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❶Are they all a function of narrativity, life-stories, and artistic self-expression as per Kauppinen , or are there holistic facets of life's meaning that are not a matter of such literary concepts?




Most objectivists, however, deem these respective aesthetic and ethical theories to be too narrow, even if living a moral life is necessary for a meaningful one Landau It seems to most in the field not only that creativity and morality are independent sources of meaning, but also that there are sources in addition to these two.

For just a few examples, consider making an intellectual discovery, rearing children with love, playing music, and developing superior athletic ability. So, in the literature one finds a variety of principles that aim to capture all these and other apparent objective grounds of meaning. One can read the perfectionist tradition as proffering objective theories of what a significant existence is, even if their proponents do not frequently use contemporary terminology to express this.

Consider Aristotle's account of the good life for a human being as one that fulfills its natural purpose qua rational, Marx's vision of a distinctly human history characterized by less alienation and more autonomy, culture, and community, and Nietzsche's ideal of a being with a superlative degree of power, creativity, and complexity.

More recently, some have maintained that objectively meaningful conditions are just those that involve: One major test of these theories is whether they capture all experiences, states, relationships, and actions that intuitively make life meaningful.

The more counterexamples of apparently meaningful conditions that a principle entails lack meaning, the less justified the principle. There is as yet no convergence in the field on any one principle or even cluster as accounting for commonsensical judgments about meaning to an adequate, convincing degree.

Indeed, some believe the search for such a principle to be pointless Wolf b, 12—13; Kekes ; Schmidtz Are these pluralists correct, or does the field have a good chance of discovering a single, basic property that grounds all the particular ways to acquire meaning in life? Another important way to criticize these theories is more comprehensive: Furthermore, a life that not only avoids repetition but also ends with a substantial amount of meaningful parts seems to have more meaning overall than one that has the same amount of meaningful parts but ends with few or none of them Kamm , — Extreme versions of holism are also present in the literature.

For example, some maintain that the only bearer of final value is life as a whole, which entails that there are strictly speaking no parts or segments of a life that can be meaningful in themselves Tabensky ; Levinson For another example, some accept that both parts of a life and a life as a whole can be independent bearers of meaning, but maintain that the latter has something like a lexical priority over the former when it comes to what to pursue or otherwise to prize Blumenfeld What are the ultimate bearers of meaning?

What are all the fundamentally different ways if any that holism can affect meaning? Are they all a function of narrativity, life-stories, and artistic self-expression as per Kauppinen , or are there holistic facets of life's meaning that are not a matter of such literary concepts? How much importance should they be accorded by an agent seeking meaning in her life? So far, I have addressed theoretical accounts that have been naturally understood to be about what confers meaning on life, which obviously assumes that some lives are in fact meaningful.

However, there are nihilistic perspectives that question this assumption. According to nihilism or pessimism , what would make a life meaningful either cannot obtain or as a matter of fact simply never does. One straightforward rationale for nihilism is the combination of supernaturalism about what makes life meaningful and atheism about whether God exists.

If you believe that God or a soul is necessary for meaning in life, and if you believe that neither exists, then you are a nihilist, someone who denies that life has meaning. Albert Camus is famous for expressing this kind of perspective, suggesting that the lack of an afterlife and of a rational, divinely ordered universe undercuts the possibility of meaning Camus ; cf.

Interestingly, the most common rationales for nihilism these days do not appeal to supernaturalism. The idea shared among many contemporary nihilists is that there is something inherent to the human condition that prevents meaning from arising, even granting that God exists.

For instance, some nihilists make the Schopenhauerian claim that our lives lack meaning because we are invariably dissatisfied; either we have not yet obtained what we seek, or we have obtained it and are bored Martin Critics tend to reply that at least a number of human lives do have the requisite amount of satisfaction required for meaning, supposing that some is Blackburn , 74— Furthermore, contemporary rationalist and realist work in meta-ethics has led many to believe that such a moral system exists.

In the past 10 years, some interesting new defences of nihilism have arisen that merit careful consideration. According to one rationale, for our lives to matter, we must in a position to add value to the world, which we are not since the value of the world is already infinite Smith The key premises for this view are that every bit of space-time or at least the stars in the physical universe have some positive value, that these values can be added up, and that space is infinite.

If the physical world at present contains an infinite degree of value, nothing we do can make a difference in terms of meaning, for infinity plus any amount of value must be infinity.

One way to question this argument is to suggest that even if one cannot add to the value of the universe, meaning plausibly obtains merely by being the source of value. Consider that one does not merely want one's child to be reared with love, but wants to be the one who rears one's child with love. And this desire remains even knowing that others would have reared one's child with love in one's absence, so that one's actions are not increasing the goodness of the state of the universe relative to what it would have had without them.

Another fresh argument for nihilism is forthcoming from certain defenses of anti-natalism, the view that it is immoral to bring new people into existence because doing so would be a harm to them.

There are now a variety of rationales for anti-natalism, but most relevant to debates about whether life is meaningful is probably the following argument from David Benatar , 18— According to him, the bads of existing e. If indeed the state of not existing is no worse than that of experiencing the benefits of existence, then, since existing invariably brings harm in its wake, existing is always a net harm compared to not existing.

Although this argument is about goods such as pleasures in the first instance, it seems generalizable to non-experiential goods, including that of meaning in life. The criticisms of Benatar that promise to cut most deep are those that question his rationale for the above judgments of good and bad. He maintains that these appraisals best explain, e. The former would be wrong and the latter would not be wrong, for Benatar, because no pain in non-existence is better than pain in existence, and because no pleasure in non-existence is no worse than pleasure in existence.

Critics usually grant the judgments of wrongness, but provide explanations of them that do not invoke Benatar's judgments of good and bad that apparently lead to anti-natalism e.

This survey closes by discussing the most well-known rationale for nihilism, namely, Thomas Nagel's invocation of the external standpoint that purportedly reveals our lives to be unimportant see also Hanfling , 22—24; Benatar , 60—92; cf. According to Nagel, we are capable of comprehending the world from a variety of standpoints that are either internal or external. The most internal perspective would be a particular human being's desire at a given instant, with a somewhat less internal perspective being one's interests over a life-time, and an even less internal perspective being the interests of one's family or community.

When one takes up this most external standpoint and views one's finite—and even downright puny—impact on the world, little of one's life appears to matter. What one does in a certain society on Earth over an approximately 75 years just does not amount to much, when considering the billions of years and likely trillions of beings that are a part of space-time.

Very few accept the authority of the most external standpoint Ellin , —17; Blackburn , 79—80; Schmidtz or the implications that Nagel believes it has for the meaning of our lives Quinn , 65—66; Singer , —34; Wolf b, 19— However, the field could use much more discussion of this rationale, given its persistence in human thought. It is plausible to think, with Nagel, that part of what it is to be a person is to be able to take up an external standpoint. However, what precisely is a standpoint?

Must we invariably adopt one standpoint or the other, or is it possible not to take one up at all? Is there a reliable way to ascertain which standpoint is normatively more authoritative than others? These and the other questions posed in this survey still lack conclusive answers, another respect in which the field of life's meaning is tantalizingly open for substantial contributions. Supernaturalism Most English speaking philosophers writing on meaning in life are trying to develop and evaluate theories, i.

Naturalism I now address views that even if there is no spiritual realm, meaning in life is possible, at least for many people. Nihilism So far, I have addressed theoretical accounts that have been naturally understood to be about what confers meaning on life, which obviously assumes that some lives are in fact meaningful. Bibliography Works Cited Affolter, J. Oxford University Press, A Humanist Perspective , Amherst: Must Immortality Be Meaningless? Religion, Philosophy and Human Value , Cambridge: Morality and the Meaning of Life , Ft.

Philosophical Essays , Princeton: Princeton University Press, Essays on Themes from Harry Frankfurt , S. A Theistic Perspective , New York: On Nature , L. University of Notre Dame Press: Essays in Honour of John Cottingham , N. Henry Holt and Company: Metaphysics and Ethics , P. An Analytic Study , Oxford: A Defense of Christianity , Grand Rapids: Pascal and the Meaning of Life , Grand Rapids: Essays for John Rawls , A.

Life, Death, and Immortality , L. The Creation of Value , Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Essays at the Intersection , H. The Quest for Truth , L. University of California Press: A Reader , O. An Anthology , Oxford: A Reader , Cambridge: A Reader, 3 rd Ed.

Meaning in Life, Philosophical Papers , An Anthology and Guide , Oxford: The Meaning of Life, The Monist , Books for the General Reader Baggini, J. Philosophy and the Meaning of Life , London: A Very Short Introduction , Oxford: A Short History , Berkeley: University of California Press. Don't have an account? Sign up for one. Wrong email address or password!

Summer Program Reviews College Reviews. Writers Workshop Regular Forums. Program Links Program Reviews. Home Opinion my philosophy of life my philosophy of life June 26, By tala el-fahmawi, Methuen, MA.

I like this 0. Sitcoms after Seinfeld MAG. This article has 3 comments. Email me when someone replies. This is amazing I'm so proud, love your nigga liv. You are so right when saying being optimistic is vital--because it is! I like this opinion of yours; I fully agree with your opinon and your philosophy on on life.. Make sure that your explanation is as explicit as possible. The evaluation part of the paper is your chance to do some philosophy of your own. You should engage with her reasoning.

Some questions you might consider: Which premises are the weakest points of the argument? What objections might be raised to these premises? Are there any ways that her argument could be bolstered to defend against such objections? As you write, think about your intended audience. Instead, imagine your audience as someone who is intelligent and interested in the subject but has not studied it. Think of yourself, before taking this class, or perhaps of your roommate.

In general, a thesaurus is not the friend of a philosophy student. Do not be afraid to re-use the same terms over and over, especially when they are key terms in an argument. If you mean to talk about the same concept throughout, use the same term throughout. As a rule, you should not use quotes. A series of quotes strung together, even creatively strung together, is not a paper.

The main reason to quote a passage is to make it more convenient for you to talk about what the passage says and to make it more convenient for your reader as well. Thus, you should not rely on a quotation to answer a key part of the question. Answer in your own words instead. You should, however, include textual references. Whenever you make a claim about what is said in the text, it is appropriate to provide a specific reference to back up your claim. For short papers using class texts, footnotes are not necessary; it is sufficient to make parenthetical references, such as Meno 77b.

Write until you have said what you need to say, not until you hit the page limit. The problem should be to confine your paper to the page limit, not to stretch out your paper to the minimum required. You may end up with a first draft that is too long, but at a later stage you can go back through your work and see whether there are sentences or paragraphs that are not really necessary or that can be made more concise.

The point is that you will be better able to evaluate what is truly important if you have included everything on your first draft.


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- The Life & Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche Philosophy Class Essay Born: Rocken, Germany Died: Weimar, Germany Major Works: The Gay Science (), Thus Spoke Zarathustra (), Beyond Good & Evil (), On the Genealogy of Morals (), MAJOR IDEAS Self deception is a particularly destructive characteristic of West Culture.

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A persons philosophy will vary depending on ones life experience. I believe that no two people will have seen life in the same way. There would be many people that have similar philosophy on life but none of them would be exactly the same. I will share my ideas and thoughts on what is my philosophy of life.

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B.J. Gupta Philosophy of Life And Other Essays By. B.J. Gupta B.J. Gupta gets right to the point in his book “Philosophy of life”. He does not use outlandish sentences and problematical paragraphs to explain what he is saying. My Philosophy of Life: Metaphysics Essay Words | 8 Pages. What is meant by Metaphysics? Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value. The central branch of metaphysics is known as ontology.

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I have no single philosophy for life, but rather three philosophies. Each of which has different meaning. My three philosophies include the following: work hard, take pride in myself and the accomplishments that I make, and also everyone is on this planet for a reason. In my research paper I want to express my views on several sides of human life. I’d like to attract attention to such concepts as sense of life and happiness, good and evil, morality and faith in God, love and death, eternal life values, karma and religion.