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PHIL 155 Notes

PHIL 155 Notes - PHIL155Notes 1 Lecture1 Question:...

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PHIL 155 Notes1 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 - one’s 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 can’t 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
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PHIL 155 Notes2 - 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 can’t know it, there must be one/we need it - it opens the possibility that what we need is something that doesn’t 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, & 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: - Hope - Meaning in Death Freedom & Responsibility-
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