Thank you Slaying the Dragon for your thoughtful comments. I look forward to them, because I know I will always learn something. So I especially appreciate your discussion of Aristotle and Christianity and the contrast between their understandings of human nature and the modern line of thought that has led to the sort of neuroscientific reductionism we see today. I agree with you that we are motivated by pursuing certain ‘goods,’ and that this motivation underpins our sense of right and wrong, and our sense of the meaning and purpose of life, but as Aristotle points out, these ‘goods’ are the product of society, at least to some extent, not something that is inherent in us. This is why, as individualism grows, and religion and social conservatism lose their hold, we struggle to find a universal basis for our beliefs and morals. Individualism has a bad name nowadays, and it is right that we are often tempted to neglect the social, but we should not forget that our sense of ourselves as indivisuals, with some power to influence events ourselves, is associated with the shaking up of centuries of unchallenged social heirarchy. I probably don’t need to point this out to an American! But I don”t think we can resolve modern existential problems simply by returning to ancient philosophy or medieval Christianity – and I apologise if I am over-simplifying your position, which as I said is definitely thought-provoking. On the question of mental illness/disorder, I think it is too simplictic to just blame psychiatry. I recognise that psychiatry does create many of the problems it is supposedly there to address, but there is a historical record of something that was widely recognised as ‘madness’ (lunacy, insanity etc) long before psychiatry came into existence, which caused problems for many different sorts of communities. I am not making a plea for psychiatry, but I am trying to work out how we, as a society, can respond to these problems without pretending they are medical conditions, with all the worrying implications that go along with that view.