Meanings of Life

Author: Roy F. Baumeister
Publisher: Guilford Press
ISBN: 9780898625318
Format: PDF, ePub
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Who among us has not at some point asked, what is the meaning of life?' In this extraordinary book, an eminent social scientist looks at the big picture and explores what empirical studies from diverse fields tell us about the human condition. MEANINGS OF LIFE draws together evidence from psychology, history, anthropology, and sociology, integrating copious research findings into a clear and conclusive discussion of how people attempt to make sense of their lives. In a lively and accessible style, emphasizing facts over theories, Baumeister explores why people desire meaning in their lives, how these meanings function, what forms they take, and what happens when life loses meaning. It is the most comprehensive examination of the topic to date.

Meanings of Life

Author: Roy F. Baumeister
Publisher: Guilford Press
ISBN: 9780898627633
Format: PDF, Docs
Download and Read
In this extraordinary book, an eminent social scientist explores what empirical studies from diverse fields tell us about the human condition. Meanings of Life draws together evidence from psychology, history, anthropology, and sociology, integrating copious research findings into a clear and conclusive discussion of how people attempt to make sense of their lives. In a lively and accessible style, emphasising facts over theories, Baumeister explores why people desire meaning in their lives, how these meanings function, what forms they take, and what happens when life loses meaning. The volume includes a review of interdisciplinary literature that covers what the social sciences say about such matters as happiness, suffering, and death. It explores people's need for a sense of purpose, values, control over their lives, and a sense of self worth. Divorce and religious conversion are also examined. The book attempts to analyze the myths of fulfilment and higher meaning, illusions of eternity, the suppression of female sexuality, the failure of the work ethic, why death is more threatening to us than it was to our ancestors, and how suffering stimulates the quest for meaning. It demonstrates how happiness depends more upon one's interpretation than actual circumstances, and shows that the keys to happiness are attitude, judicious comparison, a bit of luck and a healthy dose of self-deception.

God and The Meanings of Life

Author: T. J. Mawson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1474212557
Format: PDF, Docs
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Some philosophers have thought that life could only be meaningful if there is no God. For Sartre and Nagel, for example, a God of the traditional classical theistic sort would constrain our powers of self-creative autonomy in ways that would severely detract from the meaning of our lives, possibly even evacuate our lives of all meaning. Some philosophers, by contrast, have thought that life could only be meaningful if there is a God. God and the Meanings of Life is interested in exploring the truth in both these schools of thought, seeking to discover what God could and couldn't do to make life meaningful (as well as what he would and wouldn't do). Mawson espouses a version of the 'amalgam' or 'pluralism' thesis about the issue of life's meaning – in essence, that there are a number of different legitimate meanings of 'meaning' (and indeed 'life') in the question of life's meaning. According to Mawson, God, were he to exist, would help make life meaningful in some of these senses and hinder in some others. He argues that whilst there could be meaning in a Godless universe, there could be other sorts of meaning in a Godly one and that these would be deeper.

Darwin s Dangerous Idea

Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 068482471X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Offers a wider perspective on Darwin's scientific theory of natural selection, explaining how it extends beyond biology, analyzing current controversies over the origins of life and inherent biases, and challenging popular philosophies

Meanings of Life in Contemporary Ireland

Author: T. Inglis
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137413727
Format: PDF, ePub
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The struggle to create and sustain meaning in our everyday lives is fought using cultural ingredients to spin the webs of meaning that keep us going. To help reveal the complexity and intricacy of the webs of meaning in which they are suspended, Tom Inglis interviewed one-hundred people in their native home of Ireland to discover what was most important and meaningful for them in their lives. Inglis believes language is a medium: there is never an exact correspondence between what is said and what is felt and understood. Using a variety of theoretical lenses developed within sociology and anthropology, Inglis places their lives within the context of Ireland's social and cultural transformations, and of longer-term processes of change such as increased globalisation, individualisation, and informalisation.

The Brain and the Meaning of Life

Author: Paul Thagard
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691154406
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Why is life worth living? What makes actions right or wrong? What is reality and how do we know it? The Brain and the Meaning of Life draws on research in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience to answer some of the most pressing questions about life's nature and value. Paul Thagard argues that evidence requires the abandonment of many traditional ideas about the soul, free will, and immortality, and shows how brain science matters for fundamental issues about reality, morality, and the meaning of life. The ongoing Brain Revolution reveals how love, work, and play provide good reasons for living. Defending the superiority of evidence-based reasoning over religious faith and philosophical thought experiments, Thagard argues that minds are brains and that reality is what science can discover. Brains come to know reality through a combination of perception and reasoning. Just as important, our brains evaluate aspects of reality through emotions that can produce both good and bad decisions. Our cognitive and emotional abilities allow us to understand reality, decide effectively, act morally, and pursue the vital needs of love, work, and play. Wisdom consists of knowing what matters, why it matters, and how to achieve it. The Brain and the Meaning of Life shows how brain science helps to answer questions about the nature of mind and reality, while alleviating anxiety about the difficulty of life in a vast universe. The book integrates decades of multidisciplinary research, but its clear explanations and humor make it accessible to the general reader.

Meanings of Life

Author: Alex Wright
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780232524895
Format: PDF
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Reflections on the choices that face people today, offering a pragmatic roadmap rather than a set of abstract principles.

Life Death Meaning

Author: David Benatar
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442201705
Format: PDF, ePub
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Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better to be immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Since Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions first appeared, David Benatar's distinctive anthology designed to introduce students to the key existential questions of philosophy has won a devoted following among users in a variety of upper-level and even introductory courses. While many philosophers in the 'continental tradition'_those known as 'existentialists'_have engaged these issues at length and often with great popular appeal, English-speaking philosophers have had relatively little to say on these important questions. Yet, the methodology they bring to philosophical questions can, and occasionally has, been applied usefully to 'existential' questions. This volume draws together a representative sample of primarily English-speaking philosophers' reflections on life's big questions, divided into six sections, covering (1) the meaning of life, (2) creating people, (3) death, (4) suicide, (5) immortality, and (6) optimism and pessimism. These key readings are supplemented with helpful introductions, study questions, and suggestions for further reading, making the material accessible and interesting for students. In short, the book provides a singular introduction to the way that philosophy has dealt with the big questions of life that we are all tempted to ask.

Man s Search for Meaning

Author: Viktor E. Frankl
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807014281
Format: PDF, ePub
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Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. At the time of Frankl's death in 1997, Man's Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a "book that made a difference in your life" found Man's Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.