Defining our own good, and living our lives in pursuit of it, is at the heart of a moral life.
This can't work. If I define my own good, then the good isn't worth much. The good only begins to have a sustaining meaning if I hold it to exist beyond my own personal preferences. Then it becomes something significant to live by and to be guided by.
Little wonder then that Cannold's view of the life worth living is so limited. She sets up a framework in which people are unhappy because they don't dare to pursue the careers they really want to pursue. Cannold believes that they are led astray by consumerism, which keeps them working in jobs they dislike.
But are we really only defined by our talents as expressed through careers? Is this all there is to man?
I think we connect to much greater things than this in our lives. What about the love we experience for our spouse and family? Our place within a national tradition? Our response to art and nature? Our identities as men and women?
And what about the value we place on integrity and character?
Human "flourishing", as liberals like to put it, does not revolve around the adoption of an "individual life plan". There are goods which we do not uniquely choose for ourselves, but which give a significance to our identity, to our labours and to our experience of life.