I was having a discussion with my girlfriend about what the "meaning of life" was. A tired, perhaps ultimately pointless, question... but suprisingly, we actually ended up both agreeing that the purpose of life is to "flourish." However, we sort of ran into a brick wall when we realized we couldn't even explain what that is. Like, what is "human flourishing?"
We thought that was maybe to complex a question, so questioned what "plant flourishing" was; if a seed is planted with the capacity to flower, and it begins to grow, yet, some problem hinders it's growth and because of that it doesn't flower, it can be said that the plant didn't 'flourish' - the plant did not fulfill it's potential to flower.
Would it be fair to say, then, that "human flourishing" comes down to humans fulfilling the potential they have in life? This is problematic, though, since humans are so complex, we simply can't put a finger on one thing and say "that's flourishing" like we can with the flower. The limits on human flourishing and capability, infact, seem somewhat 'limitless' which is unlike any other creature due to the level of intelligence/flexibility that we have evolved.
So, our main question is "What is human flourishing?" How do modern philosophers handle this concept? A little background may be helpful: we are both studying biology in college, and we've read some philosophy; Aristotle's ethics and some Spinoza for example, but we don't really know much in regards to modern philosophy at all.