The Meaning of Life
William James’s essay “The Meaning of Life” was written as a series of lectures given to live audiences. He sought to address questions about human nature and what makes life worthwhile. While he found no fault in naturally optimistic individuals, he did not believe that life is truly meaningful unless we pursue it. This is where the concept of the meaning of life comes into play. Though it is hard to define, there are a few fundamental elements that all humans should aim to achieve.
The answer to the question “What is the meaning of life?” is not easily defined. The answer depends on each individual and on their pro-attitudes. Some common instances of finding meaning in life include getting what one wants, achieving high goals, and doing what one considers important. Others, however, maintain that the most relevant mental state is loving and caring. This may seem extreme, but in reality, it is the most natural approach to finding meaning.
The philosophy of the meaning of life is a multifaceted concept that can be applied to many different fields. For instance, a subfield called applied meaning looks at what makes a life meaningful in relation to specific cases and themes. For example, when an individual is downshifting to a smaller planet, implementing genetic enhancements, creating children, or automating labor, he considers whether or not the act is meaningful.