This paper examines Pedro Tabensky's claims that rational human life has a single unifying purpose, and that there is an analogy between the skill of living and that of painting. It examines his arguments for the first claim, in particular the relation between rationality and different ways in which a life might be unified. For, in addition to the narrative or artistic unification which Tabensky favours, there is also (for example) the possibility of unifying one's life through the adoption of a so-called monolithic end, such as pleasure (assuming that pleasure is monolithic). The paper also investigates the implications of each of these modes of unification for how we should understand the skill of living. According to the narrative or artistic model, living will indeed be like painting; however, according to the monolithic-end model, living may be more like business management; and other models may make other analogies salient. All this will make a difference to our attitudes to events within our lives, for example, whether the inevitable disturbances within our lives are to be integrated or, rather, eliminated.
South African Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 23, Issue 4, p. 353-364