Life, Death, & Meaning / Edition 1

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In Life, Death, and Meaning, David Benatar offers a distinctive collection of readings designed to introduce undergraduates and lay readers to the key existential questions of philosophy: Do our lives have meaning? Is death something to be feared? Would it be better to be immortal? Classic and contemporary essays consider such questions as the meaning of life, creating people, death, suicide, immortality, and 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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Editorial Reviews

Philosophical Papers
This book is far and away the best collection of essays in print to address analytic existentialism. In addition to coherently organized, excellent papers that address unique issues, the editor has provided introductory summaries of the papers, study questions about them, and suggestions for further reading.
For laypersons, especially those struggling as undergraduates with annoying, seemingly irrelevant concepts made doubly obscure by crusty old philosophers, this collection of insightful, well-written essays will certainly be refreshing.
Metapsychology Online Reviews
For laypersons, especially those struggling as undergraduates with annoying, seemingly irrelevant concepts made doubly obscure by crusty old philosophers, this collection of insightful, well-written essays will certainly be refreshing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742533684
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 0.94 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction Part 3 I The Meaning of Life Chapter 4 The Meaning of Life Chapter 5 The Absurd Chapter 6 'Nothing Matters' Chapter 7 Philosophy and the Meaning of Life Chapter 8 Philosophy and the Meaning of Life Chapter 9 The Meanings of Life Part 11 II Creating People Chapter 12 Whether Causing Someone to Exist Can Benefit This Person Chapter 13 Why Not Let Life Become Extinct? Chapter 14 On Becoming Extinct Chapter 15 Why it is Better Never to Come into Existence Part 16 III Death Chapter 17 How to be Dead and Not Care: A Defense of Epicurus Chapter 18 The Misfortunes of the Dead Chapter 19 Annihilation Chapter 20 Some Puzzles About the Evil of Death Chapter 21 Pre-Vital and Post-Mortem Non-Existence Chapter 22 Why Death is not Bad for the One who Died Part 23 IV Suicide Chapter 24 Of Suicide Chapter 25 Suicide and Duty Chapter 26 The Morality and Rationality of Suicide Part 27 V Immortality Chapter 28 Immortality: A Letter Chapter 29 The Makropulos Case: Reflections on the Tedium of Immortality Chapter 30 Why Immortality Is Not So Bad Part 31 VI Optimism and Pessimism Chapter 32 Optimism Chapter 33 The Consolations of Optimism Chapter 34 On the Sufferings of the World

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