HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Meaning in Life and Why It Matters (The…
Loading...

Meaning in Life and Why It Matters (The University Center for Human Values… (edition 2012)

by Susan Wolf (Author), Stephen Macedo (Introduction), John Koethe (Commentary), Robert M. Adams (Commentary), Nomy Arpaly (Commentary)1 more, Jonathan Haidt (Commentary)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
781304,004 (3.1)1
Most people, including philosophers, tend to classify human motives as falling into one of two categories: the egoistic or the altruistic, the self-interested or the moral. According to Susan Wolf, however, much of what motivates us does not comfortably fit into this scheme. Often we act neither for our own sake nor out of duty or an impersonal concern for the world. Rather, we act out of love for objects that we rightly perceive as worthy of love--and it is these actions that give meaning to our lives. Wolf makes a compelling case that, along with happiness and morality, this kind of meaningfulness constitutes a distinctive dimension of a good life. Written in a lively and engaging style, and full of provocative examples, Meaning in Life and Why It Matters is a profound and original reflection on a subject of permanent human concern.… (more)
Member:howison
Title:Meaning in Life and Why It Matters (The University Center for Human Values Series, 35)
Authors:Susan Wolf (Author)
Other authors:Stephen Macedo (Introduction), John Koethe (Commentary), Robert M. Adams (Commentary), Nomy Arpaly (Commentary), Jonathan Haidt (Commentary)
Info:Princeton University Press (2012), Edition: 58908th, 162 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

Meaning in Life and Why It Matters by Susan Wolf

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 1 mention

This book presents an argument for the importance of meaning in our lives. That is meaning in the sense that we act out of love for objects that we value. In valuing these objects we identify them as worthy of our love and therefore our attention and concern. This is posed as an alternative to theories that advocate the primacy of egoism or altruism as the motivating force in such choices. I encountered this book while reading Jonathan Haidt's discussion of the moral principles of different people in his interesting book The Righteous Mind. Susan Wolf has succeeded in reflecting on the nature of meaning in life in a way that I found much more satisfying.

Susan Wolf discusses a variety of views about the source of meaning in life. One popular one is the argument that fulfillment from the pursuit of one's passion provides meaning for your life. The author comments that "the view is inadequate . . . If , as the Fulfillment View suggests, the only thing that matters is the subjective quality of one's life, then it shouldn't matter, in our assessments of possible lives, which activities give rise to that quality." (pp 15-16)
This view is rejected as too subjective in that it allows for a multiplicity of questionable paths through life and in doing so does not ensure that one's desires for his life are met in spite of the pursuit of a particular passion.

After discussing other views and returning to the argument for fulfillment through attention to that which one loves or values the author concludes with an extended defense of the need for meaningfulness. Most importantly this requires the identification of "objective values". The book concludes with four commentaries on Wolf's thesis and a response to these commentaries from the author. The result is a thought-provoking and engaging presentation of the nature of and importance for meaningfulness in one's life. ( )
  jwhenderson | Aug 6, 2017 |
Meaning in Life and Why It Matters by Susan Wolf was first published in 2012. The author takes an academic approach on the subject which at times can become quite a bit tedious in nature. However, with that said, the approach weeds out many more simplistic answers to the question "What is the meaning of life?", e.g. happiness, whatever you want it to be, etc. That said, Susan makes a number of great arguments throughout the book. Read more in our full review.

In short, if you are looking for an academic book on the subject, the meaning of life, this will be a good, but tedious read.
added by endev42 | editendev42 (Apr 30, 2017)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Wolfprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adams, Robert M.Commentarysecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arpaly, NomyCommentarysecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haidt, JonathanCommentarysecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Koethe, JohnCommentarysecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Macedo, StephenIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Most people, including philosophers, tend to classify human motives as falling into one of two categories: the egoistic or the altruistic, the self-interested or the moral. According to Susan Wolf, however, much of what motivates us does not comfortably fit into this scheme. Often we act neither for our own sake nor out of duty or an impersonal concern for the world. Rather, we act out of love for objects that we rightly perceive as worthy of love--and it is these actions that give meaning to our lives. Wolf makes a compelling case that, along with happiness and morality, this kind of meaningfulness constitutes a distinctive dimension of a good life. Written in a lively and engaging style, and full of provocative examples, Meaning in Life and Why It Matters is a profound and original reflection on a subject of permanent human concern.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.1)
0.5 1
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 1
3.5
4 3
4.5
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 180,264,666 books! | Top bar: Always visible