Must new worlds also be good?

Inquiry 38 (1 & 2):123 – 141 (1995)
The activities analysed by Spinosa et al., viz entrepreneurship, citizen action, and cultural leadership, are all central to the American experience. They have a common phenomenological structure and a common purpose, which is to ?disclose new worlds?, i.e. so to reconfigure the collective perceptions as to bring about ?large?scale cultural and historical changes?. Each, more or less unselfconsciously, is an exercise of skill, an expression of freedom, and a building of solidarity through the recovery or discovery of human meanings. I argue that unless we know the ends to which skill and freedom tend, and in which meaning is found, all three (which the authors treat rather as ends in themselves) are underdescribed, and impossible to see as possessing or conferring value simply per se. The same goes for the original three activities. Cultural leadership, citizen action, and entrepreneurship can work as easily towards bad ends as good. To see them as virtual ends in themselves, then, is premature, and a kind of formalism
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DOI 10.1080/00201749508602380
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