Friday, October 15, 2010

The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction by Terry Eagleton

A useful and concise work that, like much good philosophy, forces the reader to consider what they mean by certain words and phrases. Is “What is the Meaning of Life6” a valid question or is it actually incoherent and only seems to be valid due to a quirk of our language? I agree with pursuing clarity and precision in the presentation of words, thoughts and ideas, but I understand that others might see such examinations within this book as annoying or boring (even if they admit the importance of language). But, if we do not engage in such considerations, what shall we do when someone asks, “Can people sacrifice their happiness to their happiness?”
Eagleton certainly drops a lot of names and quotes many philosophical and historical figures, which it just part of the tradition even though it can sometimes disrupt how I sometimes like things to flow.
As for what the meaning of life might be, I do think it is a fallacious framing of an issue. It would be far better to ask something like, “How can I make my life more meaningful?” Fortunately or not, only you can answer that, but reading more and doing some experiential and introspective exploring will be of great assistance.


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