Meaning in the Pursuit of Pleasure

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (3):552-566 (2022)
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Here I speak in favor of the view that life's meaning can be found in the pursuit of pleasure. I first present an argument for this view that is grounded in a traditional concept of meaning. To help ease remaining concerns about accepting it, I then draw attention to four things the view does not imply: (1) that we have a reason to take hedonistic theories of meaning seriously; (2) that meaning can be found in the deeply immoral, the deeply ignorant, or the deeply repulsive pursuit of pleasure; (3) that there is a significantly easier route to meaning than the pursuit of morality, the pursuit of knowledge, or the pursuit of art; and (4) that meaning can be found in pursuits that involve only baser aspects of human nature.



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David Matheson
Carleton University

Citations of this work

Meaning and beauty.Lucas Scripter - 2022 - Ratio 36 (1):51-63.

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References found in this work

Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Mind 93 (371):450-455.
Meaning in Life and Why It Matters (Markus Rüther).Susan Wolf - 2011 - Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 64 (3):308.
Meaningfulness and Time.Antti Kauppinen - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):345-377.
Happiness and Meaning: Two Aspects of the Good Life.Susan Wolf - 1997 - Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1):207.
On the Meaning of Life.John Cottingham - 2002 - New York: Routledge.

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