Meaning in Life and Why It Matters

by Susan Wolf, John Koethe, Robert M. Adams, Nomy Arpaly, Jonathan Haidt,

Series: The University Center for Human Values Series (No. 35)

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1400834597
  • 9780691145242
  • 9781400834594

Most people, including philosophers, tend to classify human motives as falling into one of two categories: the egoistic or the altruistic, the self-interested or the moral. According to Susan Wolf, however, much of what motivates us does not comfortably fit into this scheme. Often we act neither for our own sake nor out of duty or an impersonal concern for the world. Rather, we act out of love for objects that we rightly perceive as worthy of love--and it is these actions that give meaning to our lives. Wolf makes a compelling case that, along with happiness and morality, this kind of meaningfulness constitutes a distinctive dimension of a good life. Written in a lively and engaging style, and full of provocative examples, Meaning in Life and Why It Matters is a profound and original reflection on a subject of permanent human concern.

  • Princeton University Press; March 2010
  • ISBN: 9781400834594
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: Meaning in Life and Why It Matters
  • Series: The University Center for Human Values Series (No. 35)
  • Author: Susan Wolf; John Koethe (other); Robert M. Adams (other); Nomy Arpaly (other); Jonathan Haidt (other); Stephen Macedo (other)
  • Imprint: Princeton University Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1400834597
  • 9780691145242
  • 9781400834594

In The Press

"Susan Wolf is one of the clearest, most thoughtful, and most incisively elegant writers in contemporary ethics. She has an uncanny knack for putting her finger on important points and expressing them in ways that capture the imagination. In this book, she develops her ideas about meaningfulness in life with considerable subtlety, creating a work of genuine depth and importance."—John Martin Fischer, University of California, Riverside

About The Author

Susan Wolf is the Edna J. Koury Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is the author of Freedom within Reason.