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Human Predicaments and Problems

Human Predicaments and Problems

(p.1) 1 Human Predicaments and Problems
Human Predicaments
John Kekes
University of Chicago Press

This is an introduction that sets out the problems, the aim, and the approach of the book. The problem is that most of us are more or less dissatisfied with how we live and want to make it better than it is. We are uncertain about how to make it better because we are committed to conflicting economic, legal, moral, personal, political, religious, and other modes of evaluation of the available possibilities of life. The aim is to find a fit between our personal attitude to how we think we should live and the evaluative framework of our society that limits how we can live. The approach is to compare what we take to be our possibilities with possibilities as they are conceived in different anthropological, historical, and literary contexts. In that way we can deepen our understanding and enrich the possibilities of life we might pursue.

Keywords:   problems, uncertainties, evaluative framework, modes of evaluation, conflicts, ideal theory, personal attitude, comparisons, context dependence

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