The Cost of Comfort

The Cost of Comfort

John Lachs
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 07/11/2019
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-04316-0
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Description

Philosopher John Lachs observes that humans today live lives of comfort but also sees that these comfortable lives come at a cost: our increasing unhappiness. In The Cost of Comfort, Lachs contemplates what humans need in order to live fulfilled lives in today's world. While comfort has not always reached everyone evenly, Lachs acknowledges that most of us who live in the US today reap the benefits of modern life. We live longer, we eat better food, we have access to good medical care, and we can stay in touch with loved ones who are far away. Lachs argues that this dizzyingly complex world often inspires isolation, but he believes that deeper engagement with it is required in order to dispel our growing psychic distance. Lachs advocates for mediation and champions education, advertising, openness, and transparency to help individuals understand the role they play in society and to nullify claims to blamelessness. Lachs suggests new rules for responsibility and argues that examining and understanding the consequences of one's actions is imperative to overcoming the ills and problems of the modern world.

Author Bio

John Lachs is Centennial Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of many books, including Meddling: On the Virtue of Leaving Others Alone and Stoic Pragmatism.

Reviews

"

John Lachs provides, in a sustained manner, one of the deepest and most far-reaching investigations of mediation in modern life yet undertaken. It's an important effort that puts philosophy in the service of life and its problems.

"


Michael Sullivan, author of Legal Pragmatism

"

This work is a very clear, engaging reflection on a genuine contemporary issue: deep feelings of disengagement and bewilderment about how to live responsibly in an almost overwhelmingly complex world.

"


John T. Lysaker, author of After Emerson

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Table of Contents

Preface


1. Comfort


2. Discomfort


3. A Broken and an Integrated World


4. Complete and Dismembered Actions


5. Mediation


6. Philosophical Excursion: Hegel and Peirce on Mediation


7. Five Consequences of Mediation


8. (A) Passivity


9. (B) Impotence


10. (C) Ignorance


11. (D) Manipulation


12. (E) Psychic Distance


13. (F) Irresponsibility


14. Major Mediators: Tools


15. Major Mediators: Language


16. Major Mediators: Ideology


17. Major Mediators: Institutions


18. Major Mediators: Government


19. Mediated Immediacies


20. Eliminate Mediation?


21. Ineffective Ways of Dealing with Mediation


22. Pre-Existing Values


23. Advertising


24. Openness


25. Transparency


26. Education


27. The Power of Immediacy


28. Immediacy and Politics


29. New Rules of Responsibility


Conclusion