The Variety of Values: Essays on Morality, Meaning, and Love

ISBN : 9780195332810

Susan Wolf
288 Pages
235 x 156 mm
Pub date
Feb 2015
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For over thirty years Susan Wolf has been writing about moral and nonmoral values and the relation between them. This volume collects Wolf's most important essays on the topics of morality, love, and meaning, ranging from her classic essay "Moral Saints" to her most recent "The Importance of Love." Wolf's essays warn us against the common tendency to classify values in terms of a dichotomy that contrasts the personal, self-interested, or egoistic with the impersonal, altruistic or moral. On Wolf's view, this tendency ignores or distorts the significance of such values as love, beauty, and truth, and neglects the importance of meaningfulness as a dimension of the good life. These essays show us how a self-conscious recognition of the variety of values leads to new understandings of the point, the content, and the limits of morality and to new ways of thinking about happiness and well-being.


1. Introduction
Part I: Moral and Nonmoral Values
2. Moral Saints
3. Morality and Partiality
4. Morality and the View From Here
5. Good-for-Nothings
Part II: Meaning in Life
6. The Meanings of Lives
7. Happiness and Meaning: Two Aspects of the Good Life
8. Meaning and Morality
Part III: Love
9. One Thought Too Many: Love, Morality, and the Ordering of Commitment
10. Loving Attention: Lessons in Love from The Philadelphia Story
11. The Importance of Love
Part IV: The Concept of Duty
12. Above and Below the Line of Duty
13. The Role of Rules
14. Moral Obligations and Social Commands

About the author: 

Susan Wolf is the Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work focuses chiefly on ethics and its close relations in philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, political philosophy, and aesthetics. She is author of Freedom Within Reason (OUP, 1990) and Meaning in Life and Why It Matters (Princeton, 2010), and co-editor, with Christopher Grau of Understanding Love: Philosophy, Film, and Fiction (OUP, 2014).

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