The Philosophy of Meaning of Life – Thesis Example

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The paper “ The Philosophy of Meaning of Life “ is an impressive variant of literature review on philosophy. The philosophers, from the very beginning, have tried to find answers to questions of truth, the meaning of existence and the meaning of life. However, how to find answers, that is what should be the task, is a very problematic issue. In the times of Plato and Descartes, the task was to find an objective, unchanging answer to these questions. In the passage taken from his book, The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, Husserl claims that the task of philosophy must change.

According to Plato, the task for philosophy is to reach a certain, objective truth that is independent of us. Plato thinks that there is a truth that never changes, and he defines the philosophers as the people, who are able to grasp what is always the same. Therefore for him, the task of philosophy should be to reach that truth. (Ritter, 322-30) Obviously, reaching that kind of a goal rejects to have any kind of subjective views that change over time. Descartes also believes that there should be certain knowledge.

Certainty is very important for Descartes, and he gives great importance to reason and thinking. (Descartes, 145-50) Here we see that Descartes agrees with Plato in the sense that he wants to reach a certain truth. On the other hand, by the proposition, he is the first philosopher, who puts the subject in the context of philosophy. The subject was something, which Plato ignored. Thus, we can claim that Descartes is the one, who started the transition from the objective to the subjective. Husserl says that the task of philosophy that we saw in Plato and Descartes was to reach something objective, unchanging and certain.

But he claims that we, human beings are subjective rather than objective, and changing. We have self-determination that differentiates each of us from the others, we have freedom, and we are historical beings that have cultural values, traditions that also determine who we are. (Solomon, 310-20) This implies that if we search for something objective and unchanging, we have to ignore all the things that are different in all humans, and search for something that is common and same irrespective of time and space.

(Descartes, 198-202) But if we ignore them, then it is impossible to understand the problems that are related to human existence, and the world. (Beardsley, 118-22) He asks but can the world, and human existence in it, truthfully have a meaning if the sciences recognize as true only what is objectively established in the fashion? What Husserl is complaining about is briefly an explanation of what the modern philosophy deals with. The modern philosophy questions the existence of a certain, objective truth rather than accepting that it exists and reaching it.

(Husserl, 59-63) According to the modern philosophers, there is no objective truth as claimed, and therefore what we can do is to stop searching for something that does not exist and take the subjectivity into account. Kierkegaard is one of the remarkable modern philosophers. He gives significant importance to the individual and the free choice. He distinguishes the singular and the universal. According to Kierkegaard, we are always in a statement of choice, and we choose either the singular or the universal.

Universal choices are the ones that are generally accepted, they are objective principles and everyone agrees on them. (Ronald, 167-70)

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Bruner J. (1990). Acts of meaning: Cambridge. MA: Harvard University Press.

Descartes R. (1968). "Meditations on first philosophy": In E. S. Haldane & G. R. T. Ross (Eds.), The philosophical works of Descartes (2 Vols.). New York: Cambridge University Press. 145-50

Descartes, R. (1960). Discourse on method and meditations. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. (Original work published 1641) 198-202

Diamond A. (1991). "Neuropsychological insights into the meaning of object concept development". In S. Carey & R. Gelman (Eds.) The epigenesis of mind: Essays on biology and cognition (pp.67-110). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Hume, D. (1962). A treatise of human nature (Book 1) Great Britain: William Collins,

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Husserl, Edmund: (1995): Logical Investigations, (International Library of Philosophy) Routledge.

Kant I. (1974). Logic (R. S. Hartman & W. Schwarz, Trans) New York: Bobbs-Merrill. (Original work published 1800)

Katz J. J. (1990): The metaphysics of meaning: Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 3rd edition Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1996. p. 145.

Locke, J. (1964): An essay concerning human understanding. New York: New American

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McDermott: J. J. 1969). The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, 2 vols. Fordham University Press.

Nelson K. (1985). Making sense: The acquisition of shared meaning: New York: Academic.

Overton W. F. (Ed.) (1988) Reasoning, necessity, and knowledge: Developmental perspectives (pp.33-44) Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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Ritter, Constantin. (1933) The Essence of Plato's Philosophy. Trans. by Adam Alles. London.

Ronald M. Green. Kierkegaard and Kant: The Hidden Debt. SUNY Press: 1992.

Russell, Bertrand:1912, The Problems of Philosophy, London: Williams and Norgate.

Solomon, R. C. (1970): "Sense and Essence: Frege and Husserl," International Philosophical Quarterly, 310-320.

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