The meanings of life
Baumeister (Roy F.)
Source: Aeon, 16 September, 2013
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Conclusion

  1. The meaningful life, then, has four properties.
    1. It has purposes that guide actions from present and past into the future, lending it direction.
    2. It has values that enable us to judge what is good and bad; and, in particular, that allow us to justify our actions and strivings as good.
    3. It is marked by efficacy, in which our actions make a positive contribution towards realising our goals and values.
    4. And it provides a basis for regarding ourselves in a positive light, as good and worthy people.
  2. People ask what is the meaning of life, as if there is a single answer. There is no one answer: there are thousands of different ones. A life will be meaningful if it finds responses to the four questions of purpose, value, efficacy, and self-worth. It is these questions, not the answers, that endure and unify.

  1. Distinction between Happiness (to do with the present) and Meaning (which binds a life together into a narrative).
  2. Consequently, Baumeister disagrees with "Strawson (Galen) - I am not a story".


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