Pluralism in Philosophy: Changing the Subject

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This original and ambitious book aims to change how we think about good lives. The perennial debates about good lives-the disagreements caused by conflicts between scientific, religious, moral, historical, aesthetic, and subjective modes of reflection-typically end in an impasse. This leaves the underlying problems of the meaning of life, the possibility of free action, the place of morality in good lives, the art of life, and human self-understanding as intractable as they have ever been.The way out of this impasse, argues Kekes, is to abandon the assumption shared by the contending parties that the solutions of these problems can be rational only if they apply universally to all lives in all contexts. He believes that solutions may vary with lives and contexts and still be rational. Kekes defends a pluralistic alternative to absolutism and relativism that will, he holds, take philosophy in a new and more productive direction.