Being for the Good

Anthony Rudd

in Self, Value, and Narrative

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660049
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744976 | DOI:
Being for the Good

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Drawing on work by Adams, Murdoch, and Wolf, this chapter sketches a positive account of how orientation to what is of objective value can reconcile self-shaping and self-acceptance. It starts with a pluralistic view according to whicha good life consists in proper appreciation of (some of) the many things which have value; in accordance with the actual values they have, as well as the particular ‘affinity’ we may have for some kinds of valuable object rather than others. Kierkegaard and Plato go beyond this realist but metaphysically minimalist position to argue that the Good is a distinct, ontologically real First Principle, and it is only by relating properly to this real Good that one can achieve full selfhood. Without attempting to resolve this issue, the later part of the chapter attempts to show that the latter, properly Platonic, view has important strengths, which contemporary philosophy has tended to underestimate.

Keywords: Adams; affinity; Good; Murdoch; objective value; Platonism; Wolf

Chapter.  21663 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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