Personal Destinies: A Philosophy of Ethical Individualism / Edition 1

Personal Destinies: A Philosophy of Ethical Individualism / Edition 1

by David L. Norton
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691019754

ISBN-13: 9780691019758

Pub. Date: 02/01/1977

Publisher: Princeton University Press

What is the meaning of life? Modern professional philosophy has largely renounced the attempt to answer this question and has restricted itself to the pursuit of more esoteric truths. Not so David Norton. Following in the footsteps of Plato and Aristotle, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Jung and Maslow, he sets forth a distinctive vision of the individual's search for

Overview

What is the meaning of life? Modern professional philosophy has largely renounced the attempt to answer this question and has restricted itself to the pursuit of more esoteric truths. Not so David Norton. Following in the footsteps of Plato and Aristotle, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Jung and Maslow, he sets forth a distinctive vision of the individual's search for his place in the scheme of things.

Norton's theory of individualism is rooted in the eudaimonistic ethics of the Creeks, who viewed each person as innately possessing a unique potential it was his destiny to fulfill. Very much the same idea resurfaced in modern times with the British idealists and Continental existentialists. The author reviews these antecedents, showing how his theory differs from those of his predecessors.

After a fascinating chapter on "The Stages of Life," Norton shows how the mature consciousness of one's destiny leads to direct, intimate knowledge of other persons, and how this in turn provides the basis for social morality. The conception of justice in which this theory culminates, rooted as it is in essential human differences, provides a challenging alternative to the much-discussed theories of Rawls and Nozick.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691019758
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/01/1977
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
5.58(w) x 8.14(h) x 1.03(d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
1The Ethical Priority of Self-Actualization3
2Critique of Recent Eudaimonisms: British Absolute Idealism42
3Critique of Recent Eudaimonisms: Kierkegaard and Nietzsche64
4Critique of Recent Eudaimonisms: The Existentialism of Sartre95
5The Metaphysics of Individualism122
6The Stages of Life: Childhood, Adolescence, Maturation, Old Age158
7Eudaimonia: The Quality of Moral Life in the Stage of Maturation216
8Our Knowledge of Other Persons241
9Social Entailments of Self-Actualization: Love and "Congeniality of Excellences"275
10Intrinsic Justice and Division of Labor in Consequent Sociality310
Unscholarly Epilogue355
Notes359
Index387

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