Depending on whom one asks, the question, “What is the meaning of life?
” is either the most profound question of human existence or else nothing more than a nonsensical request built on conceptual confusion, much like, “What does the color red taste like? ” Ask a non-philosopher, “What do philosophers discuss?
Much of this work focuses on developing and defending theories of meaning life) via conceptual analyses of the necessary and sufficient conditions for meaningful life.
A smaller, though no less important, subset of work in this growing field focuses on why we even use “meaning” in the first place to voice our questions and concerns about central facets of the human condition.
Deep Thought explained that this answer was incomprehensible because the beings who designed it, though super-intelligent, did not really know what they were asking in the first place.
Appearance Vs Reality Essay - The Meaning Of Life Essay
Asking for life’s meaning might be like this, in which case 42 is as good of an answer as any other.After briefly surveying theories of meaning The human desire for meaning finds vivid expression in the stories we tell, diaries we keep, and in our deepest hopes and fears.According to twentieth century Freudian psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim, “our greatest need and most difficult achievement is to find meaning in our lives” (Bettelheim 1978: 3).We do more than simply respond to streams of stimuli.We step back and question who we are and what we do.Some analytic philosophers in the twentieth century, in the wake of logical positivism, shared Deep Thought’s suspicion.They were particularly weary of the traditional formulation— Meaning, it was thought, belongs in the linguistic realm.Relatively speaking, not too long ago many analytic philosophers were suspicious that the question of life’s meaning was incoherent.Such views found expression in popular culture too, for example, in Douglas Adams’ widely read book .Words, sentences, and other linguistic constructions are the proper bearers of meaning, not objects, events, or states of affairs, and certainly not itself.Some philosophers thought that in asking for life’s meaning, we use an ill-chosen expression to voice something real, perhaps an emotional response of awe or wonder at the staggering fact that anything exists at all.