The Human Condition

Paperback | December 21, 2013

byJohn Kekes

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The Human Condition is a response to the growing disenchantment in the Western world with contemporary life. John Kekes provides rationally justified answers to questions about the meaning of life, the basis of morality, the contingencies of human lives, the prevalence of evil, the nature andextent of human responsibility, and the sources of values we prize. He offers a realistic view of the human condition that rejects both facile optimism and gloomy pessimism; acknowledges that we are vulnerable to contingencies we cannot fully control; defends a humanistic understanding of ourcondition; recognizes that the values worth pursuing are plural, often conflicting, and that there are many reasonable conceptions of well-being. Kekes emphasizes the importance of facing the fact that man's inhumanity to man is widespread. He rejects as simple-minded both the view that human nature is basically good and that it is basically bad, and argues that our well-being depends on coping with the complex truth that human nature isbasically complicated. Finally, Kekes argues that the scheme of things is indifferent to our fortunes and that we can rely only on our own resources to make what we can of our lives.

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The Human Condition is a response to the growing disenchantment in the Western world with contemporary life. John Kekes provides rationally justified answers to questions about the meaning of life, the basis of morality, the contingencies of human lives, the prevalence of evil, the nature andextent of human responsibility, and the sour...

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 seventeen books...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:286 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.68 inPublished:December 21, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019968748X

ISBN - 13:9780199687480

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. The Question2. Increasing Control3. Correcting Attitudes4. Aiming At Well-Being5. Dimensions of Value6. The Human Dimension and Evil7. Responsibility of Evil8. The Cultural Dimension and Disenchantment9. The Personal Dimension and Boredom10. Secular HopeConclusionNotesWorks Cited

Editorial Reviews

"rich and comprehensive ... [Kekes] always has something original and controversial to say." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews