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Life, Death, and Meaning : Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions - David Benatar

Life, Death, and Meaning

Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions

By: David Benatar (Editor)

Paperback

Published: 31st May 2016
For Ages: 18+ years old
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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.

The selection of papers is excellent....Benatar has done a first rate job in fulfilling, and when necessary balancing, all those requirements and has produced an exceptionally good, interesting and informative collection of papers. Students and educated laypersons who read through the anthology will become familiar with some of the best and most representative works in the field which include many of the most central and important arguments on the issues discussed....This collection should prove to be an important contribution to the development of the discussion on Analytic Existentialism. * Metapsychology Online *
Students and educated laypersons who read through the anthology will become familiar with some of the best and most representative works in the field which include many of the most central and important arguments on the issues discussed. While the articles are interesting and of a very high academic level, they are not too technical, too long, or otherwise difficult for students or the educated public to follow. Although there are already some anthologies that discuss the meaning of life, none relate the topic to questions of immortality, death, suicide, or the benefit of coming into existence as this one does. -- Iddo Landau * Metapsychology Online *
"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." -- Geoffrey Scarre, Professor of Philosophy, Durham University

PREFACE INTRODUCTION Chapter 1 THE MEANING OF LIFE Richard Taylor, The Meaning of Life Thomas Nagel, The Absurd Richard Hare, 'Nothing Matters' W.D. Joske, Philosophy and the Meaning of Life Robert Nozick, Philosophy and the Meaning of Life David Schmidtz, The Meanings of Life Susan Wolf, The Meanings of Lives Chapter 2 CREATING PEOPLE Derek Parfit, Whether Causing Someone to Exist Can Benefit This Person John Leslie, Why Not Let Life Become Extinct? James Lenman, On Becoming Extinct David Benatar, Why it is Better Never to Come into Existence Chapter 3 DEATH Stephen E. Rosenbaum, How to be Dead and Not Care: A Defense of Epicurus George Pitcher, The Misfortunes of the Dead Steven Luper, Annihilation Fred Feldman, Some Puzzles About the Evil of Death Frederick Kaufman, Pre-Vital and Post-Mortem Non-Existence David B. Suits, Why Death is not Bad for the One who Died Chapter 4 IMMORTALITY James Lenman, Immortality: A letter Bernard Williams, The Makropulos case: reflections on the tedium of immortality John Martin Fischer, Why Immortality is Not So Bad Christine Overall, From here to eternity: Is it good to live forever? Chapter 5 SUICIDE David Hume, Of Suicide Immanuel Kant, Suicide and Duty David Benatar, Suicide: A Qualified Defence Chapter 6 OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM Margaret A. Boden, Optimism Samantha Vice, Optimism and Meaning Bruce N. Waller, The sad truth: optimism, pessimism, and pragmatism Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Suffering of the World

ISBN: 9781442258334
ISBN-10: 1442258330
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 484
Published: 31st May 2016
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.1  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.78
Edition Number: 3
Edition Type: Revised