, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 155–158 | Cite as

Insight into meaningful living

C. Calhoun: Doing valuable time: the present, the future, and meaningful living. Oxford University Press, 2018, 200 pp, $74 HB
  • David LambieEmail author
Book Review

This book is about ethics in the widest sense of the term, which is to say that it is about how to live. The book is mainly descriptive rather than normative, though Calhoun does offer some advice in the last chapter. She discusses the important roles that hope, commitment, and boredom play in spending our time valuably. In this review, I will summarize the account Calhoun gives and then pose a question about the role motivation plays in her account.

The book starts with the claim that people are evaluators and, as such, it makes sense to look at how we can spend our time in a valuable manner. Not all of our time will be spent in primary spending, in which we are actively pursuing ends that we have set up for ourselves. Our choice of goals will involve some entailed spending that those goals require, such as commuting to work. Filler spending occurs at those times when we could be pursuing our goals but cannot do so for some other reason, such as being too tired. Finally, there will...


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyState University of New York at OswegoOswegoUSA

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