Worth as Attached to Specific Activities

Samuel Fleischacker

in Divine Teaching and the Way of the World

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199217366
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728495 | DOI:
Worth as Attached to Specific Activities

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A framework is now established for evaluating further grounds for beliefs about the worth of life: are these grounds better than the metaphysical and quasi-scientific grounds for religious claims that philosophers today largely dismiss? If not, the critique of religion that marks the modern era—the critique associated, especially, with themes in Marx and Freud—should apply equally to secular visions of life’s value. This framework governs the arguments of Chapters 3–5. In the present chapter, its establishment is followed by a review of several specific activities often regarded as making life worth living (erotic love, social and political activism, art, and the pursuit of knowledge). It is argued that the various empirical considerations adduced in support of such claims tend to be false, and that the metaphysical arguments on which they rest are as weak as any of the arguments for God’s existence.

Keywords: erotic love; politics; art; Freud; Marx; Darwin

Chapter.  12786 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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