Switch to: Citations

Add references

You must login to add references.
  1. New developments in the meaning of life.Thaddeus Metz - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (2):196–217.
    In this article I survey philosophical literature on the topic of what, if anything, makes a person’s life meaningful, focusing on systematic texts that are written in English and that have appeared in the last five years (2002-2007). My aims are to present overviews of the most important, fresh, Anglo-American positions on meaning in life and to raise critical questions about them worth answering in future work.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   30 citations  
  • Meaningfulness and Identities.Wai-Hung Wong - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (2):123-148.
    Three distinct but related questions can be asked about the meaningfulness of one's life. The first is 'What is the meaning of life?', which can be called 'the cosmic question about meaningfulness'; the second is 'What is a meaningful life?', which can be called 'the general question about meaningfulness'; and the third is 'What is the meaning of my life?', which can be called 'the personal question about meaningfulness'. I argue that in order to deal with all three questions we (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   18 citations  
  • Meaning in Life and Why It Matters.Susan Wolf - 2010 - Princeton University Press.
    Most people, including philosophers, tend to classify human motives as falling into one of two categories: the egoistic or the altruistic, the self-interested or the moral. According to Susan Wolf, however, much of what motivates us does not comfortably fit into this scheme. Often we act neither for our own sake nor out of duty or an impersonal concern for the world. Rather, we act out of love for objects that we rightly perceive as worthy of love--and it is these (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   143 citations  
  • Happiness and Meaning: Two Aspects of the Good Life.Susan Wolf - 1997 - Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1):207.
    The topic of self-interest raises large and intractable philosophical questions–most obviously, the question “In what does self-interest consist?” The concept, as opposed to the content of self-interest, however, seems clear enough. Self-interest is interest in one's own good. To act self-interestedly is to act on the motive of advancing one's own good. Whether what one does actually is in one's self-interest depends on whether it actually does advance, or at least, minimize the decline of, one's own good. Though it may (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   118 citations  
  • Happiness and meaning: Two aspects of the good life.Susan Wolf - 1997 - Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1):207-225.
    The topic of self-interest raises large and intractable philosophical questions–most obviously, the question “In what does self-interest consist?” The concept, as opposed to the content of self-interest, however, seems clear enough. Self-interest is interest in one's own good. To act self-interestedly is to act on the motive of advancing one's own good. Whether what one does actually is in one's self-interest depends on whether it actually does advance, or at least, minimize the decline of, one's own good. Though it may (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   109 citations  
  • Well‐Being And Time.J. David Velleman - 1991 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):48-77.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   154 citations  
  • The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
    I defend the theory that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one promotes the good. Call this the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. It holds that the good effects that count towards the meaning of one's life need not be intentional. Nor must one be aware of the effects. Nor does it matter whether the same good would have resulted if one had not existed. What matters is that one is causally responsible for the (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   59 citations  
  • Five Tests for What Makes a Life Worth Living.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (4):1-21.
    I evaluate four historically precedented tests for what makes a life worth living: (1) The Suicide Test (Camus), (2) The Recurrence Test (Schopenhauer and Nietzsche), (3) The Extra Life Test (Cicero and Hume), and (4) The Preferring Not to Have Been Test (Job and Williams). I argue that all four fail and tentatively defend the heuristic value of a fifth, The Pre-Existence Test for what makes a life worth living: (5) A life worth living is one that a benevolent caretaker (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  • The Immortal, the Intrinsic and the Quasi Meaning of Life.Mark Rowlands - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4):379-408.
    Through the examination of the lives of several immortal beings, this paper defends a version of Moritz Schlick’s claim that the meaning of life is play. More precisely: a person’s life has meaning to the extent it there are things in it that the person values intrinsically rather than merely instrumentally and above a certain threshold of intensity. This is a subjectivist account of meaning in life. I defend subjectivism about meaning in life from common objections by understanding statements about (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
  • Intrinsic value and meaningful life.Robert Audi - 2005 - Philosophical Papers 34 (3):331-355.
    Abstract I distinguish various ways in which human life may be thought to be meaningful and present an account of what might be called existential meaningfulness. The account is neutral with respect to both theism and naturalism, but each is addressed in several places and the paper's main points are harmonious with certain versions of both. A number of important criteria for existential meaningfulness are examined, and special emphasis is placed on criteria centering on creativity and excellence, on contributing to (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   30 citations  
  • The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Ranging over central issues of morals and politics and the nature of freedom and authority, this study examines the role of value-neutrality, rights, equality, ...
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   615 citations  
  • The Meaningful and the Worthwhile: Clarifying the Relationships.Thaddeus Metz - 2012 - Philosophical Forum 43 (4):435-448.
    The question I seek to answer is what the relationship is between judgments of people’s lives as meaningful, on the one hand, and as worth living, on the other. Several in the analytic and Continental literature, including the likes of Albert Camus and Ludwig Wittgenstein, and more recently, Robert Solomon and Julian Baggini, have maintained that the two words mean the same thing, in that they have the same referents or even the same sense. My primary aim is to refute (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   23 citations  
  • Recent Work on the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):781-814..
    A critical overview of mainly Anglo-American philosophical literature addressing the meaning of life up to 2002.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   71 citations  
  • Welfare and the achievement of goals.Simon Keller - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (1):27-41.
    I defend the view that an individual''s welfareis in one respect enhanced by the achievementof her goals, even when her goals are crazy,self-destructive, irrational or immoral. This``Unrestricted View'''' departs from familiartheories which take welfare to involve only theachievement of rational aims, or of goals whoseobjects are genuinely valuable, or of goalsthat are not grounded in bad reasons. I beginwith a series of examples, intended to showthat some of our intuitive judgments aboutwelfare incorporate distinctions that only theUnrestricted View can support. Then, (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   52 citations  
  • Meaning and Narratives.John Kekes - 2013 - In Beatrix Himmelmann (ed.), On Meaning in Life. De Gruyter. pp. 65-82.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • The experience machine and mental state theories of well-being.Jason Kawall - 1999 - Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (3):381-387.
    It is argued that Nozick's experience machine thought experiment does not pose a particular difficulty for mental state theories of well-being. While the example shows that we value many things beyond our mental states, this simply reflects the fact that we value more than our own well-being. Nor is a mental state theorist forced to make the dubious claim that we maintain these other values simply as a means to desirable mental states. Valuing more than our mental states is compatible (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   27 citations  
  • Working Hard and Kicking Back: The Case for Diachronic Perfectionism.Antti Kauppinen - 2008 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-10.
    Dan Haybron has argued by counterexample that perfectionism fails as a theory of well-being. I respond by articulating two different versions of diachronic perfectionism, which takes into account the level of development and exercise of essential human capacities over the course of an entire lifetime.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  • Meaningfulness and Time.Antti Kauppinen - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):345-377.
    (Pdf updated to final, slightly revised version of November 2010) -/- Almost everyone would prefer to lead a meaningful life. But what is meaning in life and what makes a life meaningful? I argue, first, for a new analysis of the concept of meaningfulness in terms of the appropriateness of feelings of fulfilment and admiration. Second, I argue that while the best current conceptions of meaningfulness, such as Susan Wolf’s view that in a meaningful life ‘subjective attraction meets objective attractiveness’, (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   77 citations  
  • Well-being as enjoying the good.Shelly Kagan - 2009 - Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):253-272.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   55 citations  
  • The Well-Rounded Life.Thomas Hurka - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (12):727-46.
    This paper discusses the idea, which arises within perfectionist theories of the good, that there can be special value in a well-rounded life, one that contains a balance of different intrinsic goods, e.g. knowledge and achievement, rather than specializing narrowly on just one. It uses the economists' device of indifference graphs to 1) formulate the view the well-roundedness is other things equal a good, and 2) to combine that view with empirical theses about the (at times) instrumental benefits and (at (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  • What is Utility?D. W. Haslett - 1990 - Economics and Philosophy 6 (1):65-94.
    Social scientists could learn some useful things from philosophy. Here I shall discuss what I take to be one such thing: a better understanding of the concept of utility. There are several reasons why a better understanding may be useful. First, this concept is commonly found in the writings of social scientists, especially economists. Second, utility is the main ingredient in utilitarianism, a perspective on morality that, traditionally, has been very influential among social scientists. Third, and most important, with a (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
  • A puzzle about meaning and luck.Matthew Hammerton - 2022 - Ratio 35 (2):123-132.
    This article raises a puzzle about luck and meaning in life. The puzzle shows that, in certain cases involving luck, standard intuitions about the meaningfulness of various lives conflict with basic theoretical assumptions about the nature of meaning. After setting out the puzzle, several options for resolving it are developed and evaluated.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • What is Utility?D. W. Haslett - 1990 - Economics and Philosophy 6 (1):65.
    Social scientists could learn some useful things from philosophy. Here I shall discuss what I take to be one such thing: a better understanding of the concept of utility. There are several reasons why a better understanding may be useful. First, this concept is commonly found in the writings of social scientists, especially economists. Second, utility is the main ingredient in utilitarianism, a perspective on morality that, traditionally, has been very influential among social scientists. Third, and most important, with a (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   13 citations  
  • On the Meaning of Life.John Cottingham - 2002 - New York: Routledge.
    The question 'What is the meaning of life?' is one of the most fascinating, oldest and most difficult questions human beings have ever posed themselves. In an increasingly secularized culture, it remains a question to which we are ineluctably and powerfully drawn. Drawing skillfully on a wealth of thinkers, writers and scientists from Augustine, Descartes, Freud and Camus, to Spinoza, Pascal, Darwin, and Wittgenstein, _On the Meaning of Life_ breathes new vitality into one of the very biggest questions.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   74 citations  
  • Geographies of Meaningful Living.Cheshire Calhoun - 2014 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (1):15-34.
    Because it is significantly unclear what ‘meaningful’ does or should pick out when applied to a life, any account of meaningful living will be constructive and not merely clarificatory. Where in our conceptual geography is ‘meaningful’ best located? What conceptual work do we want the concept to do? What I call agent-independent and agent-independent-plus conceptions of meaningfulness locate ‘meaningful’ within the conceptual geography of agent-independent evaluative standards and assign ‘meaningful’ the work of commending lives. I argue that the not wholly (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  • The foundation and construction of ethics.Franz Brentano - 1973 - New York,: Humanities Press. Edited by Franziska Mayer & Elizabeth Hughes Schneewind.
    Expanding on the theory of ethics first posited by Brentano in The Origin of our Knowledge of Right and Wrong this re-issued work, first published posthumously in 1952, is based on series of lectures on practical philosophy, given at the university of Vienna from 1876 to 1894. The English-speaking reader will find it interesting to examine the step-by-step development of Brentano’s ethical theory, his extensive critique of British moral philosophers, and his unusually detailed section on casuistry.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  • Intrinsic Value and a Meaningful Life.Robert Audi - 2005 - Philosophical Papers 34 (3):331-355.
    I distinguish various ways in which human life may be thought to be meaningful and present an account of what might be called existential meaningfulness. The account is neutral with respect to both theism and naturalism, but each is addressed in several places and the paper's main points are harmonious with certain versions of both. A number of important criteria for existential meaningfulness are examined, and special emphasis is placed on criteria centering on creativity and excellence, on contributing to the (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   32 citations  
  • Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    What makes a person's life meaningful? Thaddeus Metz offers a new answer to an ancient question which has recently returned to the philosophical agenda. He proceeds by examining what, if anything, all the conditions that make a life meaningful have in common. The outcome of this process is a philosophical theory of meaning in life. He starts by evaluating existing theories in terms of the classic triad of the good, the true, and the beautiful. He considers whether meaning in life (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   73 citations  
  • Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1936 citations  
  • Perfectionism.Thomas Hurka - 1993 - In Thomas L. Carson & Paul K. Moser (eds.), Morality and the Good Life. Oup Usa.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   97 citations  
  • Well-Being as Value Fulfillment: How We Can Help Each Other to Live Well.Valerie Tiberius - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    What is well-being? This is one of humanity's oldest and deepest questions; Valerie Tiberius offers a fresh answer. She argues that our lives go well to the extent that we succeed in what matters to us emotionally, reflectively, and over the long term. So when we want to help others achieve well-being, we should pay attention to their values.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   19 citations  
  • Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World.Iddo Landau - 2017 - New York: Oup Usa.
    Is life meaningless? Does life have enough meaning to make it feel worthwhile? If we think our lives lack meaning, what can we do about it? Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World answers these and other difficult questions, while confronting head-on famous, recurrent theories that insist on life's meaninglessness. Landau shows us how to single out what is meaningful, explains why we sometimes fail to recognize meaning, and suggests ways in which we can resensitize ourselves to it.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   28 citations  
  • What good is meaning in life?Christopher Woodard - 2017 - De Ethica 4 (3):67-79.
    Most philosophers writing on meaning in life agree that it is a distinct kind of final value. This consensus view has two components: the ‘final value claim’ that meaning in life is a kind of final value, and the ‘distinctness claim’ that it is distinct from all other kinds of final value. This paper discusses some difficulties in vindicating both claims at once. One way to underscore the distinctness of meaning, for example, is to retain a feature of our pretheoretical (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Futility and the Meaning of Life Debate.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2002 - Sorites (14):70-84.
    Some pessimists claim that all of our efforts are futile. Our lives, they claim, are no different from the mythical Sisyphus. Sisyphus would push a large stone to the top of a mountain, only to have the stone roll down the mountain. Despite his repeated efforts, Sisyphus accomplished nothing. As individuals, we may expend great effort in our lives, but each of us will die and humanity will eventually go extinct. Does this make our efforts futile? An effort is futile (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  • The Meanings of Life.David Schmidtz - 2002 - In Robert Nozick. Cambridge University Press.
    I remember being a child, wondering where I would be—wondering who I would be—when the year 2000 arrived. I hoped I would live that long. I hoped I would be in reasonable health. I would not have guessed I would have a white collar job, or that I would live in the United States. I would have laughed if you had told me the new millennium would find me giving a public lecture on the meaning of life. But that is (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   17 citations  
  • Meaning as a Distinct and Fundamental Value: Reply to Kershnar.Thaddeus Metz - 2014 - Science, Religion and Culture 1 (2):101-106.
    In this article, I reply to a critical notice of my book, Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study, that Stephen Kershnar has published elsewhere in this issue of Science, Religion & Culture. Beyond expounding the central conclusions of the book, Kershnar advances two major criticisms of it, namely, first, that I did not provide enough evidence that meaning in life is a genuine value-theoretic category as something distinct from and competing with, say, objective well-being, and, second, that, even if there (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
  • Meaningfulness (Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being).Antti Kauppinen - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge.
    This paper is an overview of contemporary theories of meaning in life and its relation to well-being.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  • The Meaning of Life: Subjectivism, Objectivism, and Divine Support.Brad Hooker - 2008 - In Samantha Vice & Nafsika Athanassoulis (eds.), The Moral Life: Essays in Honour of John Cottingham. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  • Meaning in Life as the Right Metric.Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - Society 53 (2):294-296.
    In “Happiness Is the Wrong Metric,” Amitai Etzioni largely argues that human beings are motivated by more than just their own happiness, whether conceived in terms of pleasant experiences or fulfilled preferences, and that the state should attend to more than merely people’s happiness. He contends that people are often disposed to seek out, and that public policy ought to promote, what is morally right and good. While not disagreeing with this thrust of Etzioni’s position, I maintain in my contribution (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • Meaning in Life and Why It Matters (Markus Rüther).Susan Wolf - 2011 - Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 64 (3):308.
    Most people, including philosophers, tend to classify human motives as falling into one of two categories: the egoistic or the altruistic, the self-interested or the moral. According to Susan Wolf, however, much of what motivates us does not comfortably fit into this scheme. Often we act neither for our own sake nor out of duty or an impersonal concern for the world. Rather, we act out of love for objects that we rightly perceive as worthy of love--and it is these (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   167 citations  
  • The meaningful life: subjectivism, objectivism, and divine support.Bradford Hooker - 2008 - In Nafsika Athanassoulis & Samantha Vice (eds.), The Moral Life: Essays in Honour of John Cottingham. Palgrave. pp. 184-200.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  • The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   973 citations