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Significant Life : Human Meaning in a Silent Universe

By: May, Todd.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2015Description: 1 online resource (210 p.).ISBN: 9780226235707.Subject(s): Conduct of life | Life | Meaning (Philosophy) | Philosophical anthropologyGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Significant Life : Human Meaning in a Silent UniverseDDC classification: 128 LOC classification: BD450 -- .M335 2015ebOnline resources: Click here to view this ebook.
""Contents""; ""Introduction""; ""1. A Meaningful Life?""; ""2. Is Happiness Enough?""; ""3. Narrative Values""; ""4. Meaningful Lives, Good Lives, Beautiful Lives""; ""5. Justifying Ourselves to Ourselves""; ""Conclusion: Not Everything, But Something""; ""Acknowledgments""; ""Notes""; ""Suggestions for Further Reading""; ""Index""
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
BD450 -- .M335 2015eb (Browse shelf) Available EBL3038754
Browsing UT Tyler Online Shelves , Shelving location: Online Close shelf browser
BD450 -- .B74 2011 Break-Out from the Crystal Palace : BD450 -- .H255 1971 Freedom of Mind and Other Essays. BD450 -- .L397 2016 Contributions to Law, Philosophy and Ecology : BD450 -- .M335 2015eb Significant Life : BD450 -- .M863 1988eb Images of Human Nature : BD450 -- .M2528 2015 The Essence of the Self : BD450 -- .R4683 2000 Human Nature After Darwin :

""Contents""; ""Introduction""; ""1. A Meaningful Life?""; ""2. Is Happiness Enough?""; ""3. Narrative Values""; ""4. Meaningful Lives, Good Lives, Beautiful Lives""; ""5. Justifying Ourselves to Ourselves""; ""Conclusion: Not Everything, But Something""; ""Acknowledgments""; ""Notes""; ""Suggestions for Further Reading""; ""Index""

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Library Journal Review

In this short, yet thought-provoking work, May (Class of 1941 Memorial Professor of the Humanities, Clemson Univ.; Death) seeks to examine what it means to live a meaningful life. He begins with looking at the French philosopher Albert Camus's conclusion that humans live with the absurd notion that we need to find meaning in a universe that is indifferent to our need. May explains that his book might not give us the concrete answers Camus was looking for, but that he intends to provide an objective standard that we can use to determine whether a human life has meaning. He uses the writings of philosophers and authors, such as Aristotle and William Faulkner, to show that it is possible to use narrative values and evaluate someone's entire life by matching certain kinds of activities, goals, and actions that support certain narrative values that we would judge as meaningful. VERDICT May's creative and thoughtful work will appeal to those with an interest in philosophy and also those who are looking for an alternative to religious works and how-to manuals on finding meaning in our lives.-Scott Duimstra, Capital Area Dist. Lib., Lansing, MI (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


May (humanities, Clemson Univ.) proposes an original approach to a perennial question: what is the meaning of life? Traditional answers assume that the search for meaning is the attempt to discover an objective "what" that confirms the significance of human life. According to May, this assumption is why the demand for meaning has not been satisfied. Hence, he reformulates the question: what ways of living create a meaningful life? May develops this reformulation in the first two chapters. In chapter 1, he examines accounts of meaningfulness offered by Camus, Aristotle, and theology. After articulating the failures of these accounts, May investigates the relationship between happiness and meaning and concludes that traditional accounts of happiness do not satisfy the demand for meaning. In chapter 3, he diagnoses the problematic nature of traditional answers, reformulates the question, and proposes an answer: a life lived meaningfully is lived with immersed engagement and exemplifies narrative values. Chapter 4 explores the relationship between meaningful lives and lives exemplifying moral or aesthetic values. The book concludes with a discussion of how May's understanding of a meaningful life meets the objective standards of significance that the human demand for meaning requires. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above. --Amanda Printz Whooley, Oglethorpe University

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