Don’t Worry, Be Happy: The Gettability of Ultimate Meaning

Journal of Controversial Ideas 2 (1) (2022)
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Rivka Weinberg advances an error theory of ultimate meaning with three parts: (1) a conceptual analysis, (2) the claim that the extension of the concept is empty, and (3) a proposed fitting response, namely being very, very sad. Weinberg’s conceptual analysis of ultimate meaning involves two features that jointly make it metaphysically impossible, namely (i) the separateness of activities and valued ends, and (ii) the bounded nature of human lives. Both are open to serious challenges. We offer an internalist alternative to (i) and a relational alternative to (ii). We then draw out implications for (2) and conclude with reasons to be cheerful about the prospects of a meaningful life.

Author Profiles

Michael-John Turp
University of Canterbury
Brylea Hollinshead
Central European University
Stephen Rowe
University of Canterbury


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