Ineffability, signification and the meaning of life

Philosophical Papers 39 (2):239-255 (2010)
There is an apparent tension between two familiar platitudes about the meaning of life: (i) that 'meaning' in this context means 'value', and (ii) that such meaning might be ineffable. I suggest a way of trying to bring these two claims together by focusing on an ideal of a meaningful life that fuses both the axiological and semantic senses of 'significant'. This in turn allows for the possibility that the full significance of a life might be ineffable not because its axiological significance is ineffable, but because its semantic significance is ineffable in virtue of the signification relation itself being unsignifiable. I then explore to what degree this claim about signification can be adequately defended
Keywords The Meaning of Life  Ineffability
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DOI 10.1080/05568641.2010.503462
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