Meaning in Life

Paperback | January 3, 2016

byThaddeus Metz

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What makes a person's life meaningful? Thaddeus Metz offers a new answer to an ancient question which has recently returned to the philosophical agenda. He proceeds by examining what, if anything, all the conditions that make a life meaningful have in common. The outcome of this process is aphilosophical theory of meaning in life. He starts by evaluating existing theories in terms of the classic triad of the good, the true, and the beautiful. He considers whether meaning in life might be about such principles as fulfilling God's purpose, obtaining reward in an afterlife for having beenvirtuous, being attracted to what merits attraction, leaving the world a better place, connecting to organic unity, or transcending oneself by connecting to what is extensive. He argues that no extant principle satisfactorily accounts for the three-fold significance of morality, enquiry, andcreativity, and that the most promising theory is a fresh one according to which meaning in life is a matter of intelligence contoured toward fundamental conditions of human existence.

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What makes a person's life meaningful? Thaddeus Metz offers a new answer to an ancient question which has recently returned to the philosophical agenda. He proceeds by examining what, if anything, all the conditions that make a life meaningful have in common. The outcome of this process is aphilosophical theory of meaning in life. He s...

Thaddeus Metz is Humanities Research Professor at the University of Johannesburg. He is the author of around one hundred professional journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopaedia entries, on a variety of topics in ethical, political, and legal philosophy.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:January 3, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198748019

ISBN - 13:9780198748014

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Introduction: The Meaning of lifePart 1: Meaning as One Part of a Good Life2. The Concept of Meaning3. The Bearer of Meaning4. The Value of MeaningPart 2: Supernaturalist Theories of Meaning in Life5. Purpose Theory I: Questioning Motivations6. Purpose Theory II: Advancing Objections7. Non-Purposive Supernaturalism8. Rejecting SupernaturalismPart 3: Naturalist Theories of Meaning in Life9. Subjectivism10. Objectivism I: Being Attracted, Meriting Attraction, and Promoting Consequences11. Objectivism II: Non-Consequentialism12. Objectivism III: The Fundamentality Theory13. Conclusion: the fine game of nilEpilogueWorks CitedIndex

Editorial Reviews

"there has been a resurgence of interest among professional philosophers in the meaning of life. No one has done more to contribute to the growing body of literature on the topic than Thaddeus Metz. His new book is an important, deeply engaging, and first-rate contribution to the literature onthe meaning of life." --Stewart Goetz, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews