David K. Chan
University of Alabama, Birmingham
Ralph Ellis has written about how we have a fundamental need for ‘inspiration’ that can help us come to terms with human finitude. Arguing against the self-deceptive path of religious fundamentalism, Ellis discusses how the experience of a transcendent object of intrinsic value through love enables us to break out of a ‘circle of egocentricity.’ In this paper, I explore the problem of finitude in the movie Stranger Than Fiction, faced by someone who has to make choices knowing that he is merely a character in someone else’s novel. I show how philosophy is also needed, alongside a loving relationship, for moral choice and motivation. I then suggest that Aristotle’s ethics is an example of how both philosophical knowledge and experience of life can be combined in dealing with our lack of moral certainty.
Keywords human finitude  love  intrinsic value  practical knowledge  religious fundamentalism
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ISBN(s) 1077-1999
DOI 10.5840/pcw200815220
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