David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Sorites (14):70-84 (2002)
Some pessimists claim that all of our efforts are futile. Our lives, they claim, are no different from the mythical Sisyphus. Sisyphus would push a large stone to the top of a mountain, only to have the stone roll down the mountain. Despite his repeated efforts, Sisyphus accomplished nothing. As individuals, we may expend great effort in our lives, but each of us will die and humanity will eventually go extinct. Does this make our efforts futile? An effort is futile when there is a repeated failure to bring about one’s envisioned goal. Therefore, whether an effort is futile will depend on the nature of one’s goals. If one adopts unrealizable goals, such as the goal to leave an everlasting trace of one’s existence, then one’s efforts will be futile. However, if one adopts goals that are challenging, but physically possible, then one may experience accomplishment and fulfillment, instead of futility. Even if some of our efforts are futile, one’s life can still be worth living. There is more to life than just having and achieving goals.
|Keywords||Futility Meaning of Life Meaning in Life|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Thomas Nagel (1986). The View From Nowhere. Oxford University Press.
Albert Camus (1955). The Myth of Sisyphus, and Other Essays. Vintage Books.
Citations of this work BETA
Thaddeus Metz (2007). New Developments in the Meaning of Life. Philosophy Compass 2 (2):196–217.
T. J. Mawson (2013). Recent Work on the Meaning of Life and Philosophy of Religion. Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1138-1146.
Similar books and articles
Brooke Alan Trisel (2004). Human Extinction and the Value of Our Efforts. Philosophical Forum 35 (3):371–391.
Glenn G. Griener (1995). The Physician's Authority to Withhold Futile Treatment. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (2):207-224.
Joshua Seachris (2011). Death, Futility, and the Proleptic Power of Narrative Ending. Religious Studies 47 (2):141-163.
Brooke Alan Trisel (2007). Judging Life and Its Value. Sorites (18):60-75.
Lawrence Schneiderman (2011). Defining Medical Futility and Improving Medical Care. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):123-131.
Amir Halevy (1995). Is Futility a Futile Concept? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (2):123-144.
Aaron Smuts (2013). The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
Roy W. Perrett (2010). Ineffability, Signification and the Meaning of Life. Philosophical Papers 39 (2):239-255.
Michael Ashby (2011). The Futility of Futility: Death Causation is the 'Elephant in the Room' in Discussions About Limitation of Medical Treatment. [REVIEW] Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):151-154.
Julian Baggini (2005). What's It All About?: Philosophy and the Meaning of Life. Oxford University Press.
A. L. Herman (1991). Jivacide, Zombies and Jivanmuktas: The Meaning of Life in the Bhagavad Git. Asian Philosophy 1 (1):5 – 13.
Wayne Shelton (1998). A Broader Look at Medical Futility. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 19 (4):383-400.
Thaddeus Metz (forthcoming). Managerialism as Anti-Social: Some Implications of Ubuntu for Knowledge Production. In Michael Cross & Amasa Ndofirepi (eds.), Knowledge and Change in the African University: Challenges and Opportunities. Sense Publishers
Irving Singer (1996). The Creation of Value. MIT Press.
Added to index2010-10-24
Total downloads267 ( #9,828 of 2,144,969 )
Recent downloads (6 months)63 ( #6,308 of 2,144,969 )
How can I increase my downloads?