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The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

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    Interesting Thoughts

    I love these little short introductions that Oxford University Press puts out. They very informative and cover the subject in a professional way. This book is no exception. It's a very good beginning for the general reader who's interested in the meaning of life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The meaning of it all

    The "Meaning of Life" is one of those age-old questions that people of all walks of life have been pondering for at least as long as we know that people have been pondering anything. There have been many approaches to this question, and the three most prominent ones have come from philosophy, theology/religion, and literature. In this very short introduction Terry Eagelton sets out to explore all those approaches to this perennial big question. Even thought his approach is not strictly speaking philosophical, the preponderance of ideas about the meaning of life have been taken from various philosophers. Eagelton is very good at problematizing the whole "What is the meaning of life?" question. At the surface it appears like any other question to which we can give an objective answer (like "How far is Bloomington from Indianapolis?"), but at closer inspection almost every single word in that question can be very ambiguous. Eagleton's approach is to explore those ambiguities, and show how they had been addressed by other thinkers and writers. The book has a feel and style of a very long polemical essay, and an overall a very enjoyable one at that. My only big objection to it is that no attempts have been made to incorporate any of the ideas about the meaning of life, human happiness and personal integrity that have come out of the modern Psychological research. It has been known for quite a while that creating a coherent narrative of one's life is an essential part of the psychological theories of self. Other than that, the book is extremely well written and despite some grim ideas and passages an overall enjoyable and worthwhile read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2011

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