The Quest for the Fine: A Philosophical Inquiry into Judgment, Worth, and Existence

Overview

In this original and compelling exploration of the meaning of the term 'fine' and the phenomenon of refinement, noted scholar Michael Gelven reflects on the relationship between refinement and existence. Beginning with a study of perceptual refinement, Gelven shows how in some cases this refinement discloses an existential essence—as an architect shows us what it means to dwell. Gelven then moves to a refinement of self, not equating it with virtue but showing how refinement illuminates our understanding of our ...
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Overview

In this original and compelling exploration of the meaning of the term 'fine' and the phenomenon of refinement, noted scholar Michael Gelven reflects on the relationship between refinement and existence. Beginning with a study of perceptual refinement, Gelven shows how in some cases this refinement discloses an existential essence—as an architect shows us what it means to dwell. Gelven then moves to a refinement of self, not equating it with virtue but showing how refinement illuminates our understanding of our ethical and aesthetic judgments, and of what it means to be.
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Editorial Reviews

Steven Galt Crowell
All audiences...not just specialists in philosophy, will find much to delight them, and much to ponder, in this thoughtful, impassioned book.
Stanley Rosen
A subtle and often elegant essay on a topic that all too frequently escapes the attention of professional philosophers.
Jerome Miller
The honesty, rigor, and probity of his thinking are evident throughout this compelling examination of all that is 'fine' in our lives.
Donald W. Livingston
A speculative work of great scope and profundity but contained in a small compass...[I]t exposes the nihilism that is unwittingly and unintentionally generated by the Enlightenment and points the way to recovering the question of human excellence in a way that is modern...but escapes the ideology of modernity. It is a well argued and spirited celebration of the philosophical life properly conceived.
Francisco J. Gonzalez
The importance of this absolutely original study of the endangered idea of the 'fine' cannot be exaggerated...
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847681242
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/1995
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Gelven is Presidential Research Professor of Philosophy at Northern Illinois University. Among his recent books are War and Existence, Spirit and Existence and A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Revised edition.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Refined Perception 1
2 Perceived Essence 19
3 The Aesthetics of the Fine 37
4 Becoming Fine 49
5 The Gracious 63
6 The Common 79
7 Fine Truth 89
8 Transformation 105
9 The Wretched 115
10 Judgment 127
11 The Philosopher as Fine 139
Index 157
About the Author 167
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