THE KEELE-OXFORD-ST ANDREWS KANTIAN (KOSAK) RESEARCH CENTRE &
Invites you all to the following Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecture
All Welcome! Wine
For the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, it was the view of many in mainstream Anglo-American philosophy that the question ‘What is the meaning of life?’ itself had no clear meaning. More recent developments since then have seen a change in attitude. Now a number of philosophers think that the question can be understood to have a certain meaning, although there appears to be some disagreement as to what that meaning is. Timothy Mawson, in his recent book God and the Meanings of Life, has hypothesised that this disagreement results from the question having more than one possible legitimate meaning. He argues that the question of life’s meaning has a number of different interpretations, each with its own answer. In my talk, I suggest that, although Mawson has argued that his view does not allow for the possibility that the question can mean anything at all, the reasons he gives for this restriction do not, as they stand, adequately support it. Hence, if we want to say that the question ‘What is the meaning of life?’ means more than one thing, we need to say more to avoid the possibility that it can mean anything.
About the speaker:
Dr. Nick Waghorn taught at a number of colleges in Oxford before taking up a position as a tutor in philosophy at St. Benet’s Hall, and later also at Blackfriars Hall. His main research interest has been in the intersection between value theory and metaphysics, and in this regard he published a book with Bloomsbury in 2014 called Nothingness and the Meaning of Life. He is also interested in philosophical methodology, and in how the concepts of nothing, something and everything relate.