The Meaning of Life (PHIL-UH 1110)

Is there a point or significance to life as a whole? That is the question about the “meaning of life.” Though this question is notoriously hard to make precise, in one form or another it has animated much literature and art, and also much philosophy. Some philosophers have provided disheartening answers: life is suffering, and then it ends; life is absurd and never gains any meaning. But other philosophers have provided more uplifting answers that support the quest for personal significance. Bot h kinds of answers deserve scrutiny. After reviewing various pessimistic and more optimistic approaches to the meaning of life, we will turn to the subject of death. We will all die eventually. We normally encounter the death of our family and friend s before we must deal with our own. These themes too are the subject of philosophical reflection. We finish the semester with a discussion of the connection between individual significance and the future of humanity. This class will integrate references to art and literature as well as to science where appropriate, but its main focus is on contributions by recent thinkers in the analytical tradition of philosophy.

Philosophy (Undergraduate)
4 credits – 15 Weeks

Sections (Fall 2023)

PHIL-UH 1110-000 (18561)
08/29/2023 – 12/15/2023 Mon,Wed
11:00 AM – 12:00 AM (Morning)
at Abu Dhabi
Instructed by Paul, Sarah