Why is life worth living? What makes actions right or wrong? What is reality and how do we know it? The Brain and the Meaning of Life draws on research in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience to answer some of the most pressing questions about life's nature and value. Paul Thagard argues that evidence requires the abandonment of many traditional ideas about the soul, free will, and immortality, and shows how brain science matters for fundamental issues about reality, morality, and the meaning of life. The ongoing Brain Revolution reveals how love, work, and play provide good reasons for living. Defending the superiority of evidence-based reasoning over religious faith and philosophical thought experiments, Thagard argues that minds are brains and that reality is what science can discover. Brains come to know reality through a combination of perception and reasoning. Just as important, our brains evaluate aspects of reality through emotions that can produce both good and bad decisions. Our cognitive and emotional abilities allow us to understand reality, decide effectively, act morally, and pursue the vital needs of love, work, and play. Wisdom consists of knowing what matters, why it matters, and how to achieve it. The Brain and the Meaning of Life shows how brain science helps to answer questions about the nature of mind and reality, while alleviating anxiety about the difficulty of life in a vast universe. The book integrates decades of multidisciplinary research, but its clear explanations and humor make it accessible to the general reader.
Author: Paul Thagard
Publisher: Princeton University Press
In his hilarious and uplifting style, bestselling author Grieve finally provides an answer to the meaning of life: Figure out what you love and do it. This is a witty, thought-provoking book that makes an ideal gift for anyone who's seeking their true purpose and wants to laugh along the way.
Author: Bradley Trevor Greive
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Originally published in Russian in 1925, The Meaning of Life is a distillation of S.L. Frank's bitter experience during the Revolution and his post-Revolution exile. It is, quite simply, a book about the search for meaning in suffering, and it displays an extraordinary spiritual profundity rooted in personal experience. Translator Boris Jakim calls it "the closest thing we have in the twenty-first century to the book of Job." Jakim's masterful translation into English brings Frank's powerful thought to a world still ù and always ù searching for meaning. Boris Jakim is one of the foremost living translators of Russian religious thought into English.
Author: S. L. Frank,Boris Jakim
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
If you accept evolutionary theory, can you also believe in God? Are human beings superior to other animals, or is this just a human prejudice? Does Darwin have implications for heated issues like euthanasia and animal rights? Does evolution tell us the purpose of life, or does it imply that life has no ultimate purpose? Does evolution tell us what is morally right and wrong, or does it imply that ultimately 'nothing' is right or wrong? In this fascinating and intriguing book, Steve Stewart-Williams addresses these and other fundamental philosophical questions raised by evolutionary theory and the exciting new field of evolutionary psychology. Drawing on biology, psychology and philosophy, he argues that Darwinian science supports a view of a godless universe devoid of ultimate purpose or moral structure, but that we can still live a good life and a happy life within the confines of this view.
How Evolutionary Theory Undermines Everything You Thought You Knew
Author: Steve Stewart-Williams
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
If we understood the true role of money in our lives, writes philosopher Jacob Needleman, we would not think simply in terms of spending it or saving it. Money exerts a deep emotional influence on who we are and what we tell ourselves we can never have. Our long unwillingness to understand the emotional and spiritual effects of money on us is at the heart of why we have come to know the price of everything, and the value of nothing. Money has everything to do with the pursuit of an idealistic life, while at the same time, it is at the root of our daily frustrations. On a social level, money has a profound impact on the price of progress. Needleman shows how money slowly began to haunt us, from the invention of coins in Biblical times (when money was created to rescue the community good, not for self gain), through its hypnotic appeal in our money-obsessed era. This is a remarkable book that combines myth and psychology, the poetry of the Sufis and the wisdom of King Solomon, along with Jacob Needleman's searching of his own soul and his culture to explain how money can become a unique means of self-knowledge. As part of the Currency paperback line, it includes a "User's Guide" an introduction and discussion guide created for the paperback by the author -- to help readers make practical use of the book's ideas.
Author: Jacob Needleman
Publisher: Crown Business
Category: Business & Economics
"The meaning of life is the most urgent of questions," said the existentiallist thinker Albert Camus. And no less a philosopher than Woody Allen has wondered:"How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world, given my waist and shirt size?" "Movies and the Meaning of Life" looks at popular and cult movies, examining their assumptions and insights on meaning-of-life questions: What is reality and how can I know it? (The Truman Show, Contact, Waking Life); How do I find myself and my true identity? (Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, Boys Don't Cry, Memento); How do I find meaning from my interactions with others? (Pulp Fiction, Shadowlands, Chasing Amy); What is the chief purpose in life? (American Beauty, Life is Beautiful, The Shawshank Redemption); and How ought I live my life? (Pleasantville, Spiderman, Minority Report, Groundhog Day).
Philosophers Take on Hollywood
Author: Kimberly A. Blessing,Paul Tudico
Publisher: Open Court
"On Purpose is a sociological conversation about the meaning of life. The moral of the book is not that life has some ultimate meaning or no meaning at all, but rather that a purpose-driven life was always a collective project"--
How We Create the Meaning of Life
Author: Paul Froese
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE
This book is aimed at the reader who is serious about confronting the big issues in life but is turned off by books which deal with them through religion, spirituality or 'psycho-babble'. It is for people who want an honest, intelligent discussion which doesn't hide from the difficulties or make undeliverable promises. It aims to help the reader to understand the overlooked issues behind the obvious questions and shows how philosophy does not so much answer them as help provide us with the resources to answer them for ourselves.
Philosophy And The Meaning Of Life
Author: Julian Baggini
Publisher: Granta Books
Over the course of two years (2015-2017) I asked about a thousand renowned people one question: what is the meaning of life?This book is an anthology of about 600 answers on the meaning of life.Among the contributors you will find renowned spiritual teachers, scientists, psychologists, doctors, professors, academics, musicians, artists, authors, buddhists, christians, muslims, daoists, writers, yogis, dancers, teachers, businessmen, philosophers, shamans, healers, sociologists, indigenous people, students, laymen, activists, priests, ministers, chefs, economists, children, etc., etc.This book may be read over a period of two years. Read one "Meaning of Life" a day and live the day with it. Make your day most meaningful with it.All contributions are put in chronological order. The more you read the more interesting it becomes. The more you read the more insightful YOU become. This book is a journey. A journey into meaningfulness...Enjoy and live a "meaning full" life!
A Journey Into the Wisdom of Life
Author: Nicolae Tanase
Publisher: Independently Published
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
What is the meaning of life? Does anything really matter? In the past few decades these questions, perennially associated with philosophy in the popular consciousness, have rightly retaken their place as central topics in the academy. In this major contribution, Nicholas Waghorn provides a sustained and rigorous elucidation of what it would take for lives to have significance. Bracketing issues about ways our lives could have more or less meaning, the focus is rather on the idea of ultimate meaning, the issue of whether a life can attain meaning that cannot be called into question. Waghorn sheds light on this most fundamental of existential problems through a detailed yet comprehensive examination of the notion of nothing, embracing classic and cutting-edge literature from both the analytic and Continental traditions. Central figures such as Heidegger, Carnap, Wittgenstein, Nozick and Nagel are drawn upon to anchor the discussion in some of the most influential discussion of recent philosophical history. In the process of relating our ideas concerning nothing to the problem of life's meaning, Waghorn's book touches upon a number of fundamental themes, including reflexivity and its relation to our conceptual limits, whether religion has any role to play in the question of life's meaning, and the nature and constraints of philosophical methodology. A number of major philosophical traditions are addressed, including phenomenology, poststructuralism, and classical and paraconsistent logics. In addition to providing the most thorough current discussion of ultimate meaning, it will serve to introduce readers to philosophical debates concerning the notion of nothing, and the appendix engaging religion will be of value to both philosophers and theologians.
Philosophical Approaches to Ultimate Meaning Through Nothing and Reflexivity
Author: Nicholas Waghorn
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Much more than just an anthology, this survey of humanity's search for the meaning of life includes the latest contributions to the debate, a judicious selection of key canonical essays, and insightful commentary by internationally respected philosophers. Cutting-edge viewpoint features the most recent contributions to the debate Extensive general introduction offers unprecedented context Leading contemporary philosophers provide insightful introductions to each section
An Anthology and Guide
Author: Joshua W. Seachris
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Fifty years ago, Daniel Klein began studying philosophy at Harvard University, hoping to find an answer to that most burning of questions: what is the best way to live my life? He thought the great philosophers would be able to give him some ideas, or at least some clues. But, aside from the occasional hint, all he got were more questions, ones which philosophers thought needed answering first. They included ‘what is the meaning of meaning?’ and ‘how can we know what is true?’ Now in his seventies and looking back on his life, Klein brings us a personal commentary on the great philosophical pronouncements he’s collected over the years. Told with the same brilliantly dry sense of humor that made Travels with Epicurus so popular, Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life is an eminently readable series of thoughts on wise words.
Author: Daniel Klein
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
The long tradition of pessimism in philosophy and poetry notoriously laments suffering caused by vulnerabilities of the human body. The most familiar and contemporary version is antinatalism, the view that it is wrong to bring sentient life into existence because birth inevitably produces suffering. Technotopianism, which stems from a similarly negative view of embodied limitations, claims that we should escape sickness and death through radical human-enhancement technologies. In Embodiment and the Meaning of Life Jeff Noonan presents pessimism and technotopianism as two sides of the same coin, as both begin from the premise that the limitations of embodied life are inherently negative. He argues that rather than rendering life pointless, the tragic failures that mark life are fundamental to the good of human existence. The necessary limitations of embodied being are challenges for each person to live well, not only for their own sake, but for the sake of the future of the human project. Meaning is not a given, Noonan suggests, but rather the product of labour upon ourselves, others, and the world. Meaningful labour is threatened equally by unjust social systems and runaway technological development that aims to replace human action, rather than liberate it. Calling on us to draw conceptual connections between finitude, embodiment, and the meaning of life, this book shows that seeking the common good is our most viable and materially realistic source of optimism about the future.
Author: Jeff Noonan
Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP
The Meaning of Life and the Great Philosophers reveals how great philosophers of the past sought to answer the question of the meaning of life. This edited collection includes thirty-five chapters which each focus on a major philosophical figure, from Confucius to Rorty, and that imaginatively engage with the topic from their perspective. This volume also contains a Postscript on the historical origins and original significance of the phrase ‘the meaning of life’. Written by leading experts in the field, such as A.C. Grayling, Thaddeus Metz and John Cottingham, this unique and engaging book explores the relevance of the history of philosophy to contemporary debates. It will prove essential reading for students and scholars studying the history of philosophy, philosophy of religion, ethics, metaphysics or comparative philosophy.
Author: Stephen Leach,James Tartaglia
In the Fall of 1930 Will Durant found himself outside his home in Lake Hill, New York, raking leaves. He was approached by a well-dressed man who told him in a quiet tone that he was going to kill himself unless the philosopher could give him a valid reason not to. Not having the time to wax philosophic on the matter, Durant did his best to furnish the man with reasons to continue his existence. Haunted by the encounter with the despondent stranger, Durant contacted 100 luminaries in the arts, politics, religion and sciences, challenging them to respond not only to the fundamental question of life's meaning (in the abstract) but also to relate how they each (in the particular) found meaning, purpose and fulfillment in their own lives. Durant turned their answers and his own into a book entitled "On The Meaning Of Life," which was released to the general public in 1932. Unpromoted, the litte treasure found its way into few hands, and almost no copies of the book exist today. Now available for a new generation through Promethean Press, "On The Meaning Of Life" is a powerful book on a very powerful topic. In this book Will Durant has fashioned an unprecedented "dream team" of luminaries that is both profound and diverse: poets, philosophers, saints, inmates, athletes, Nobel Prize winners, college professors, psychologists, entertainers, musicians, authors and leaders. Within their varied insights, despite their uniqueness as individuals and the very different lives they led, the reader will note a consistent thread running through their viewpoints, revealing a commonality among human beings who not only seek meaning in life, but who actually achieve it.
Author: Will Durant,Owen C. Middleton
"This book is about the meaning of life, but it addresses it in a particular way, by looking at the related question: What is the nature of reality?" Thus Davis begins upon a fascinating exploration of the history of philosophy and metaphysics, from the Presocratics to the Vienna Circle. Along the way, Davis proposes a highly original system of metaphysics called apprehension theory, and shows how it can be used to resolve classic problems in metaphysics such as the mind-body problem and the problem of free will. Davis also describes how apprehension theory relates to the new science of evolutionary psychology. Throughout the work, Davis makes important connections between Eastern and Western philosophy. Ultimately, Davis views apprehension theory as a form of Zen philosophy. An accessible, insightful, and highly original work, "Metaphysics and the Meaning of Life" is a must read for anyone interested in philosophy and metaphysics.
Towards a Philosophy of Zen Buddhism
Author: Joshua Carl Davis
"The Meaning of Life: Religious, Philosophical, Transhumanist, and Scientific Perspectives is the first book to summarize the writings of the important contemporary theologians, philosophers, and scientists on the question of the meaning of life. In addition the book deals with the relevance of death for the question as well the huge importance that the potential scientific elimination of death will have for humanity's concern regarding meaning. Finally the book considers the question in the context of cosmic evolution and deep time, offering in the end an answer to the question of whether life is or is not ultimately meaningful"--Introduction.
Religious, Philosophical, Transhumanist, and Scientific Perspectives
Author: John Gerard Messerly