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The Meaning of Life

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  94 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Many writers in various fields--philosophy, religion, literature, and psychology--believe that the question of the meaning of life is one of the most significant problems that an individual faces. In The Meaning of Life, Second Edition, E.D. Klemke collects some of the best writings on this topic, primarily works by philosophers but also selections from literary figures an ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 9th 1999 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1981)
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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Unless you are one of those extremely lucky individuals , like Hugh Hefner, who could afford to amuse himself daily with distracting pleasures every single day of his life--like the ins and outs, ins and outs of this Mexican writer Daniel Sada ("Almost Never") but with a limitless plenitude of variety--you'll be hit at one point or another by what Leo Tolstoy suffered at age fifty: the thing he called an "arrest of life," the point where he looked back at all he had accomplished, what he was cur ...more
Mehwish Mughal
Aug 12, 2014 Mehwish Mughal rated it it was amazing
This book has been a journey for me - A remarkable one!
Prior to reading this book, I was naively searching for answers to the existential questions. Yes, I am claiming that I have put these questions to rest now - for good!
"Meaning of life" is a universal question but the answer to it is personal. There is no right or wrong way of leading one's life, it all comes down to what we want out of it. The essays in the book took me through the process of coming to this conclusion. Such a conclusion, i
Oct 15, 2009 H added it
Shelves: philosophy
A bit of a silly book, not b/c of its proposed subject matter but b/c each of the essays in all three sections (religious answer, atheistic answer, and questioning the question) is too brief to fully construct a significant argument. Camus' essay is not his best, nor is Tolstoy's. For such a fragmented approach as this, the best essay here is probably Bertrand Russell's one-page epilogue, which seems to avoid the larger philosophical question anyhow.
Nov 16, 2014 Avalon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Since this book was for class and we only read bits of it, I didn't actually finish the book but I finished more than I wanted. The people who wrote about life being meaningless really did have a meaningless life because they spent all their time trying to solve a puzzle that didn't need solving. The people who wrote about what life's meaning is spent more then enough time on their papers and it could have been better spent. The book was uninteresting and repetitive of information that did not n ...more
Feb 08, 2015 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: existentialism
Some great essays but nonetheless a disappointing anthology. Many great anthologies--those by Louis Pojman, for instance--provide a precis before each essay which helps us to understand those essays within larger traditions. None of that here, just the essays themselves.
Juju Fardos
Sep 15, 2010 Juju Fardos is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Schopenhauer is such a pessimistic author, yet his pessimism made me strike the light and emphasis on the good that is found in this world... in a weird way it emphasized how much i love my life and how much i should appreciate it... it made me see the smaller things in life in a more magnified and bigger picture...
Tayler K
Dec 05, 2015 Tayler K rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school, textbooks
My Confession, Leo Tolstoy
On the Sufferings of the World, Arthur Schopenhauer
A Free Man's Worship, Bertrand Russell
The Meaning of Life, Kurt Baier
The Claims of Philosophy, A.J. Ayer
The Meanings of the Questions of Life, John Wisdom
Meaning in Life, Susan Wolf
Meaningless Lives?, Steven M. Cahn
Daniel Walsh
Oct 23, 2012 Daniel Walsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good introductory articles provide insight into fascinating minds. I urge everyone to read this book.
Oliver Eldridge
Aug 29, 2016 Oliver Eldridge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful introductory book to the vast amount of literature that's been written on this subject.
Jan 22, 2015 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is proof that a compelling philosophical argument can utterly fail at filling anyone's actual sails. Interesting for intellectual reasons. But the essays are mostly dated, as well. Nah.
Moses Operandi
Mar 19, 2014 Moses Operandi rated it liked it
There are some great essays in here, notably Thomas Nagel's "The Absurd." Other essays were much less interesting.
Nov 09, 2014 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Robert by: Lud Schlecht
I read this as part of my undergraduate independent study. Klemke compiled a good collection of essays to read. It seems to me I read some of Klemke's writings for this study too.
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