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Unformatted text preview: PHIL 155 Notes 1 Lecture 1 - Question: What is the meaning of life? Also consider: What is the answer to the ultimate question?- it is important to get clear on the question, before seeking answers.- The meaning of life presupposes there is just one meaning- human existence- ones own experiences (what are we conscious of?)-meaning or explanation of life purpose - can be external or internal- internal- descriptive - the purpose we actually aim at- normative - the purpose we ought to have / that is proper to us- the meaning of life? (the human good) why? - has causal or purpose context explanation Viktor Frankl - psycho-therapist - started 3rd school of Vinesse psycho-therapy - Logotherapy - logos - meaning or therapy through meaning in life - works to help people out of despair by helping them to find meaning. Theory of human nature: primary motivational drive - He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW. humans have a need for meaning in order to find life worth living possible that we have a greater need for meaning for suffering? Frankl suggests that without meaning the choice is suffering or boredom he uses term Existential vacuum - finding no meaning in life Objection: Do we only need a will to meaning if one is suffering? People leading or- dinary lives may not require this. His response: Three sources of meaning 1. without meaning you suffer boredom (no matter your circumstances) 2. existential Vacuum - life in which you cant find meaning 3. Logotherapy- assists people with finding meaning in life General Points he makes about the meaning of life:- no such thing as the general meaning of life - each life has a different meaning, each life has different meaning at different times- (Controversial Claim he makes) Life always has some meaning. Every life, every situation has meaning even in the worse circumstances, there is still meaning.- conditions in concentration camp characterized by two things: suffering and struggle for survival PHIL 155 Notes 2- His argument:- Premise 1: If suffering has no meaning, then no life has meaning.- Premise 2: Some life has meaning...- Premise 3: Therefore, suffering has meaning.- Some consider this wishful thinking...- (Controversial thought) there is only ever one right answer.- he feels it is something which we have to discover, not invent- Assumes a religious faith- He talks about a super-meaning: we cant know it, there must be one/we need it- it opens the possibility that what we need is something that doesnt exist. -suffering can be endured or embraced, if we can find meaning in it: 1. a future worth enduring it for 2. a way of making use of suffering 3. in the attitude you takes towards suffering and death-through dignity, morality, &amp; self-control-Significance of Death-this is ambiguous-threat of death undermines meaningfulness-but death is an important part of realizing meaning (gives perspective on your life)- 2 Solutions to threat of death or provisional existence:...
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- Summer '08