Meddling: On The Virtue Of Leaving Others Alone

Paperback | August 15, 2014

byJohn Lachs

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John Lachs claims that we are surrounded by people who seem to know what is good for us better than we do ourselves. Lachs discusses the joy of choice and the rare virtue of leaving others alone to lead their lives as they see fit. He does not mean that we abandon them in their genuine hour of need, but that we aid them on their own terms and not make help conditional upon adopting approved beliefs and behaviors. Lachs believes help needs to be temporary to discourage dependence. He contends that leaving others alone in this fashion will create a community that is caring and responsive to the needs of others. All it takes is an urge not to meddle, even when we think it's for someone else's own good.

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John Lachs claims that we are surrounded by people who seem to know what is good for us better than we do ourselves. Lachs discusses the joy of choice and the rare virtue of leaving others alone to lead their lives as they see fit. He does not mean that we abandon them in their genuine hour of need, but that we aid them on their own te...

John Lachs is Centennial Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. He is author of Stoic Pragmatism (IUP, 2012), A Community of Individuals, and In Love with Life.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:140 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:August 15, 2014Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:025301476X

ISBN - 13:9780253014764

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Table of Contents

1. Apples and Pluralism
2. Operational Independence
3. Leaving Others Alone
4. Telling Others What to Do
5. Making Others Do What We Want (and They Don't)
6. Helping Others
7. Independence and the Anthill

Editorial Reviews

"Lachs's Meddling is, caveat lector, a work of ethical philosophy... It is not pop sociology. It is refreshingly-to this reader, at least-devoid of phrases like 'a new study shows' or 'data now support.' It is, in fact, a welcome antidote to that soft-science-driven journalism which conditions us to mistrust the judgments supplied by our own experience and observation.... Meddling is short (127 pages), accessible, and sure to vindicate and delight anyone who senses too much meddling in his own affairs." -Daily Beast