In the harsh reality especially of the present there

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Unformatted text preview: The meaning of life consists of play. The more one’s life includes play, the more it has a meaning; the less it includes play (and focuses on work), the less it has a meaning. This straightforward “play theory” of the meaning of life, for all its elegant simplicity, inspires an immediate objection: The responsibility objection: In the real world, we must engage in work (e.g., to meet the needs of ourselves and others, to live up to our moral duties, etc.) most of the time to be responsible. On this play theory, leading a life with meaning would amount to shirking our responsibility by avoiding such work. Here's Schlick's way of putting the objection: But doesn’t this notion lead us into mere dreams, does it not loosen every tie with reality, and have we not lost beneath our feet the solid earth of daily life, on which we have ultimately to stay planted, since the question of life is by nature an everyday question? In the harsh reality, especially of the present, there seems no room for such dreams; for our age, for the peoples of a war- racked globe, no other solution seems possible save the word “work,” and it appears irresponsible to speak ill of it. (65) Schlick’s reply: There needn’t be a conflict between play and responsibility. Although some types of play may be irresponsible, many aren’t: many types of play actually turn out to meet the needs of ourselves and others, to live up to our moral duties, etc. This is because many types of...
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