Action, excellence, and achievement

Inquiry 19 (1-4):277 – 297 (1976)
Abstract
?Achievement is doing what well?? A competitive democracy tends to repress this question as inegalitarian; it uses the slogan ?Whatever you do, do well?. But this slogan could not be taken seriously, nor is it really egalitarian. Our actual hierarchy of activities is based on an unargued and arbitrary consensus; it is an example of the way audiences control performers. Doubts about ?true achievement? are not merely ?philosophical?. Noting repressed concern about this issue suggests hypotheses to help explain some social tensions, e.g., over women's liberation. The love of competition might or might not make achievement more likely
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