In a culture that worships ceaseless striving, "settling" seems like giving up. But is it? On Settling defends the positive value of settling, explaining why this disdained practice is not only more realistic but more useful than an excessive ideal of striving. In fact, the book makes the case that we'd all be lost without settlingand that even to strive, one must first settle.
We may admire strivers and love the ideal of striving, but who of us could get through a day without settling? Real people, confronted with a complex problem, simply make do, settling for some resolution that, while almost certainly not the best that one could find by devoting limitless time and attention to the problem, is nonetheless good enough. Robert Goodin explores the dynamics of this process. These involve taking as fixed, for now, things that we reserve the right to reopen later (nothing is fixed for good, although events might always overtake us). We settle on some things in order to concentrate better on others. At the same time we realize we may need to come back later and reconsider those decisions. From settling on and settling for, to settling down and settling in, On Settling explains why settling is useful for planning, creating trust, and strengthening the social fabricand why settling is different from compromise and resignation.
So, the next time you're faced with a thorny problem, just settle. It's no failure.
|Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Robert E. Goodin is professor of government at the University of Essex and distinguished professor of philosophy and social and political theory at Australian National University.
Table of Contents
One • Modes of Settling 5Where This Is Heading 5Settling Down 7Settling In 17Settling Up 20Settling For 25Settling One's Affairs 27Settling On: The Master Notion 27
Two • The Value of Settling 30Settling as an Aid to Planning and Agency 31Settling, Commitment, Trust, and Confidence 37Settling the Social Fabric 44
Three • What Settling Is Not 51Settling Is Not Just Compromising 52Settling Is Not Just Conservatism 57Settling Is Not Just Resignation 60
Four • Settling in Aid of Striving 63Settling in Order to Strive 64What Strivings Require Settling, and Why 66When to Switch between One and the Other, and Why 68
Notes 75References 93Index 107