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.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; March 2016
- ISBN 9781442258327
- Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
- Title: Life, Death, and Meaning
- Author: David Benatar (ed.); Margaret A. Boden (contrib.); Fred Feldman (contrib.); John Martin Fischer (contrib.); Richard Hare (contrib.); David Hume (contrib.); W.D Joske (contrib.); Immanuel Kant (contrib.); Frederick Kaufman (contrib.); James Lenman (contrib.); John Leslie (contrib.); Steven Luper (contrib.); Thomas Nagel (contrib.); Robert Nozick (contrib.); ChristineOverall, , (contrib.); Derek Parfit (contrib.); George Pitcher (contrib.); Stephen E. Rosenbaum (contrib.); David Schmidtz (contrib.); Arthur Schopenhauer (contrib.); David B. Suits (contrib.); Richard Taylor (contrib.); Bruce N. Waller (contrib.); Bernard Williams (contrib.); Samantha Vice (contrib.); Susan Wolf (contrib.)
Imprint: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
In The Press
“David Benatar has done a superb job in bringing together this fine collection, now in its third, expanded and revised, edition. Life, Death and Meaning is quite simply the best anthology of writings on ‘analytic existentialism’ available. It has a place on every serious philosophy student’s bookshelf.”
About The Author
David Benatar is professor of philosophy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.