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MORALITY, OBJECTIVE VALUE AND LIVING A MEANINGFUL LIFE: A REPLY TO STEVEN M. CAHN AND CHRISTINE VITRANO'S ESSAY ‘LIVING WELL’

  • Max Loxterkamp
Abstract

In their essay ‘Living Well’, Steven M. Cahn and Christine Vitrano argue that to live a meaningful life all we must do is find personal satisfaction and enjoyment. They argue against other philosophers who claim that ‘objectively valuable’ activities are what make a life meaningful. There are two problems with what they argue in the essay. The first relates to a particular criticism they make of some of those philosophers taking the contrary view, in regards to the difficulty those philosophers have in deeming what is and is not of objective value. The second is more specifically to do with Cahn's and Vitrano's rejection of the idea that objectively valuable activities are what make a life meaningful, worthwhile. But both problems result from their introducing morality as relevant to what makes a life meaningful or not.

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Notes

1 Cahn, Steven M. and Vitrano, Christine, ‘Living Well’, Think, Vol. 13, no. 38 (2014), 1323.

2 The moral valuing of the charity worker/activist is familiar to us in our culture.  For the courageous soldier and the philosopher we can for example look to Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1115a 29–35, 1115b 10–25, 1177b 15–20, 1177a 16–18, 1177b 25–1178a 10.

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Think
  • ISSN: 1477-1756
  • EISSN: 1755-1196
  • URL: /core/journals/think
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