Hum/Pl 43

Meaning in Life

9 units (3-0-6)    |  second term
Experiencing one's life as meaningful is important for most people. Yet, what is it for a life to be meaningful? This course explores philosophical inquiries into meaning in life, examining such questions as, how does meaning in life relate to moral, epistemic, aesthetic, and hedonic final values in life? What does meaning in life imply regarding the metaphysics of value? What is the relation between meaning and welfare, achievement, and goal-directedness? What sort of activities, from work to leisure, can be sources of meaning in life? Drawing principally on recent work in analytic philosophy, the course will also examine whether scientific approaches, principally neuroscience and psychology, can illuminate the nature of meaning in life and will examine recent nihilistic challenges to meaning in life. Not offered 2021-2022.
Instructor: Quartz

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