Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 1015–1017 | Cite as

Cheshire Calhoun, Doing Valuable Time: The Present, the Future, and Meaningful Living

Oxford University Press 2018, 200 pp., £47.99, ISBN: 9780190851866
  • Clemens Emanuel Schlink

This collection of mostly previously published essays sets out to explore the connections between the facts that persons are evaluators and exist over time. We lead a life by figuring out what we are about. We also lead a life, however, by spending our time the way we do. Cheshire Calhoun’s investigation revolves around this contrast and argues that meaning neither resides in agent-independent values nor in a project-centered life but rather in the specific ways we spend our time.

Many of us want to lead a meaningful life. Meaningful is often conflated with “admirable,” “significant” or “humanly excellent.” Indeed, the dominant approaches look for meaning in commendatory, agent-independently valuable pursuits. They fail, however, to provide reasons for any pursuit in particular and seem unable to capture the multi-faceted pursuits of a worthwhile life. Because most of our lives aren’t that impressive yet meaningful Calhoun suggests that “meaningful” is a distinct concept which is not...

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Freie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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