Sorites (14):70-84 (2002)
AbstractSome pessimists claim that all of our efforts are futile. Our lives, they claim, are no different from the mythical Sisyphus. Sisyphus would push a large stone to the top of a mountain, only to have the stone roll down the mountain. Despite his repeated efforts, Sisyphus accomplished nothing. As individuals, we may expend great effort in our lives, but each of us will die and humanity will eventually go extinct. Does this make our efforts futile? An effort is futile when there is a repeated failure to bring about one’s envisioned goal. Therefore, whether an effort is futile will depend on the nature of one’s goals. If one adopts unrealizable goals, such as the goal to leave an everlasting trace of one’s existence, then one’s efforts will be futile. However, if one adopts goals that are challenging, but physically possible, then one may experience accomplishment and fulfillment, instead of futility. Even if some of our efforts are futile, one’s life can still be worth living. There is more to life than just having and achieving goals.
Similar books and articles
Human extinction and the value of our efforts.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2004 - Philosophical Forum 35 (3):371–391.
The physician's authority to withhold futile treatment.Glenn G. Griener - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (2):207-224.
Death, Futility, and the Proleptic Power of Narrative Ending.Joshua Seachris - 2011 - Religious Studies 47 (2):141-163.
Defining Medical Futility and Improving Medical Care.Lawrence J. Schneiderman - 2011 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):123-131.
The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
Ineffability, signification and the meaning of life.Roy W. Perrett - 2010 - Philosophical Papers 39 (2):239-255.
The Futility of Futility: Death Causation is the 'Elephant in the Room' in Discussions about Limitation of Medical Treatment. [REVIEW]Michael A. Ashby - 2011 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):151-154.
What's It All About?:Philosophy and the Meaning of Life: Philosophy and the Meaning of Life.Julian Baggini - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Jivacide, zombies and jivanmuktas: The meaning of life in the bhagavad git.A. L. Herman - 1991 - Asian Philosophy 1 (1):5 – 13.
A broader look at medical futility.Wayne Shelton - 1998 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 19 (4):383-400.
Managerialism as Anti-Social: Some Implications of Ubuntu for Knowledge Production.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - In Michael Cross & Amasa Ndofirepi (eds.), Knowledge and Change in African Universities, Volume 2. Sense Publishers. pp. 139-154.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
The Meaning of Life (Second Revised Edition).Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Recent Work on the Meaning of Life and Philosophy of Religion.T. J. Mawson - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1138-1146.
Painful Art and the Limits of Well-Being.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Suffering Art Gladly: The Paradox of Negative Emotions in Art. Palgrave/ Macmillan.