Perfectionism

Review of Metaphysics 48 (2):409-410 (1994)
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Abstract

Perfectionism is the name for a moral theory grounded in an ideal of the good life defined in terms of human nature. The historical significance of perfectionism is obvious. For Thomas Hurka, however, the reason for studying it is moral: the central aim of the book is to provide a "descriptive account of the best perfectionism," because "understood properly and in its most defensible version, perfectionism is an important moral option today". There is an historical dimension to his study, and for good reason, namely, that the theory has often been inadequately formulated and it has been associated with dubious concepts and doctrines--Hurka calls them "accretions"--that need to be identified and discussed, so that, somewhat like diseased tissue, they can be cut away.

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Daniel E. Wueste
Clemson University

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