Meaning in Life

In Benjamin Matheson & Yujin Nagasawa (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook on the Afterlife. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 353-370 (2017)

Thaddeus Metz
University of Johannesburg
This chapter critically explores contemporary philosophical understandings of whether meaning in life might depend on the presence or absence of an afterlife. After distinguishing various kinds of afterlife, it focuses most on the potential relevance of an eternal one, and considers at length the extreme but common views amongst philosophers that an eternal afterlife would be either necessary for a meaningful life or, conversely, sufficient for a meaningless one. It concludes by considering the plausibility of a more moderate view, that an eternal afterlife could substantially enhance the meaning of our lives, even if they would not be meaningless without it. The aim of the chapter is not to defend some overall thesis about these positions, but rather to acquaint the reader with recent English-speaking philosophical discussions of them.
Keywords Afterlife  Immortality  Meaning of Life
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Camus’ Feeling of the Absurd.Thomas Pölzler - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (4):477-490.
Is Philosophy All About the Meaning of Life?James Tartaglia - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (2):283-303.

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