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“Their lives were too human for science, too beautiful for numbers, too sad for diagnosis, and too immortal for bound journals.” ―George Vaillant ☁️

“Their lives were too human for science, too beautiful for numbers, too sad for diagnosis, and too immortal for bound journals.” ―George Vaillant ☁️

Can the good life be accounted for with a set of rules? Can we even say who has a “good life” in any broad way? At times, Vaillant wears his lab coat and lays out his findings matter-of-factly. (“As a means of uncovering truth,” he wrote in Adaptation to Life, “the experimental method is superior to intuition.”) More often, he speaks from a literary and philosophical perspective. (In the same chapter, he wrote of the men, “Their lives were too human for science, too beautiful for numbers, too sad for diagnosis and too immortal for bound journals.) In one of my early conversations with him, he described the study files as hundreds of Brothers Karamazovs. Later, after taking a stab at answering several Big Questions I had asked him—Do people change? What does the study teach us about the good life?—he said to me, “Why don’t you tell me when you have time to come up to Boston and read one of these Russian novels?” ―Joshua Wolf Shenk

www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/06/what-makes-u...

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Photo prise le 25 avril 2017 (© anokarina / Flickr)

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