Enjoyment: The Moral Significance of Styles of Life

Hardcover | September 15, 2008

byJohn Kekes

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In this book John Kekes examines the indispensable role enjoyment plays in a good life. The key to it is the development of a style of life that combines an attitude and a manner of living and acting that jointly express one's deepest concerns. Since such styles vary with characters andcircumstances, a reasonable understanding of them requires attending to the particular and concrete details of individual lives. Reflection on works of literature is a better guide to this kind of understanding than the futile search for general theories and principles that preoccupies much ofcontemporary moral thought.Enjoyment proceeds by the detailed examination of particular cases, shows how this kind of reflection can be reasonably conducted, and how the quest for universality and impartiality is misguided in this context. Central to the argument is a practical, particular, pluralistic, and yet objectiveconception of reason that rejects the pervasive contemporary tendency to regard reasons as good only if they are binding on all who aspire to live reasonably and morally. Reason in morality is neither theoretical nor general. Reasons for living and acting in particular ways are individually variableand none the worse for that. Kekes aims to reorient moral thought from deontological, contractarian, and consequentialist preoccupations toward a reasonable but pluralistic reflection on what individuals can do to make their lives better.

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In this book John Kekes examines the indispensable role enjoyment plays in a good life. The key to it is the development of a style of life that combines an attitude and a manner of living and acting that jointly express one's deepest concerns. Since such styles vary with characters andcircumstances, a reasonable understanding of them ...

John Kekes has been Research Professor at the State University of New York and Visiting Professor in Canada, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, and Singapore. He has received Fellowships from the Canada Council, the State University of New York, and the Woodrow Wilson, Rockefeller, and Earhart Foundations. He is the author of fifteen books a...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.85 inPublished:September 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199546924

ISBN - 13:9780199546923

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Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction1. A Grace to be CultivatedPart Two: Styles of Life2. Pursuing Our Own Good3. Personal Evaluation4. The Importance of MannerPart Three: The Evaluation of Styles of Live5. A Great and Rare Art6. Three-Dimensional Morality7. The Uses of Reason in MoralityPart Four: Some Particular Styles of Life8. A Most Perfect Gentleman9. A Morbid Romantic10. An Enemy of Happiness11. A Wise and Virtuous Man12. A Certain Gaiety of Heart13. The Rightful Enjoyment of Our BeingPart Five: Conclusion14. The Felicity We Make or FindNotesWork CitedIndex