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Human Predicaments and Problems

Human Predicaments and Problems

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Human Predicaments and Problems
Source:
Human Predicaments
Author(s):
John Kekes
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226359595.003.0001

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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