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  1. Meaning in Life as the Aim of Psychotherapy: A Hypothesis.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - In Joshua A. Hicks & Clay Routledge (eds.), The Experience of Meaning in Life: Classical Perspectives, Emerging Themes, and Controversies. Springer Verlag. pp. 405-17.
    The point of psychotherapy has occasionally been associated with talk of ‘life’s meaning’. However, the literature on meaning in life written by contemporary philosophers has yet to be systematically applied to literature on the point of psychotherapy. My broad aim in this chapter is to indicate some plausible ways to merge these two tracks of material that have run in parallel up to now. More specifically, my hunch is that the connection between meaning as philosophers understand it and therapy as (...)
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  • Why Care About Sustainable AI? Some Thoughts From The Debate on Meaning in Life.Markus Rüther - 2024 - Philosophy and Technology 37 (1):1-19.
    The focus of AI ethics has recently shifted towards the question of whether and how the use of AI technologies can promote sustainability. This new research question involves discerning the sustainability of AI itself and evaluating AI as a tool to achieve sustainable objectives. This article aims to examine the justifications that one might employ to advocate for promoting sustainable AI. Specifically, it concentrates on a dimension of often disregarded reasons — reasons of “meaning” or “meaningfulness” — as discussed more (...)
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  • Meaning in Life and the Nature of Time.Ned Markosian - 2022 - In Iddo Landau (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Meaning in Life. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Many of the leading accounts of what makes a life meaningful are goal-based theories, according to which it is the pursuit of some specific goal (such as love for things that are worthy of love) that gives meaning to our lives. In this chapter I consider how these goal-based theories of meaning in life interact with the two main theories of the nature of time that have been defended in the recent metaphysics literature, namely, The Dynamic Theory of Time and (...)
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  • Virtual Reality and the Meaning of Life.John Danaher - 2022 - In Iddo Landau (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Meaning in Life. New York: Oxford University Press.
    It is commonly assumed that a virtual life would be less meaningful (perhaps even meaningless). As virtual reality technologies develop and become more integrated into our everyday lives, this poses a challenge for those that care about meaning in life. In this chapter, it is argued that the common assumption about meaninglessness and virtuality is mistaken. After clarifying the distinction between two different visions of virtual reality, four arguments are presented for thinking that meaning is possible in virtual reality. Following (...)
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  • A Normative Meaning of Meaningful Work.Christopher Michaelson - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 170 (3):413-428.
    Research on meaningful work has not embraced a shared definition of what it is, in part because many researchers and laypersons agree that it means different things to different people. However, subjective and social accounts of meaningful work have limited practical value to help people pursue it and to help scholars study it. The account of meaningful work advanced in this paper is inherently normative. It recognizes the relevance of subjective experience and social agreement to appraisals of meaningfulness but considers (...)
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  • Viktor Frankl und die gegenwärtige philosophische Sinndiskussion: Ein Beitrag zur Theorie des sinnvollen Lebens in Psychotherapie, Psychiatrie und Philosophie.Roland Kipke - 2018 - Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie 5 (2):243-282.
    Das sinnvolle Leben ist nicht nur in der gegenwärtigen Philosophie wieder verstärkt ein Thema, sondern auch in Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie. Bereits seit langer Zeit jedoch spielt es eine zentrale Rolle in der Existenzanalyse und Logotherapie, die der Psychiater Viktor E. Frankl entwickelt hat. Frankls eigenständige Sinntheorie wird in der gegenwärtigen philosophischen Sinndebatte allerdings weitestgehend ignoriert. Das Ziel dieses Artikels ist es, diesen Zustand zu beenden und die heutige philosophische Sinndebatte mit Frankl ins Gespräch zu bringen. Einerseits geht es darum, Frankls (...)
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  • Neutrality, Partiality, and Meaning in Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - De Ethica 4 (3):7-25.
    Discussion of whether values and norms are neutral or not has mainly appeared in works on the nature of prudential rationality and morality. Little systematic has yet appeared in the up and coming field of the meaning of life. What are the respects in which the value of meaningfulness is neutral or, in contrast, partial, relational, or ‘biased’? In this article, I focus strictly on answering this question. First, I aim to identify the salient, and perhaps exhaustive, respects in which (...)
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  • Building a Postwork Utopia: Technological Unemployment, Life Extension and the Future of Human Flourishing.John Danaher - 2017 - In Lagrandeur Kevin & Hughes James (eds.), Surviving the Machine Age. Palgrave-MacMillan. pp. 63-82.
    Populations in developed societies are rapidly aging: fertility rates are at all-time lows while life expectancy creeps ever higher. This is triggering a social crisis in which shrinking youth populations are required to pay for the care and retirements of an aging majority. Some people argue that by investing in the right kinds of lifespan extension technology – the kind that extends the healthy and productive phases of life – we can avoid this crisis (thereby securing a ‘longevity dividend’). This (...)
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  • Eliminating ‘ life worth living’.Fumagalli Roberto - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):769-792.
    This article argues for the elimination of the concept of life worth living from philosophical vocabulary on three complementary grounds. First, the basic components of this concept suffer from multiple ambiguities, which hamper attempts to ground informative evaluative and classificatory judgments about the worth of life. Second, the criteria proposed to track the extension of the concept of life worth living rest on unsupported axiological assumptions and fail to identify precise and plausible referents for this concept. And third, the concept (...)
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  • Will Life Be Worth Living in a World Without Work? Technological Unemployment and the Meaning of Life.John Danaher - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (1):41-64.
    Suppose we are about to enter an era of increasing technological unemployment. What implications does this have for society? Two distinct ethical/social issues would seem to arise. The first is one of distributive justice: how will the efficiency gains from automated labour be distributed through society? The second is one of personal fulfillment and meaning: if people no longer have to work, what will they do with their lives? In this article, I set aside the first issue and focus on (...)
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  • Fundamental Conditions of Human Existence as the Ground of Life’s Meaning: Reply to Landau.Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (1):111-123.
    Taking the good (generosity), the true (enquiry), and the beautiful (creativity) as exemplars of what can make a life noticeably meaningful, elsewhere I have advanced a principle that entails and plausibly explains all three. Specifically, I have proffered the view that great meaning in life, at least insofar as it comes from this triad, is a matter of positively orienting one’s rational nature towards fundamental conditions of human existence, conditions of human life responsible for much else about it. Iddo Landau (...)
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  • Gross National Happiness: A Philosophical Appraisal.Thaddeus Metz - 2014 - Ethics and Social Welfare 8 (3):218-232.
    For more than 40 years, the Kingdom of Bhutan has eschewed evaluating its socio-economic status in terms of Gross Domestic Product and has instead done so under the heading of ‘Gross National Happiness’. As part of the upswing in international interest in well-being as the proper final end of development, it would be apt to critically explore the approach that has been in use for several decades. In this article I expound the central elements of Gross National Happiness and discuss (...)
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  • Hyperagency and the Good Life – Does Extreme Enhancement Threaten Meaning?John Danaher - 2013 - Neuroethics 7 (2):227-242.
    According to several authors, the enhancement project incorporates a quest for hyperagency - i.e. a state of affairs in which virtually every constitutive aspect of agency (beliefs, desires, moods, dispositions and so forth) is subject to our control and manipulation. This quest, it is claimed, undermines the conditions for a meaningful and worthwhile life. Thus, the enhancement project ought to be forestalled or rejected. How credible is this objection? In this article, I argue: “not very”. I do so by evaluating (...)
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  • The Meanings of God: Reply to Four Critics.Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 82 (4-5):366-374.
    In this article, I briefly reply to four critics who critically engage with my book God, Soul and the Meaning of Life in a special issue of the International Journal of Philosophy and Theology. I view them mainly as addressing the ‘meaning’ of God in three distinct senses, namely, in terms of how best to understand the word ‘God’ and related terms such as ‘the spiritual’, whether God is central to what gives our lives a particular sort of final value, (...)
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  • Do delusions have and give meaning?Rosa Ritunnano & Lisa Bortolotti - 2022 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 21 (4):949-968.
    Delusions are often portrayed as paradigmatic instances of incomprehensibility and meaninglessness. Here we investigate the relationship between delusions and meaning from a philosophical perspective, integrating arguments and evidence from cognitive psychology and phenomenological psychopathology. We review some of the empirical and philosophical literature relevant to two claims about delusions and meaning: delusions are meaningful, despite being described as irrational and implausible beliefs; some delusions can also enhance the sense that one’s life is meaningful, supporting agency and creativity in some circumstances. (...)
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  • Sense-Making, Meaningfulness, and Instrumental Music Education.Marissa Silverman - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the nature of “meaning” and “meaningfulness” in the context of instrumental music education. By doing so, I propose to expand the ways in which instrumental music educators conceive their mission and the ways in which we may instill meaning in people’s lives. Traditionally, pursuits of philosophical deliberation have claimed that meaningfulness comes from either personal happiness (e.g., Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill) or an impersonal sense of duty (e.g., St. Augustine, St. (...)
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  • Why We Should Create Artificial Offspring: Meaning and the Collective Afterlife.John Danaher - 2018 - Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (4):1097-1118.
    This article argues that the creation of artificial offspring could make our lives more meaningful. By ‘artificial offspring’ I mean beings that we construct, with a mix of human and non-human-like qualities. Robotic artificial intelligences are paradigmatic examples of the form. There are two reasons for thinking that the creation of such beings could make our lives more meaningful and valuable. The first is that the existence of a collective afterlife—i.e. a set of human-like lives that continue after we die—is (...)
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  • Recent Work on the Meaning of Life and Philosophy of Religion.T. J. Mawson - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1138-1146.
    ‘The Meaning of Life’ and ‘The Philosophy of Religion’ have meant different things to different people, and so I do well to alert my reader to what these phrases mean to me and thus to the subject area of this review of recent work on their intersection. First, ‘The Meaning of Life’: within the analytic tradition, an idea has gained widespread assent; whatever the vague and enigmatic nature of the phrase ‘the meaning of life’, we may sensibly speak of meaningfulness (...)
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  • The Sub Specie Aeternitatis Perspective and Normative Evaluations of Life’s Meaningfulness: A Closer Look.Joshua W. Seachris - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):605-620.
    It is a common pessimistic worry among both philosophers and non-philosophers that our lives, viewed sub specie aeternitatis, are meaningless given that they make neither a noticeable nor lasting impact from this vast, cosmic perspective. The preferred solution for escaping this kind of pessimism is to adopt a different measure by which to evaluate life’s meaningfulness. One of two primary routes is often taken here. First, one can retreat back to the sub specie humanitatis perspective, and argue that life is (...)
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  • Meaning in Life in AI Ethics—Some Trends and Perspectives.Sven Nyholm & Markus Rüther - 2023 - Philosophy and Technology 36 (2):1-24.
    In this paper, we discuss the relation between recent philosophical discussions about meaning in life (from authors like Susan Wolf, Thaddeus Metz, and others) and the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI). Our goal is twofold, namely, to argue that considering the axiological category of meaningfulness can enrich AI ethics, on the one hand, and to portray and evaluate the small, but growing literature that already exists on the relation between meaning in life and AI ethics, on the other hand. We (...)
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  • Meaning in the Pursuit of Pleasure.David Matheson - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (3):552-566.
    Here I speak in favor of the view that life's meaning can be found in the pursuit of pleasure. I first present an argument for this view that is grounded in a traditional concept of meaning. To help ease remaining concerns about accepting it, I then draw attention to four things the view does not imply: (1) that we have a reason to take hedonistic theories of meaning seriously; (2) that meaning can be found in the deeply immoral, the deeply (...)
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  • Meaning in the lives of humans and other animals.Duncan Purves & Nicolas Delon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):317-338.
    This paper argues that contemporary philosophical literature on meaning in life has important implications for the debate about our obligations to non-human animals. If animal lives can be meaningful, then practices including factory farming and animal research might be morally worse than ethicists have thought. We argue for two theses about meaning in life: that the best account of meaningful lives must take intentional action to be necessary for meaning—an individual’s life has meaning if and only if the individual acts (...)
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  • Re-Enchanting The World: An Examination Of Ethics, Religion, And Their Relationship In The Work Of Charles Taylor.David McPherson - 2013 - Dissertation, Marquette University
    In this dissertation I examine the topics of ethics, religion, and their relationship in the work of Charles Taylor. I take Taylor's attempt to confront modern disenchantment by seeking a kind of re-enchantment as my guiding thread. Seeking re-enchantment means, first of all, defending an `engaged realist' account of strong evaluation, i.e., qualitative distinctions of value that are seen as normative for our desires. Secondly, it means overcoming self-enclosure and achieving self-transcendence, which I argue should be understood in terms of (...)
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  • Conceptualizing great meaning in life: Metz on the good, the true, and the beautiful.Iddo Landau - 2013 - Religious Studies 49 (4):505-514.
    This article is a reply to Thaddeus Metz's (2011). I suggest that Metz's theory is too broad since it entails that merely understanding Einstein's or Darwin's views can make a life highly meaningful. Furthermore, it is unclear whether , toward which highly meaningful lives are oriented, may or may not be necessary conditions to , how completely the former should explain the latter, and whether Metz's account is indeed non-consequentialist. While acknowledging the importance of Metz's contribution, I consider alternative directions (...)
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  • Are "Hă-ḇêl" of Kohelet and Contemporary "Meaningless" Real Synonymos?Elvira Chukhray - 2017 - Sententiae 36 (2):66-75.
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  • Addressing fragmented human–nonhuman interactions through an ubuntu ‘mixed’ ethics.Olusegun Steven Samuel - 2023 - Philosophical Forum 54 (1-2):79-101.
    In this paper, I address human-induced environmental ills we face using an ubuntu-inspired ethical lens. I follow ubuntu scholars to stress the significance for moral agents to embody virtues. Virtue development is essential to carry out obligations and address human impacts on the environment. Thaddeus Metz, in particular, has drawn attention to how embodying ubuntu virtues of humility and friendliness can prompt moral agents to be other-regarding. The view I developed in this paper differs from his ubuntu-inspired account in at (...)
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  • The Purpose of Life and the Meaning in Life: History of Philosophy and Limits of Rational Reconstruction.Elvira Chukhray - 2015 - Sententiae 32 (1):143-152.
    The article analyses whether it is correct to extrapolate the concept of "meaning in life" developed by Thaddeus Metz to the doctrines of ancient philosophers, including Thomas Aquinas. Is Metz’ concept of "purposes" that make "human life" meaningful analogous to Aquinas’ concept of "ultimate goal of man"? Significant points of Metz’ conception of "meaning in life" in our article are described and compared with Aquinas’ conception of "ultimate goal of man." As it turns out, these conceptions are only superficially similar. (...)
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  • Die Sinntheorie der Menschenwürde. Auf dem Weg zu einem neuen und integrativen Ansatz.Roland Kipke - 2020 - Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie 7 (2):91-118.
    The central role of human dignity in ethics and law stands in striking contrast to the disagreement regarding the meaning and normative content of this concept. Each competing theory of human dignity also has serious problems. Against the background of this situation, the meaning-oriented theory of human dignity suggests a new understanding that can integrate a number of conceptions of human dignity and resolve their theoretical problems. According to this new theory, respect for human dignity consists in respect for human (...)
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