On the Virtue of Leaving Others Alone (American Philosophy)
Indiana University Press, 9780253014719, 140pp.
Publication Date: August 15, 2014
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John Lachs claims that we are surrounded by people who seem to know what is good for us better than we do ourselves. Lachs discusses the joy of choice and the rare virtue of leaving others alone to lead their lives as they see fit. He does not mean that we abandon them in their genuine hour of need, but that we aid them on their own terms and not make help conditional upon adopting approved beliefs and behaviors. Lachs believes help needs to be temporary to discourage dependence. He contends that leaving others alone in this fashion will create a community that is caring and responsive to the needs of others. All it takes is an urge not to meddle, even when we think it's for someone else's own good.