PHILOS 2465–Death and the Meaning of Life–will be offered in AU 2017
Course Description: Some philosophers claim that if there is no afterlife, our lives are meaningless; all of our efforts are hopelessly and absurdly pointless. Nothing we do in this life, according to these authors, can have a lasting significance; we—along with everything we have achieved—will soon be forgotten. Others are far less pessimistic and argue that even without an afterlife, our existence can be meaningful. They claim that things like achievement, happiness, and engaging in valuable projects can give meaning to our lives. In fact, some philosophers even contend that death is a crucial feature of a meaningful life; immortality would inevitably drain our lives of meaning and undermine our happiness. Which of these claims, if any, is correct? PHILOS 2465 explores this and related questions.