On Luck, Responsibility and the Meaning of Life

Philosophical Papers 34 (3):443-458 (2005)
Abstract
A meaningful life, we shall argue, is a life upon which a certain sort of valuable pattern has been imposed by the person in question?a pattern which involves in serious ways the person having an effect upon the world. Meaningfulness is thus a special kind of value which a human life can bear. Two interrelated difficulties face ths proposal. One concerns responsiblity: how are we to account for the fact that a life that satisfies the above criteria can have more meaning than a life with the same positive outcomes but which lacks responsiblity on the part of the agent? The other turns on these outcomes themselves: how can the meaningfulness engendered by actions you perform now be affected by what those actions go on to produce in the future, perhaps even after your death? We provide a response to both of these difficulties
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References found in this work BETA
George Sher (2002). Blameworthy Action and Character. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):381 - 392.
David Wiggins (1988). Truth, Invention, and the Meaning of Life. In Geoffrey Sayre-McCord (ed.), Essays on Moral Realism. Cornell University Press. 127--65.
B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel (1976). Moral Luck. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50:115 - 151.
Citations of this work BETA
Jukka Varelius (2012). Ending Life, Morality, and Meaning. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):559-574.
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