Most of us care about certain people and things, and some of these concerns become personal commitments, involving our values, our relationships, our work and our religious or political stances. But what is commitement, and why should it matter? Is social commitment - for example, to the family - being eroded by individualism or ironic detachment? And how should we deal with the potential tension between devotion to a life-stance, and the doubts prompted by pursuit of rational integrity?
In this work, Piers Benn delves into the relationship between commitment and meaningful life, and asks whether commitment must be based on truth to provide such meaning. He also explores obstacles to commitment such as boredom, sloth and indifference. Drawing on his own experience of dithering and procrastination, he suggests that a sceptical, cautious attitude to important matters can be both a virtue and a real obstacle to human fulfillment.
Introduction: The Problems 1. Love 2. Meaningful work 3. Faith, chance and the ethics of belief 4. Boredom and acedia 5. Commitment, life and meaning Endnote