The Meaning of Life by Terry Eagleton

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Published on: May 1, 2010

Recently came across the review of the above book. Seems like an interesting book to have a look into. Below is an excerpt from the book.

“…. here we stumble upon another hurdle – escapism. Isn’t ‘elusiveness’ just another term for avoiding the question? Eagleton considers the question of the meaning of life to be an ethical one: but it’s doubly hard to find the core values of life and struggle toward living them out without singling out any ideology from which to make ethical judgements. Ethics aim at bringing integration and harmony to human life, not vagueness, and so measuring one’s life against some kinds of ethical standards or values is central to the pursuit of life’s meaning. In this sense the question cannot be prevaricated. And ultimately, the author considers two core values as the defining features of a meaningful life: love and happiness. Readers are of course free to come up with their own values by which to measure their life’s meaningfulness (or meaninglessness). Yet the most precious advice that we get from The Meaning of Life is that using values, even the most positive values, as means to an end, is a dangerous road to travel if you really are setting out for the meaning of life. Rather, attaining meaningfulness requires that positive values be ends in themselves, not the road to some hidden destination. Practicing good values is the ultimate treasure, and no meaning surpasses it.

The Meaning of Life is an important work for all readers of serious issues, in that it invites discussion on one of the most difficult questions which concern everyone. At the end of the book Professor Eagleton reminds his readers that his discussion is not supposed to provide a final answer to the mega-question of life, nor does he expect any other treatise to do so. He does, however, succeed in reminding us that the question is there; that it is worth contemplating; and that engaging in the quest for meaning is an exciting adventure which itself constitutes part of the meanings of life as much as breathing is part of physical life.” … Ernest Dempsy.

More about this here: [The Link]

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