The Time of Our Lives: The Ethics of Common Sense

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Fordham University Press, 1996 - Philosophy - 361 pages
Is it a good time to be alive? Is ours a good society to be alive in? And finally, does a good life consist of having a good time? Are happiness and a "good life" interchangeable? These are the questions that Mortimer Adler addresses in this book.
Carefully, Adler lays the groundwork for a common-sense approach to the problem of making a good life and of evaluating that life in reference to the merits of our present society. Adler offers standards by which we can judge the relative merits of our time against those of previous centuries, other societies and cultures. Adler answers in what ways culture encourages or discourages the individual in his or her efforts to make a good life. Finally, Adler argues for a moral and educational revolution as well as for strenuous efforts to rectify existing injustices by radical social, economic, and political reforms.
The heart of the book lies in its conception of the good life, which provides the standard for measuring a century, a society, or a culture: for upon that turns the meaning of each individual's primary moral right - his right to the pursuit of happiness. The moral philosophy that Dr. Adler expounds in terms of this conception he calls "the ethics of common sense" because it is as a defense and development of the common-sense answer to the question "can I really make a good life for myself?"

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About the author (1996)


Mortimer J. Adler was the director of the Institute for Philosophical Research in Chicago and a member of the board of editors of the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

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