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  1. Narrative Explanation.J. David Velleman - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):1-25.
    A story does more than recount events; it recounts events in a way that renders them intelligible, thus conveying not just information but also understanding. We might therefore be tempted to describe narrative as a genre of explanation. When the police invite a suspect to “tell his story,” they are asking him to explain the blood on his shirt or his absence from home on the night of the murder; and whether he is judged to have a “good story” will (...)
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  • Philosophical Explanations.Alvin I. Goldman - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (1):81.
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  • How Are We to Live? Ethics in an Age of Self-Interest.Roger Crisp - 1995 - Ethics 107 (2):344-345.
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  • Meaningfulness and Time.Antti Kauppinen - 2012 - 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’, (...)
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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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  • Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
    Nozick analyzes fundamental issues, such as the identity of the self, knowledge and skepticism, free will, the foundations of ethics, and the meaning of life.
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  • Narrative Closure.Noël Carroll - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 135 (1):1 - 15.
    In this article, “Narrative Closure,” a theory of the nature of narrative closure is developed. Narrative closure is identified as the phenomenological feeling of finality that is generated when all the questions saliently posed by the narrative are answered. The article also includes a discussion of the intelligibility of attributing questions to narratives as well as a discussion of the mechanisms that achieve this. The article concludes by addressing certain recent criticisms of the view of narrative expounded by this article.
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  • Collective Responsibility.Jan Narveson - 2002 - The Journal of Ethics 6 (2):179-198.
    The basic bearer of responsibility is individuals, because that isall there are – nothing else can literally be the bearer of fullresponsibility. Claims about group responsibility therefore needanalysis. This would be impossible if all actions must be understoodas ones that could be performed whether or not anyone else exists.Individuals often act by virtue of membership in certain groups;often such membership bears a causal role in our behavior, andsometimes people act deliberately in order to promote the prospectsof members of a given (...)
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  • Death and the Afterlife.Samuel Scheffler - 2013 - Oup Usa.
    We normally take it for granted that other people will live on after we ourselves have died. Even if we do not believe in a personal afterlife in which we survive our own deaths, we assume that there will be a "collective afterlife" in which humanity survives long after we are gone. Samuel Scheffler maintains that this assumption plays a surprising - indeed astonishing - role in our lives.
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  • Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge.Jean-Francois Lyotard - 1984 - Univ of Minnesota Press.
    In this book it explores science and technology, makes connections between these epistemic, cultural, and political trends, and develops profound insights into the nature of our postmodernity.
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  • Assessing Lives, Giving Supernaturalism Its Due, and Capturing Naturalism: Reply to 13 Critics of Meaning in Life (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - In Masahiro Morioka (ed.), Reconsidering Meaning in Life: A Philosophical Dialogue with Thaddeus Metz. Waseda University. pp. 228-278.
    A lengthy reply to 13 critical discussions of _Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study_ collected in an e-book and reprinted from the _Journal of Philosophy of Life_. The contributors are from a variety of philosophical traditions, including the Anglo-American, Continental and East Asian (especially Buddhist and Japanese) ones.
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  • Flourishing and Finitude.Antti Kauppinen - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (2):1-6.
    It would be terrible for us if humanity ceased to exist after we all die. But of course, eventually humanity will go out of existence. Does this result in a vicious regress if our flourishing hangs on what happens after us? Mark Johnston thinks so. In this note, I explain how Johnston's objection can be avoided. Briefly, our activities have a meaning horizon that extends for some generations after us. What matters is that we make a positive difference to the (...)
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  • Our Cosmic Insignificance.Guy Kahane - unknown
    The universe that surrounds us is vast, and we are so very small. When we reflect on the vastness of the universe, our humdrum cosmic location, and the inevitable future demise of humanity, our lives can seem utterly insignificant. Many philosophers assume that such worries about our significance reflect a banal metaethical confusion. They dismiss the very idea of cosmic significance. This, I argue, is a mistake. Worries about cosmic insignificance do not express metaethical worries about objectivity or nihilism, and (...)
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  • Meaning and More Meaningful. A Modest Measure.Peter Baumann - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 5 (3):33-49.
    We often describe lives (or parts of lives) as meaningful or as not meaningful. It is also common to characterize them as more or less meaningful. Some lives, we tend to think, are more meaningful than others. But how then can one compare lives with respect to how much meaning they contain? Can one? This paper argues that (i) only a notion of rough equality can be used when comparing different lives with respect to their meaning, and that (ii) the (...)
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  • Imperfection as Sufficient for a Meaningful Life : How Much is Enough?Thaddeus Metz - 2009 - In Yujin Nagasawa & Erik J. Wielenberg (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Religion. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 192-214.
    Supernaturalism about meaning in life appears plausible insofar it is reasonable to think that a meaningful life can come only from a world in which there is a perfect value of some kind. Call the view that meaningfulness depends on perfection the ‘perfection thesis’. My aim in this chapter is to develop the contrasting ‘imperfection thesis’, the claim that a life that is significant on balance does not require any perfect value. I argue that principles that naturalists have offered (or (...)
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  • Intended and Unintended Life.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2012 - Philosophical Forum 43 (4):395-403.
    Some people feel threatened by the thought that life might have arisen by chance. What is it about “chance” that some people find so threatening? If life originated by chance, this suggests that life was unintended and that it was not inevitable. It is ironic that people care about whether life in general was intended, but may not have ever wondered whether their own existence was intended by their parents. If it does not matter to us whether one's own existence (...)
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  • Human Extinction and the Value of Our Efforts.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2004 - Philosophical Forum 35 (3):371–391.
    Some people feel distressed reflecting on human extinction. Some people even claim that our efforts and lives would be empty and pointless if humanity becomes extinct, even if this will not occur for millions of years. In this essay, I will attempt to demonstrate that this claim is false. The desire for long-lastingness or quasi-immortality is often unwittingly adopted as a standard for judging whether our efforts are significant. If we accomplish our goals and then later in life conclude that (...)
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  • Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - 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 (...)
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  • The Meaning of Life Sub Specie Aeternitatis.Iddo Landau - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):727 - 734.
    Several philosophers have argued that if we examine our lives in context of the cosmos at large, sub specie aeternitatis, we cannot escape life's meaninglessness. To see our lives as meaningful, we have to shun the point of view of the cosmos and consider our lives only in the narrower context of the here and now. I argue that this view is incorrect: life can be seen as meaningful also sub specie aeternitatis. While criticizing arguments by, among others, Simon Blackburn, (...)
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  • Our Cosmic Insignificance.Guy Kahane - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):745-772.
    The universe that surrounds us is vast, and we are so very small. When we reflect on the vastness of the universe, our humdrum cosmic location, and the inevitable future demise of humanity, our lives can seem utterly insignificant. Many philosophers assume that such worries about our significance reflect a banal metaethical confusion. They dismiss the very idea of cosmic significance. This, I argue, is a mistake. Worries about cosmic insignificance do not express metaethical worries about objectivity or nihilism, and (...)
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  • Achievement.Gwen Bradford - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    Gwen Bradford presents the first systematic account of what achievements are, and why they are worth the effort. She argues that more things count as achievements than we might have thought, and offers a new perfectionist theory of value in which difficulty, perhaps surprisingly, plays a central part in characterizing achievements.
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  • The Meaning of Life as Narrative: A New Proposal for Interpreting Philosophy’s ‘Primary’ Question.Joshua W. Seachris - 2009 - Philo 12 (1):5-23.
    Even if the question, “What is the meaning of life?” is coherent, the fact remains that it is vague. Its vagueness largely centers on the use of the term “meaning.” The most prevalent strategy for addressing this vagueness is to discard the word “meaning” and reformulate the question entirely into questions such as, “What is the purpose of life?” or “What makes life valuable?” among others. This approach has philosophical merit but does not account for the intuitions and sub-questions driving (...)
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  • The End of the World: The Science and Ethics of Human Extinction.John Leslie - 1996 - Philosophy 72 (279):158-160.
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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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  • 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 (...)
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  • Rethinking the Individualism-Holism Debate.Julie Zahle & Finn Collin (eds.) - 2014 - Springer.
    This collection of papers investigates the most recent debates about individualism and holism in the philosophy of social science. The debates revolve mainly around two issues: firstly, whether social phenomena exist sui generis and how they relate to individuals. This is the focus of discussions between ontological individualists and ontological holists. Secondly, to what extent social scientific explanations may and should, focus on individuals and social phenomena respectively. This issue is debated amongst methodological holists and methodological individualists. -/- In social (...)
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  • 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 (...)
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  • 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 (...)
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  • The Reality of Social Groups.Paul Sheehy - 2006 - Ashgate.
    Paul Sheehy will endorse a holist or realist thesis about groups: interrelational holism.
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  • Nirvana: Concept, Imagery, Narrative.Steven Collins - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
    The idea of nirvana is alluring but elusive for non-specialists and specialists alike. Offering his own interpretation of key texts, Steven Collins explains the idea in a new, accessible way - as a concept, as an image, and as an element in the process of narrating both linear and cyclical time. Exploring nirvana from literary and philosophical perspectives, he argues that it has a specific role: to provide 'the sense of an ending' in both the systematic and the narrative thought (...)
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  • Death, Futility, and the Proleptic Power of Narrative Ending.Joshua Seachris - 2011 - Religious Studies 47 (2):141-163.
    Death and futility are among a cluster of themes that closely track discussions of life’s meaning. Moreover, futility is thought to supervene on naturalistic meta-narratives because of how they will end. While the nature of naturalistic meta-narrative endings is part of the explanation for concluding that such meta-narratives are cosmically or deeply futile, this explanation is truncated. I argue that the reason the nature of the ending is thought to be normatively important is first anchored in the fact that narrative (...)
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  • 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 (...)
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  • On Becoming Extinct.James Lenman - 2002 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 (3):253–269.
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  • Sovereign Virtue: The Theory and Practice of Equality.R. M. Dworkin - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):377-389.
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  • Reconsidering Meaning in Life: A Philosophical Dialogue with Thaddeus Metz.Masahiro Morioka (ed.) - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life, Waseda University.
    An e-book devoted to 13 critical discussions of Thaddeus Metz's book "Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study", with a lengthy reply from the author. -/- Preface Masahiro Morioka i -/- Précis of Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study Thaddeus Metz ii-vi -/- Source and Bearer: Metz on the Pure Part-Life View of Meaning Hasko von Kriegstein 1-18 -/- Fundamentality and Extradimensional Final Value David Matheson 19-32 -/- Meaningful and More Meaningful: A Modest Measure Peter Baumann 33-49 -/- Is Meaning in (...)
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  • Shadows of Goodness.Pedro Alexis Tabensky - 2009 - In The Positive Function of Evil. Palgrave-Macmillan.
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  • The Creation of Value.Irving Singer - 1996 - MIT Press.
    Preface to the Irving Singer library edition -- Preface to the Johns Hopkins edition -- Preface -- Introduction: Our human predicament -- The meaning of life : rephrasing questions -- The meaning of death -- The creation of meaning -- Lives of meaning and significance -- Conclusion: The love of life.
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  • Whole Lives and Good Deaths.Kathy Behrendt - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (3):331-347.
    This article discusses two views associated with narrative conceptions of the self. The first view asserts that our whole life is reasonably regarded as a single unit of meaning. A prominent strand of the philosophical narrative account of the self is the representative of this view. The second view—which has currency beyond the confines of the philosophical narrative account—is that the meaning of a life story is dependent on what happens at the end of it. The article argues that the (...)
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  • Achievement and the Meaningfulness of Life.Laurence James - 2005 - Philosophical Papers 34 (3):429-442.
    In this paper I present a novel account of achievement and I argue that, all other things being equal, the presence of this particular type of achievement in a person’s life makes that life more meaningful. In arguing for this conclusion, I explore the connections between m-achievements and a person’s self-conception and especially the idea that m-achievements provide a reason for the revision of one’s self-conception.
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