Reply to Elliott: In Defense of the Good Cause Account
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Film and Philosophy 17:47-57 (2013)
Jay Elliott raises an important objection to the central claim of my paper "It’s a Wonderful Life: Pottersville and the Meaning of Life.” There I defend the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. GCA holds that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one is causally responsible for objective good. Elliott argues that although GCA correctly implies that George Bailey lives a meaningful life, it might also imply that Potter's life is meaningful. But this is absurd. To avoid this problem, Elliott defends a highly compelling alternative to GCA. He also challenges my interpretation of the most important sequence in the movie, George Bailey's trip to Pottersville. In this short reply, I will focus on his objection to GCA, as the interpretive differences are relatively minor.
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