The Search for Meaning: A Short History

Overview


In The Search for Meaning: A Short History, Dennis Ford explores eight approaches human beings have pursued over time to invest life with meaning and to infuse order into a seemingly chaotic universe. These include myth, philosophy, science, postmodernism, pragmatism, archetypal psychology, metaphysics, and naturalism. In engaging, companionable prose, Ford boils down these systems to their bare essentials, showing the difference between viewing the world from a religious point of view and that of a naturalist, ...
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Overview


In The Search for Meaning: A Short History, Dennis Ford explores eight approaches human beings have pursued over time to invest life with meaning and to infuse order into a seemingly chaotic universe. These include myth, philosophy, science, postmodernism, pragmatism, archetypal psychology, metaphysics, and naturalism. In engaging, companionable prose, Ford boils down these systems to their bare essentials, showing the difference between viewing the world from a religious point of view and that of a naturalist, and comparing a scientific worldview to a philosophical one. Ford investigates the contributions of the Greeks, Kant, and William James, and brings the discussion up to date with contemporary thinkers. He proffers the refreshing idea that in today's world, the answers provided by traditional religions to increasingly difficult questions have lost their currency for many and that the reductive or rationalist answers provided by science and postmodernism are themselves rife with unexamined assumptions.
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Editorial Reviews

National Catholic Reporter

“Ford is to be commended for condensing an enormous amount of information and making it understandable to non-experts.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520257931
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/2/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,365,399
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.92 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author


Dennis Ford is the author of Sins of Omission: A Primer on Moral Indifference (1990).
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Table of Contents


Preface: When Meaning Becomes a Question
1. Introduction

PART I. CLASSICAL SOURCES OF MEANING
2. Myth and Meaning
3. Philosophy and Meaning
4. Science and Meaning
5. Postmodernism and Meaning

PART II. CONTEMPORARY SOURCES OF MEANING
6. Pragmatism and Meaning
7. Archetypal Psychology and Meaning
8. Metaphysics and Meaning
9. Naturalism and Meaning
10. Conclusion

Appendix: How Meaning Affects Our Sense of Right and Wrong
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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