Article | De Ethica. A Journal of Philosophical, Theological and Applied Ethics | What Good is Meaning in Life?
De Ethica
A Journal of
Philosophical,
Theological and
Applied Ethics

Title:
What Good is Meaning in Life?
Author:
Christopher Woodard: University of Nottingham, UK
DOI:
10.3384/de-ethica.2001-8819.17467
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Abstract:
Most philosophers writing on meaning in life agree that it is a distinct kind of final value. This consensus view has two components: the ‘final value claim’ that meaning in life is a kind of final value, and the ‘distinctness claim’ that it is distinct from all other kinds of final value. This paper discusses some difficulties in vindicating both claims at once. One way to underscore the distinctness of meaning, for example, is to retain a feature of our pre-theoretical concept of meaning in life, according to which the least possible quantity of meaning is meaninglessness. Unfortunately, this makes it harder to defend the claim that meaning is a kind of final value. On the other hand, revising the concept to allow for negative meaning renders meaning closer in structure to other kinds of final value, but also makes it harder to defend the distinctness claim. In light of these difficulties, the paper explores the prospects of a theory of meaning in life which departs from the consensus view by rejecting the final value claim. On such a view, the value of meaning in life is entirely instrumental.
Keywords:
Meaning in life; final value; instrumental value; negative meaning; meaninglessness
Year:
2017
Volume:
4
Issue:
3
Pages:
67-79
No. of pages:
13
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2017-12-04

Volume 4, Issue: 3, Article 7, 2017

Author:
Christopher Woodard
Title:
What Good is Meaning in Life?:
DOI:
10.3384/de-ethica.2001-8819.17467
References:
No references available

Volume 4, Issue: 3, Article 7, 2017

Author:
Christopher Woodard
Title:
What Good is Meaning in Life?:
DOI:
10.3384/de-ethica.2001-8819.17467
Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
Citations:
No citations available at the moment