Well-Being and Meaning in Life

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (5):573-587 (2022)
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Many philosophers now see meaning in life as a key evaluative category that stands alongside well-being and moral goodness. Our lives are assessed not only by how well they go for us and how morally good they are, but also by their meaningfulness. In this article, I raise a challenge to this view. Theories of meaning in life closely resemble theories of well-being, and there is a suspicion that the former collapse into the latter. I develop this challenge showing that it is formidable. I then answer it by offering a novel account of what meaning in life is and how it differs from well-being. The account I offer is able to resist the strongest form of the challenge while also having much intuitive appeal.

Author's Profile

Matthew Hammerton
Singapore Management University


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