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The Human Condition$
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John Kekes

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588886

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588886.001.0001

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The Cultural Dimension and Disenchantment

The Cultural Dimension and Disenchantment

Chapter:
(p.162) 8 The Cultural Dimension and Disenchantment
Source:
The Human Condition
Author(s):

John Kekes (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588886.003.0009

A society's system of values is sustained by the allegiance of its inhabitants. A pervasive sense of disenchantment is the most serious problem for the cultural dimension of values as it exists in contemporary Western societies. Many religiously committed thinkers argue that our present disenchantment is the result of the widespread rejection of religious belief and the secularization of Western life. This chapter provides a secular alternative to the religious view and argues that the cultural dimension of our system of values has ample resources for coping with such disenchantment as there is. The alternatives center on exemplars that exemplify inspiring ideals of a large variety of conceptions of well‐being. The nature and identity of exemplars is discussed and explained.

Keywords:   disenchantment, modes of evaluation, critics, exemplars, overridingness, first‐ and second‐order activities, modus vivendi, the secular view

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