Meaningfulness: A Third Dimension of the Good Life

Foundations of Science 21 (2):253-269 (2016)
Authors
Susan Wolf
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
This paper argues that an adequate conception of a good life should recognize, in addition to happiness and morality, a third dimension of meaningfulness. It further proposes that we understand meaningfulness as involving both a subjective and an objective condition, suitably linked. Meaning arises when subjective attraction meets objective attractiveness. In other words one’s life is meaningful insofar as one is gripped or excited by things worthy of one’s love, and one is able to do something positive about it. The paper concludes with some speculations about how this conception of meaningfulness might help to explain the conditions under which social volunteering can be especially rewarding
Keywords Happiness  Meaningfulness  Objective attractiveness  Subjective attraction  The good life
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DOI 10.1007/s10699-014-9384-9
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2004 - Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Problems of the Self.Bernard A. O. Williams - 1973 - Cambridge University Press.
The Practice of Value - Reply.Joseph Raz - 2003 - In Jay Wallace (ed.), The Practice of Value. Oxford University Press.

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