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Freedom and Limits$
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John Lachs and Patrick Shade

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823256747

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823256747.001.0001

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Moral Holidays

Moral Holidays

Chapter:
(p.435) Thirty-One Moral Holidays
Source:
Freedom and Limits
Author(s):

Patrick Shade

John Lachs

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823256747.003.0033

Although Royce and James are wary of permitting moral holidays (the former forbidding them and the latter recommending against them), Lachs argues that downtime is both needed by finite creatures like us and justifiable, given our plural natures and diverse goods. Rather than supposing our obligations are infinite, we should acknowledge our limits, for this enables us to set clear achievable objectives and to hope for some degree of completion. Consequently, we can justifiably take a moral holiday when it is needed and circumstances permit, though determining when each of these conditions is met requires careful judgment.

Keywords:   Josiah Royce, William James, Obligations, Finitude

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