Salon 42 Good

Salon 42 is focused on good, a noun that is very hard to define. Common phrases such as “for the common good” or “towards the greater good” mean well, but fail to specify for whom and in what form such good is pursued. Good is perhaps best described through this ambiguity and multiplicity, with its only constant being the fact that across time and space, it has consistently meant different things to different people and groups. As we reflect on the past five years, which have brought to the fore with renewed sharpness the systemic issues that afflict our planet, the need to discuss the idea of good is impellent.

We will pose the following questions: Who decides what ”good” is? What does it mean to “do good”? How is it evaluated and measured? How have conceptions of good changed across time and place? What, if anything, has remained consistent? Who is in the position to do good? Who has the obligation to do it? To what degree is the sense of good innate versus learned? How much variation exists from person to person? Given the impossibility of a universal good, how encompassing can it be? Can there be an act of good that transcends class, race, age, species, or beyond?

This Salon took place on June 9, 2023


Video Contributors

Reading Resources

Matthews, Dylan. “Join Wall Street. Save the world.” The Washington Post. May 31, 2013.