.02
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Leisure the Basis of Culture.John W. Yolton - 1953 - Philosophical Review 62 (1):151.
Christendom in Dublin.G. K. Chesterton - 2016 - The Chesterton Review 42 (3/4):413-415.

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