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4 - Acquiring Meaning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2020

Clifford Williams
Affiliation:
Trinity International University, Illinois
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Summary

“Chapter 4 describes four ways philosophers have thought that one could acquire meaning - by achieving goals, being creative, having certain virtues and emotions, and giving and receiving love. One aim of the chapter is to show that each of these ways of acquiring meaning is made richer when accompanied by relevant emotions. Another aim is to show that all four ways of acquiring meaning are legitimate and that a believer in a divine creator can adopt all four. This second aim is relatively uncontroversial, though it is rarely stated. The first way of acquiring meaning - achieving goals - is defended against Arthur Schopenhauer’s critiques of goal-aimed activities. The validity of Kieran Setiya’s use of non-goal aimed activities (“atelic” activities) to respond to Schopenhauer’s critiques is also discussed. The chapter ends with seven observations about meaning after having looked briefly at conceptions of meaning that do not fit well into any of the four ways of acquiring meaning described in the chapter.”

Type
Chapter
Information
Religion and the Meaning of Life
An Existential Approach
, pp. 56 - 78
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Acquiring Meaning
  • Clifford Williams, Trinity International University, Illinois
  • Book: Religion and the Meaning of Life
  • Online publication: 23 March 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108377317.005
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  • Acquiring Meaning
  • Clifford Williams, Trinity International University, Illinois
  • Book: Religion and the Meaning of Life
  • Online publication: 23 March 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108377317.005
Available formats
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To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Acquiring Meaning
  • Clifford Williams, Trinity International University, Illinois
  • Book: Religion and the Meaning of Life
  • Online publication: 23 March 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108377317.005
Available formats
×