Doing valuable time: The present, the future, and meaningful living

Research output: Book/ReportBook

24 Scopus citations


We are evaluators. We pursue what we take to be valuable, strive to live meaningfully, judge whether our present circumstances are good enough, and have standards for what we are willing to take an interest in rather than be bored by. We are also temporally oriented beings. We anticipate particular future events, previsaging them in imagination, and we live in the present under a general sense of what the future will be like. We often imagine how the temporal unfolding of events might have proceeded otherwise. And we understand our own life’s time as something to be spent and open to our choices about how to spend it. This is a book about the connection between these two features of human persons. It is also a book about the difficulties evaluators face in doing valuable time and the different ways we as evaluators connect and disconnect ourselves from our present and future. The author explores the nature of meaningful living, the motivating interest we take in our futures and lose in depression, how hope works to sustain difficult pursuits, the value of committing ourselves to having a particular future, the inevitability of boredom with the present, and the possibilities for being content with the imperfect present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages190
ISBN (Electronic)9780190851866
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Agency
  • Emotion
  • Evaluator
  • Meaningful life
  • Temporality
  • Time
  • Value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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