Idealistic Studies 19:1 (1989)

Authors
Jonathan A. Jacobs
CUNY Graduate Center
Abstract
It is only for persons that the question, “How shall I live?” arises, and it arises inevitably, even if in an inarticulate and unreflective manner. Persons must deliberate, decide, plan, and schedule their actions. Openness with respect to ends confronts them, and they must structure and direct their lives by determining what sort of career to trace out, even if it proves to be a career of routine or unambitious undertakings. Circumstances can constrain and compel, and the openness persons confront can be closed off by external factors. But it is intrinsic to the nature of persons that the exercise of capacities for thought and action may be directed this way or that. There are perhaps nonpersons whose activity is to be explained with reference to beliefs and desires. But even if they act in an end-directed way, they do not experience openness with respect to ends and do not order and orient their life histories by deliberative considerations.
Keywords self-conception, practical reasoning, self-knowledge, virtue, pleasure
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DOI 10.5840/idstudies19891913
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