Aristotle on the Meaning of Life

In Stephen Leach & James Tartaglia (eds.), The Meaning of Life and the Great Philosophers. London: Routledge. pp. 56-64 (2018)
Authors
Monte Johnson
University of California, San Diego
Abstract
Aristotle is the first philosopher on record to subject the meaning of life to systematic philosophical examination: he approaches the issue from logical, psychological, biological, and anthropological perspectives in some of the central passages in the Corpus Aristotelicum and, it turns out, in some fragments from his (lost) early popular work the Protrepticus (Exhortation to Philosophy). From an Aristotelian perspective, in asking about life’s “meaning”, we may be asking either a theoretical question about the definition of the term life (and this either generically or with specific reference to human life), or a practical question about the final end or purpose of life (or human life). Aristotle carefully considered both questions, and in his view answering the theoretical question is the key to answering the practical question. In brief, his theoretical view is that humans are distinguished from all other living things, and thus defined by their ability to use reason; thus his practical view is that the end or purpose of human existence is intellectual activity, especially doing philosophy.
Keywords Aristotle  Meaning  Life
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Meaning of Life in Mulla Sadra.Qasim Purhassan & Fa'ezeh 'Abedkuhi - 2012 - Kheradnameh Sadra Quarterly 68.
Education and Life's Meaning.Anders Schinkel, Doret J. de Ruyter & Aharon Aviram - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 50 (3):398-418.
Education and Life's Meaning.Anders Schinkel, Doret J. Ruyter & Aharon Aviram - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 50 (2):n/a-n/a.
Is Philosophy All About the Meaning of Life?James Tartaglia - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (2):283-303.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-06-12

Total downloads
49 ( #127,994 of 2,275,220 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
49 ( #7,345 of 2,275,220 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature