We must look at what immigration to America involves. To the new arrivals, the change is excruciating. Learning a new language and dealing with strange customs make the first years of life in the new land painful... The economic system of the United States is a mighty engine of persuasion. It motivates people to do what otherwise they never would in return for fulfilling their dreams. In the process, people learn that there is no sharp line between physical well-being and the higher purposes of life. The comfort of owning a house is at once meeting the obligation to care for one
Much as we complain about our condition or feel victimized by fortune or fellow humans, we simply love being alive. We love life in others and in ourselves. We are in love with life. To love life is to love the activities of which it consists and to hope for more.
Value is the way animal interest and partiality are experienced in consciousness. As such, they involve a relation between objects of pursuit, animal tendencies and the intuited moral essences the psyche projects on what it seeks. We cannot speak of virtue and vice, therefore, without taking the needs and the desires, the very nature of the animal into account. These natures are diverse and changeable; any overlap between them is a contingent matter of fact. Moral truth thus becomes empirical truth about morality, a prosaic catalogue of who prizes what, a record of the moral history of the world rather than a guide to its correct development.
It does not really avail us much to get clear definitions. I am for clarity, by all means, but to think that you can reduce a concept to a relatively simple definition, and that you can somehow go somewhere that will be interesting and fruitful, just does not seem to me to be very plausible at the present time. And that is exactly what I used to strive for. I took old Socrates seriously; you search for the definition. You get the essence of the thing, and once you get the essence and the definition that somehow captures that essence, you are home free. That is how you do philosophy. When you read Hegel, you realize how incredibly flexible and supple concepts are, how they take you for a fool when you take them too literally and too tightly, how they are interconnected with one another, how they interplay in ways you really do not understand, how in other words, strangely enough, you really do not understand any part unless, or until, you understand the whole. That is what I learned from these folks. I really think that stress on context is terribly important and enriches one's philosophical approach significantly.