The View from Here: On Affirmation, Attachment, and the Limits of Regret by R. Jay WallaceThe View from Here: On Affirmation, Attachment, and the Limits of Regret by R. Jay Wallace

The View from Here: On Affirmation, Attachment, and the Limits of Regret

byR. Jay Wallace

Paperback | January 5, 2017

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Must we always later regret actions that were wrong for us to perform at the time? Can there ever be good reason to affirm things in the past that we know were unfortunate? In this original work of moral philosophy, R. Jay Wallace shows that the standpoint from which we look back on our livesis shaped by our present attachments - to persons, to the projects that imbue our lives with meaning, and to life itself. Through a distinctive "affirmation dynamic", these attachments commit us to affirming the necessary conditions of their objects. The result is that we are sometimes unable toregret events and circumstances that were originally unjustified or otherwise somehow objectionable.Wallace traces these themes through a range of examples. A teenage girl makes an ill-advised decision to conceive a child - but her love for the child once it has been born makes it impossible for her to regret that earlier decision. The painter Paul Gauguin abandons his family to pursue his trueartistic calling (and eventual life project) in Tahiti - which means he cannot truly regret his abdication of familial responsibility. The View from Here offers new interpretations of these classic cases, challenging their treatment by Bernard Williams and others. Another example is the "bourgeoispredicament": we are committed to affirming the regrettable social inequalities that make possible the expensive activities that give our lives meaning. Generalizing from such situations, Wallace defends the view that our attachments inevitably commit us to affirming historical conditions that wecannot regard as worthy of being affirmed - a modest form of nihilism.
R. Jay Wallace is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. His publications include Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments (1994), Normativity and the Will (OUP, 2006), and numerous papers on moral psychology, the theory of practical reason, the philosophy of responsibility, and other topics in philosophical...
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Title:The View from Here: On Affirmation, Attachment, and the Limits of RegretFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:January 5, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190660759

ISBN - 13:9780190660758

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Editorial Reviews

"The View from Here is a book that contains exceptionally deep insights. It offers an illuminating and sharp analysis, it is groundbreaking in its results, and it will be inspiring for those who still believe that philosophy can help us to understand both the reach and the limits of humanexistence. It is, therefore, a truly exceptional book and bound to shape our future thinking about the intricate embeddedness of the reasons that arise from our attachments." --Ethics