Against Seizing the Day

Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 11:91-111 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

On a widely accepted view, what gives meaning to our lives is success in valuable ground projects. However, philosophers like Kieran Setiya have recently challenged the value of such orientation towards the future, and argued that meaningful living is instead a matter of engaging in atelic activities that are complete in themselves at each moment. This chapter argues that insofar as what is at issue is meaningfulness in its primary existential sense, strongly atelic activities do not suffice for meaning. Instead, finding one’s life meaningful is warranted both by sustainable success in valuable prospective (future-oriented) projects, and by success in reflexive projects that aim to promote or realize a practice-dependent value that can be realized at each moment, but never for good. The latter kind of activities are only weakly atelic, since their aim remains distinct from the activity, and individual actions gain significance from serving a long-term commitment. Thus, whether our ground projects are prospective or reflexive, what we do at each moment contributes to leading a meaningful life only when it’s connected in the right way to what we do at other moments.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Meaningfulness and Time.Antti Kauppinen - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):345-377.
Meaningful Lives and the Meaning of Life.Gerard M. Emershaw - 1999 - Dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park
The Midlife Crisis.Kieran Setiya - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
Downshifting and Meaning in Life.Neil Levy - 2005 - Ratio 18 (2):176–189.
Leading a Meaningful Life.Kayley Nancy Vernallis - 1993 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
Death and the Meaning of Life.Michael J. Sigrist - 2015 - Philosophical Papers 44 (1):83-102.
Liberalism and Meaningfulness.Jeffrey Church - 2019 - Social Theory and Practice 45 (2):205-224.
Intrinsic Value and a Meaningful Life.Robert Audi - 2005 - Philosophical Papers 34 (3):331-355.
Agreement and Sympathy: On Metz’s Meaning in Life.Sho Yamaguchi - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 5 (3): 66-89.
Intrinsic Value and Meaningful Life.Robert Audi - 2005 - Philosophical Papers 34 (3):331-355.
The Rationality of Suicide and the Meaningfulness of Life.Michael Cholbi - 2022 - In Iddo Landau (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Meaning in Life. Oxford University Press. pp. 445-460.
The Meaning of Life Sub Specie Aeternitatis.Iddo Landau - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):727 - 734.
Reflecting on the Meaning of Life.Nicole Note - 2009 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 16 (2):22-31.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-11-13

Downloads
467 (#21,643)

6 months
71 (#11,063)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Antti Kauppinen
University of Helsinki

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Achievement.Gwen Bradford - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
Meaning in Life and Why It Matters.Susan Wolf - 2010 - Princeton University Press.
Perfectionism.Thomas Hurka - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - Oxford University Press.

View all 21 references / Add more references