Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions (3rd Revised edition)

Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions (3rd Revised edition)

By: Samantha Vice (author), Susan Wolf (author), David Benatar (editor)Paperback

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Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better to be immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Since Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions first appeared, David Benatar's distinctive anthology designed to introduce students to the key existential questions of philosophy has won a devoted following among users in a variety of upper-level and even introductory courses. While many philosophers in the "continental tradition"-those known as "existentialists"-have engaged these issues at length and often with great popular appeal, English-speaking philosophers have had relatively little to say on these important questions. Yet, the methodology they bring to philosophical questions can, and occasionally has, been applied usefully to "existential" questions. This volume draws together a representative sample of primarily English-speaking philosophers' reflections on life's big questions, divided into six sections, covering (1) the meaning of life, (2) creating people, (3) death, (4) suicide, (5) immortality, and (6) optimism and pessimism. These key readings are supplemented with helpful introductions, study questions, and suggestions for further reading, making the material accessible and interesting for students. In short, the book provides a singular introduction to the way that philosophy has dealt with the big questions of life that we are all tempted to ask.

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About Author

David Benatar is professor of philosophy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.


PREFACE INTRODUCTION Chapter 1 THE MEANING OF LIFE Richard Taylor, The Meaning of Life Thomas Nagel, The Absurd Richard Hare, 'Nothing Matters' W.D. Joske, Philosophy and the Meaning of Life Robert Nozick, Philosophy and the Meaning of Life David Schmidtz, The Meanings of Life Susan Wolf, The Meanings of Lives Chapter 2 CREATING PEOPLE Derek Parfit, Whether Causing Someone to Exist Can Benefit This Person John Leslie, Why Not Let Life Become Extinct? James Lenman, On Becoming Extinct David Benatar, Why it is Better Never to Come into Existence Chapter 3 DEATH Stephen E. Rosenbaum, How to be Dead and Not Care: A Defense of Epicurus George Pitcher, The Misfortunes of the Dead Steven Luper, Annihilation Fred Feldman, Some Puzzles About the Evil of Death Frederick Kaufman, Pre-Vital and Post-Mortem Non-Existence David B. Suits, Why Death is not Bad for the One who Died Chapter 4 IMMORTALITY James Lenman, Immortality: A letter Bernard Williams, The Makropulos case: reflections on the tedium of immortality John Martin Fischer, Why Immortality is Not So Bad Christine Overall, From here to eternity: Is it good to live forever? Chapter 5 SUICIDE David Hume, Of Suicide Immanuel Kant, Suicide and Duty David Benatar, Suicide: A Qualified Defence Chapter 6 OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM Margaret A. Boden, Optimism Samantha Vice, Optimism and Meaning Bruce N. Waller, The sad truth: optimism, pessimism, and pragmatism Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Suffering of the World

Product Details

  • publication date: 28/03/2016
  • ISBN13: 9781442258334
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 484
  • ID: 9781442258334
  • weight: 635
  • ISBN10: 1442258330
  • edition: 3rd Revised edition

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