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  1. Childhood: Value and Duties.Anca Gheaus - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (12):e12793.
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  • Desirability Without Desire: Life Extension, Boredom and Spiritual Experience.Drew Chastain - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 90:167-191.
    In response to Bernard Williams’ suspicion that we would inevitably become bored with immortal life, John Martin Fischer has argued that we could continue to enjoy repeatable pleasures such as fine wine, beautiful music, and spiritual experiences. In more recent work on near-death experiences, Fischer has also explored the non-religious meaning of spiritual experiences in more depth. I join this deeper exploration of spiritual experience, and I also join Williams’ critics who question his view that character and desire are needed (...)
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  • Introduction: Death and Meaning.Michael Hauskeller - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 90:1-10.
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  • 'It Doesn’T Matter Because One Day It Will End'.Preston Greene - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (1):165-182.
    The inference that things do not matter because they will end is a source of despair for reflective people that features in literature, popular culture, and philosophy. Are there sound arguments in support of the inference? I first review three arguments that have been put forward in the existing philosophical literature and consider the objections that can be made against them. While the objections appear persuasive, these arguments do not exhaust the plausible justifications for the inference. Drawing on examples from (...)
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  • Digital Wellness and Persuasive Technologies.Laura Specker Sullivan & Peter Reiner - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (3):413-424.
    The development of personal technologies has recently shifted from devices that seek to capture user attention to those that aim to improve user well-being. Digital wellness technologies use the same attractive qualities of other persuasive apps to motivate users towards behaviors that are personally and socially valuable, such as exercise, wealth-management, and meaningful communication. While these aims are certainly an improvement over the market-driven motivations of earlier technologies, they retain their predecessors’ focus on influencing user behavior as a primary metric (...)
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  • To Be or Never to Have Been: Anti-Natalism and a Life Worth Living.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):711-729.
    David Benatar argues that being brought into existence is always a net harm and never a benefit. I disagree. I argue that if you bring someone into existence who lives a life worth living, then you have not all things considered wronged her. Lives are worth living if they are high in various objective goods and low in objective bads. These lives constitute a net benefit. In contrast, lives worth avoiding constitute a net harm. Lives worth avoiding are net high (...)
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  • The Story of a Life*: Connie S. Rosati.Connie S. Rosati - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):21-50.
    This essay explores the nature of narrative representations of individual lives and the connection between these narratives and personal good. It poses the challenge of determining how thinking of our lives in story form contributes distinctively to our good in a way not reducible to other value-conferring features of our lives. Because we can meaningfully talk about our lives going well for us at particular moments even if they fail to go well overall or over time, the essay maintains that (...)
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  • Technological Unemployment, Meaning in Life, Purpose of Business, and the Future of Stakeholders.Tae Wan Kim & Alan Scheller-Wolf - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 160 (2):319-337.
    We offer a precautionary account of why business managers should proactively rethink about what kinds of automation firms ought to implement, by exploring two challenges that automation will potentially pose. We engage the current debate concerning whether life without work opportunities will incur a meaning crisis, offering an argument in favor of the position that if technological unemployment occurs, the machine age may be a structurally limited condition for many without work opportunities to have or add meaning to their lives. (...)
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  • Two Visions of Welfare.Fred Feldman - 2019 - The Journal of Ethics 23 (2):99-118.
    In earlier work I defended Intrinsic Attitudinal Hedonism—a view about what makes for individual personal welfare. On this view, a person’s level of welfare is entirely determined by the amounts of intrinsic attitudinal pleasure and pain he or she takes in things. The view seems to run into trouble in cases involving individuals who take their pleasure in disgusting, immoral things; and in cases involving individuals who take their pleasure in things that really don’t actually happen; and in cases involving (...)
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  • Meaning in the Lives of Humans and Other Animals.Duncan Purves & Nicolas Delon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):317-338.
    This paper argues that contemporary philosophical literature on meaning in life has important implications for the debate about our obligations to non-human animals. If animal lives can be meaningful, then practices including factory farming and animal research might be morally worse than ethicists have thought. We argue for two theses about meaning in life: that the best account of meaningful lives must take intentional action to be necessary for meaning—an individual’s life has meaning if and only if the individual acts (...)
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  • In Search of `the Good Life' for Demented Elderly.Maartje Schermer - 2003 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 6 (1):35-44.
    It may seem paradoxical to speak of the ‘goodlife’ for demented elderly. Many people consider dementia to be a life-wrecking disease and nursing homes to be terrible places. Still, it is relevant to ask how we can make life as good as possible for demented nursing home residents. This paper explores what three standard philosophical accounts of well-being — subjective preference theory, objectivist theories, and hedonism — have to say about the good life for demented people. It is concluded that (...)
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  • Hybrid Theories.Christopher Woodard - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 161-174.
    This chapter surveys hybrid theories of well-being. It also discusses some criticisms, and suggests some new directions that philosophical discussion of hybrid theories might take.
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  • Conceptualising Meaningful Work as a Fundamental Human Need.Ruth Yeoman - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 125 (2):1-17.
    In liberal political theory, meaningful work is conceptualised as a preference in the market. Although this strategy avoids transgressing liberal neutrality, the subsequent constraint upon state intervention aimed at promoting the social and economic conditions for widespread meaningful work is normatively unsatisfactory. Instead, meaningful work can be understood to be a fundamental human need, which all persons require in order to satisfy their inescapable interests in freedom, autonomy, and dignity. To overcome the inadequate treatment of meaningful work by liberal political (...)
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  • Optimistic Naturalism: Scientific Advancement and the Meaning of Life.Dan Weijers - 2014 - Sophia 53 (1):1-18.
    Naturalist theories of the meaning of life are sometimes criticised for not setting the bar high enough for what counts as a meaningful life. Tolstoy’s version of this criticism is that Naturalist theories do not describe really meaningful lives because they do not require that we connect our finite lives with the infinite. Another criticism of Naturalist theories is that they cannot adequately resolve the Absurd—the vast difference between how meaningful our actions and lives appear from subjective and objective viewpoints. (...)
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  • Painful Art and the Limits of Well-Being.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Suffering Art Gladly: The Paradox of Negative Emotions in Art. Palgrave/ Macmillan.
    In this chapter I explore what painful art can tell us about the nature and importance of human welfare. My goal is not so much to defend a new solution to the paradox of tragedy, as it is to explore the implications of the kinds of solutions that I find attractive. Both nonhedonic compensatory theories and constitutive theories explain why people seek out painful art, but they have troublesome implications. On some narrow theories of well-being, they imply that painful art (...)
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  • The Power to Make Others Worship.Aaron Smuts - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (2):221 - 237.
    Can any being worthy of worship make others worship it? I think not. By way of an analogy to love, I argue that it is perfectly coherent to think that one could be made to worship. However, forcing someone to worship violates their autonomy, not because worship must be freely given, but because forced worship would be inauthentic—much like love earned through potions. For this reason, I argue that one cannot be made to worship properly; forced worship would be unfitting. (...)
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  • Can Life Be Meaningful Without Free Will?Drew Chastain - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (4):1069-1086.
    If we lack deep free agency, like that supposed by metaphysical libertarianism, should we view life as meaningless, pointless, or not worth living? Here I present a new argument in support of meaning-compatibilism, or the view that life can indeed be meaningful without our having deep free agency. I show that this argument secures meaning-compatibilism more effectively than an argument provided by Derk Pereboom. In the process, we learn that Susan Wolf’s hybrid theory of meaning in life is not equipped (...)
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  • “Would My Life Still Be Meaningful?”: Intersubjectivism and Changing Meaning in Life.Vincenzo Politi - 2019 - Human Affairs 29 (4):462-469.
    Susan Wolf maintains that the meaningfulness of a life arises when someone acts upon the subjective desire of doing something objectively valuable. This amounts to a hybrid view, which contains both subjectivist and objectivist elements. Wolf’s tentative definition of what is objectively valuable amounts to what, in this article, we define as ‘intersubjectivism’. As it will be argued, however, intersubjectivism poses a number of problems, which are exacerbated in contemporary society and which shed a new light on the problem of (...)
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  • Philosophy and Meaning in Life Vol.3.Masahiro Morioka - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy of Life.
    This book is a collection of all the papers and the essay published in the special issue “Philosophy and Meaning in Life Vol.3,” Journal of Philosophy of Life, Vol.11, No.1, 2021, pp.1-154. We held the Third International Conference on Philosophy and Meaning in Life online at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK, on July 21–23, 2020. This conference was co-hosted by the Birmingham Centre for Philosophy of Religion, and the Waseda Institute of Life and Death Studies. We accepted about 50 (...)
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  • Reconsidering Meaning in Life: A Philosophical Dialogue with Thaddeus Metz.Masahiro Morioka (ed.) - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life, Waseda University.
    An e-book devoted to 13 critical discussions of Thaddeus Metz's book "Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study", with a lengthy reply from the author. -/- Preface Masahiro Morioka i -/- Précis of Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study Thaddeus Metz ii-vi -/- Source and Bearer: Metz on the Pure Part-Life View of Meaning Hasko von Kriegstein 1-18 -/- Fundamentality and Extradimensional Final Value David Matheson 19-32 -/- Meaningful and More Meaningful: A Modest Measure Peter Baumann 33-49 -/- Is Meaning in (...)
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  • Persons and Value: A Thesis in Population Axiology.Simon Beard - unknown
    My thesis demonstrates that, despite a number of impossibility results, a satisfactory and coherent theory of population ethics is possible. It achieves this by exposing and undermining certain key assumptions that relate to the nature of welfare and personal identity. I analyse a range of arguments against the possibility of producing a satisfactory population axiology that have been proposed by Derek Parfit, Larry Temkin, Tyler Cowen and Gustaf Arrhenius. I conclude that these results pose a real and significant challenge. However, (...)
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  • Death, Deprivation and the Afterlife.Anna Brinkerhoff - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-16.
    Most people believe that death is bad for the one who dies. Much attention has been paid to the Epicurean puzzle about death that the rests on a tension between that belief and another—that death is the end of one’s existence. But there is nearby puzzle about death that philosophers have largely left untouched. This puzzle rests on a tension between the belief that death is bad for the one who dies and the belief that that death is not the (...)
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  • Meaning Without Fulfillment.Kirsten Egerstrom - 2018 - South African Journal of Philosophy 37 (2):193-206.
    Some philosophers argue that a necessary component of a meaningful life is positive affect. The implication of this type of view is that a meaningful life necessarily feels good. I respond primarily to Susan Wolf's version of this type of view; for Wolf, meaningful lives are necessarily fulfilling lives. In contrast to Wolf, I argue that people do sometimes find parts of their lives to be meaningful when the feeling of fulfillment is absent. I propose an alternative subjective condition that (...)
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  • Meaningfulness and Kinds of Normative Reasons.John Symons - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (1):459-471.
    Meaningfulness is the dimension of importance that exists for beings capable of adjudicating between competing kinds of normative reasons. The way an agent decides to rank competing values in terms of importance reflects that agent’s understanding of what counts as meaningful. We can imagine agents who do not engage in this kind of deliberation. Agents who fail to adjudicate between kinds of normative reasons can still act in ways that are prudentially valuable, aesthetically pleasing, and morally praiseworthy. While the actions (...)
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  • Ambitions.Glen Pettigrove - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (1):53 - 68.
    Ambition is a curiously neglected topic in ethics. It isn’t that philosophers have not discussed it. Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Harrington, Locke, Rousseau, Smith, Santayana and a number of others have discussed ambition. But it has seldom received more than a few paragraphs worth of analysis, in spite of the fact that ambition plays a central role in Western politics (one cannot be elected without it), and in spite of the fact that Machiavelli, Harrington, Locke and Rousseau each considered (...)
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  • Hedonism and the Good Life.Christine Vitrano - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (1):21-40.
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  • Against Welfare Subjectivism.Eden Lin - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):354-377.
    Subjectivism about welfare is the view that something is basically good for you if and only if, and to the extent that, you have the right kind of favorable attitude toward it under the right conditions. I make a presumptive case for the falsity of subjectivism by arguing against nearly every extant version of the view. My arguments share a common theme: theories of welfare should be tested for what they imply about newborn infants. Even if a theory is intended (...)
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  • Intended and Unintended Life.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2012 - Philosophical Forum 43 (4):395-403.
    Some people feel threatened by the thought that life might have arisen by chance. What is it about “chance” that some people find so threatening? If life originated by chance, this suggests that life was unintended and that it was not inevitable. It is ironic that people care about whether life in general was intended, but may not have ever wondered whether their own existence was intended by their parents. If it does not matter to us whether one's own existence (...)
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  • Eliminating ‘ Life Worth Living’.Fumagalli Roberto - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):769-792.
    This article argues for the elimination of the concept of life worth living from philosophical vocabulary on three complementary grounds. First, the basic components of this concept suffer from multiple ambiguities, which hamper attempts to ground informative evaluative and classificatory judgments about the worth of life. Second, the criteria proposed to track the extension of the concept of life worth living rest on unsupported axiological assumptions and fail to identify precise and plausible referents for this concept. And third, the concept (...)
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  • Five Tests for What Makes a Life Worth Living.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (4):1-21.
    I evaluate four historically precedented tests for what makes a life worth living: (1) The Suicide Test (Camus), (2) The Recurrence Test (Schopenhauer and Nietzsche), (3) The Extra Life Test (Cicero and Hume), and (4) The Preferring Not to Have Been Test (Job and Williams). I argue that all four fail and tentatively defend the heuristic value of a fifth, The Pre-Existence Test for what makes a life worth living: (5) A life worth living is one that a benevolent caretaker (...)
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  • Ending Life, Morality, and Meaning.Jukka Varelius - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):559-574.
    Opponents of voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide often maintain that the procedures ought not to be accepted because ending an innocent human life would both be morally wrong in itself and have unfortunate consequences. A gravely suffering patient can grant that ending his life would involve such harm but still insist that he would have reason to continue living only if there were something to him in his abstaining from ending his life. Though relatively rarely, the notion of meaning of (...)
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  • The Well- and Unwell-Being of a Child.Christina Schües & Christoph Rehmann-Sutter - 2013 - Topoi 32 (2):197-205.
    The concept of the ‘well-being of the child’ (like the ‘child’s welfare’ and ‘best interests of the child’) has remained underdetermined in legal and ethical texts on the needs and rights of children. As a hypothetical construct that draws attention to the child’s long-term welfare, the well-being of the child is a broader concept than autonomy and happiness. This paper clarifies some conceptual issues of the well-being of the child from a philosophical point of view. The main question is how (...)
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  • Pascal’s Wager and Deciding About the Life-Sustaining Treatment of Patients in Persistent Vegetative State.Jukka Varelius - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (2):277-285.
    An adaptation of Pascal’s Wager argument has been considered useful in deciding about the provision of life-sustaining treatment for patients in persistent vegetative state. In this article, I assess whether people making such decisions should resort to the application of Pascal’s idea. I argue that there is no sufficient reason to give it an important role in making the decisions.
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  • Educating for Autonomy: Liberalism and Autonomy in the Capabilities Approach.Luara Ferracioli & Rosa Terlazzo - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):443-455.
    Martha Nussbaum grounds her version of the capabilities approach in political liberalism. In this paper, we argue that the capabilities approach, insofar as it genuinely values the things that persons can actually do and be, must be grounded in a hybrid account of liberalism: in order to show respect for adults, its justification must be political; in order to show respect for children, however, its implementation must include a commitment to comprehensive autonomy, one that ensures that children develop the skills (...)
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  • God, the Meaning of Life, and a New Argument for Atheism.Jason Megill & Daniel Linford - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 79 (1):31-47.
    We raise various puzzles about the relationship between God and the meaning of life. These difficulties suggest that, even if we assume that God exists, and even if God’s existence would entail that our lives have meaning, God is not and could not be the source of the meaning of life. We conclude by discussing implications of our arguments: these claims can be used in a novel argument for atheism; these claims undermine an extant argument for God’s existence; and they (...)
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  • The No Self View and the Meaning of Life.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2019 - Philosophy East and West 69 (2):419-438.
    Several philosophers, both in Buddhist and Western philosophy, claim that the self does not exist. The no-self view may, at first glance, appear to be a reason to believe that life is meaningless. In the present article, I argue indirectly in favor of the no-self view by showing that it does not entail that life is meaningless. I then examine Buddhism and argue, further, that the no-self view may even be construed as partially grounding an account of the meaning of (...)
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  • Mental Evolution and the Universal Meaning of Life.Gregor Flock - manuscript
    Is a universal meaning of life (MoL) possible? In this paper I argue for an affirmative answer: Starting out from the MoL's initial definition as "the active and successful pursuit of the ultimate end in life (UEiL)" and another initial definition of the UEiL, I first introduce four UEiL and MoL categories. In the context of their discussion, I add the elements of non-physical relation and universal scope to the definitions of UEiL and MoL (sect. 2). After those more general (...)
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  • Value in Very Long Lives.Preston Greene - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (4):416-434.
    As things currently stand, our deaths are unavoidable and our lifespans short. It might be thought that these qualities leave room for improvement. According to a prominent line of argument in philosophy, however, this thought is mistaken. Against the idea that a longer life would be better, it is claimed that negative psychological states, such as boredom, would be unavoidable if our lives were significantly longer. Against the idea that a deathless life would be better, it is claimed that such (...)
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  • Permanent Value.Christopher Frugé - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Temporal nihilism is the view that our lives won’t matter after we die. According to the standard interpretation, this is because our lives won’t make a permanent difference. Many who consider the view thus reject it by denying that our lives need to have an eternal impact. However, in this paper, I develop a different formulation of temporal nihilism revolving around the persistence of personal value itself. According to this stronger version, we do not have personal value after death, so (...)
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  • Externalism, Internalism, and Meaningful Lives.Iddo Landau - 2021 - Ratio 34 (2):137-146.
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  • Recent Work on the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):781-814..
    A critical overview of mainly Anglo-American philosophical literature addressing the meaning of life up to 2002.
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  • God’s Role in a Meaningful Life: New Reflections From Tim Mawson.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (3):171-191.
    Characteristic of the contemporary field of life's meaning has been the combination of monism in method and naturalism in substance. That is, much of the field has sought to reduce enquiry into life's meaning to one question and to offer a single principle as an answer to it, with this principle typically focusing on ways of living in the physical world as best known by the scientific method. T. J. Mawson's new book, God and the Meanings of Life, provides fresh (...)
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  • Meaningfulness and Identities.Wai-Hung Wong - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (2):123-148.
    Three distinct but related questions can be asked about the meaningfulness of one's life. The first is 'What is the meaning of life?', which can be called 'the cosmic question about meaningfulness'; the second is 'What is a meaningful life?', which can be called 'the general question about meaningfulness'; and the third is 'What is the meaning of my life?', which can be called 'the personal question about meaningfulness'. I argue that in order to deal with all three questions we (...)
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  • The Worthwhileness of Meaningful Lives.David Matheson - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):313-324.
    The M → W thesis that a meaningful life must be a worthwhile life follows from an appealing approach to the axiology of life. Yet one of the most prominent voices in the recent philosophy of life literature, Thaddeus Metz, has raised multiple objections to that thesis. With a view to preserving the appeal of the axiological approach from which it follows, I here defend the M → W thesis from Metz’s objections. My defense yields some interesting insights about both (...)
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  • آثار جدید درباره معناى زندگى (Persian: 'Recent Work on the Meaning of Life’).Thaddeus Metz - 2003 - Naqd Va Nazar: Quarterly Journal of Philosophy and Theology 8 (29-30):266-313.
    Persian translation by Mohsen Javadi of 'Recent Work on the Meaning of Life' (first published in Ethics 2002).
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  • What Is the Question to Which Anti-Natalism Is the Answer?Nicholas Smyth - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):1-17.
    The ethics of biological procreation has received a great deal of attention in recent years. Yet, as I show in this paper, much of what has come to be called procreative ethics is conducted in a strangely abstract, impersonal mode, one which stands little chance of speaking to the practical perspectives of any prospective parent. In short, the field appears to be flirting with a strange sort of practical irrelevance, wherein its verdicts are answers to questions that no-one is asking. (...)
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  • Die Eigenständigkeit des sinnvollen Lebens innerhalb des guten Lebens.Sebastian Muders - 2018 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 5 (2):79-118.
    Der Beitrag untersucht zwei Vorschläge von Susan Wolf und Thaddeus Metz zur Eigenständigkeit des sinnvollen Lebens gegenüber dem Leben in Wohlergehen sowie dem moralischen Leben und entwickelt diese weiter. Während beide Vorschläge sich auf einen Ansatzpunkt zur Entwicklung ihrer Abgrenzungskriterien beschränken – Arten von Gütern oder Arten motivierender Gründe –, basiert die hier verfochtene Eigenständigkeitsthese auf der Idee, dass eine Kombination beider erforderlich ist, um eine zufriedenstellende Unterscheidung des sinnvollen Lebens vom Leben in Wohlergehen und dem moralisch geführten Leben zu (...)
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  • Neutrality, Partiality, and Meaning in Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - De Ethica 4 (3):7-25.
    Discussion of whether values and norms are neutral or not has mainly appeared in works on the nature of prudential rationality and morality. Little systematic has yet appeared in the up and coming field of the meaning of life. What are the respects in which the value of meaningfulness is neutral or, in contrast, partial, relational, or ‘biased’? In this article, I focus strictly on answering this question. First, I aim to identify the salient, and perhaps exhaustive, respects in which (...)
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  • Utilitarianism and the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2003 - Utilitas 15 (1):50-70.
    This article addresses the utilitarian theory of life's meaning according to which a person's existence is significant just in so far as she makes those in the world better off. One aim is to explore the extent to which the utilitarian theory has counter-intuitive implications about which lives count as meaningful. A second aim is to develop a new, broadly Kantian theory of what makes a life meaningful, a theory that retains much of what makes the utilitarian view attractive, while (...)
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  • Meaningfulness (Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being).Antti Kauppinen - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge.
    This paper is an overview of contemporary theories of meaning in life and its relation to well-being.
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