The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

What is the meaning of life? For some people, the answer to this question is quite different than others. They are content with the meaning of life that comes from solving problems, which can be as simple as fixing your mother’s broken house or as complex as working on the next great breakthrough in physics. Then, for others, life’s meaning is different because of the people they meet and the experiences they have. However, whatever the reason, the search for the meaning of life may lead to a number of interesting and important questions, which we can ask ourselves.

One theory posits that the meaning of life is a way to make a lasting difference in the world, while another suggests that it is the way we live that makes life meaningful. A soul-based argument suggests that a life must make a lasting difference in the world for it to be meaningful, and in order to do that, we must be immortal. However, critics of this theory typically appeal to counterexamples – that the life of a human being is worth living if it helps prevent suffering for another person.

The Anglo-American-Australasian philosophy of life’s meaning has become incredibly vibrant and diverse. While it is difficult to cite the works of other philosophers and even nonphilosophical disciplines, this survey does a fairly thorough job of presenting contemporary analytic approaches to this topic. In addition to a comprehensive citation, the book points out neglected topics that are often ignored in the discussion of life’s meaning.