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On Settling


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii Introduction1 One * Modes of Settling 5 Where This Is Heading 5 Settling Down 7 Settling In 17 Settling Up 20 Settling For 25 Settling One's Affairs 27 Settling On: The Master Notion 27 Two * The Value of Settling 30 Settling as an Aid to Planning and Agency 31 Settling, Commitment, Trust, and Confidence 37 Settling the Social Fabric 44 Three * What Settling Is Not 51 Settling Is Not Just Compromising 52 Settling Is Not Just Conservatism 57 Settling Is Not Just Resignation 60 Four * Settling in Aid of Striving 63 Settling in Order to Strive 64 What Strivings Require Settling, and Why 66 When to Switch between One and the Other, and Why 68 Conclusions 74 Notes 75 References 93 Index 107

About the Author

Robert E. Goodin is professor of government at the University of Essex and distinguished professor of philosophy and social and political theory at Australian National University.


"Mr. Goodin's On Settling is a brief and gentle meditation on a subject that is larger and more controversial than it may at first seem."--Daniel Akst, Wall Street Journal "Goodin's gentle little book is brimming with intelligence, sense, and humanity, and he makes a lot of progress toward understanding a concept that has received far too little attention."--Cass Sunstein, New Republic "[I]t may be of more use than most self-help works on the topic combined... Goodin's argument is liberating."--Oliver Burkeman, Guardian "Goodin's On Settling may be an economical 74 pages plus footnotes and index but, intellectually speaking, is no mere hors d'oeuvre."--Chris Wallace, Canberra Times "This little book is an exercise in settling, not only a discussion of it, for Goodin has a lot more wisdom to share than he can capture in seventy-four pages. But the result of his effort is a manifestly important and worthy contribution to philosophical reflection, and no less so because it settled for being simply that rather than aspiring to say the first or last word on the subject."--David Schmidtz, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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