The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | May 15, 2008

byTerry Eagleton

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'Philosophers have an infuriating habit of analysing questions rather than answering them', writes Terry Eagleton, who, in these pages, asks the most important question any of us ever ask, and attempts to answer it.So what is the meaning of life? In this witty, spirited, and stimulating inquiry, Eagleton shows how centuries of thinkers - from Shakespeare and Schopenhauer to Marx, Sartre and Beckett - have tackled the question. Refusing to settle for the bland and boring, Eagleton reveals with a mixture ofhumour and intellectual rigour how the question has become particularly problematic in modern times. Instead of addressing it head-on, we take refuge from the feelings of 'meaninglessness' in our lives by filling them with a multitude of different things: from football and sex, to New Age religionsand fundamentalism. 'Many of the readers of this book are likely to be as sceptical of the phrase "the meaning of life" as they are of Santa Claus', he writes. But Eagleton contends that in a world where we need to find common meanings, it is important that we set about answering the question of all questions; and, inconclusion, he suggests his own answer.

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'Philosophers have an infuriating habit of analysing questions rather than answering them', writes Terry Eagleton, who, in these pages, asks the most important question any of us ever ask, and attempts to answer it.So what is the meaning of life? In this witty, spirited, and stimulating inquiry, Eagleton shows how centuries of thinkers...

Terry Eagleton is John Edward Taylor Professor of English at the University of Manchester. His recent publications include iHoly Terror/i (2005); iThe English Novel: An Introduction/i (2004); iAfter Theory/i (2003); iSweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic/i (2002); iThe Idea of Culture/i (2000); iThe Illusions of Postmodernism/i (1996...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.3 inPublished:May 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199532176

ISBN - 13:9780199532179

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Questions and Answers2. The Problem of Meaning3. The Eclipse of Meaning4. Is Life What You Make It?Further reading

Editorial Reviews

`With sparkling effrontery, panache, and deft footwork, Eagleton moves from ironic flippancy and caustic demolition to resolute affirmation.'Marina Warner