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Philosophy in a Meaningless Life


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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction 1. The Meaninglessness of Life 2. A Survey of Misguided Coping Strategies: Does Nihilism Ruin Your Life? 3. On What Philosophy Is 4. The Problem of Consciousness 5. Consciousness: The Transcendent Hypothesis 6. Time 7. Universals 8. Nihilism, Transcendence, and Philosophy Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

This original study offers news ways of understanding consciousness, nihilism, science, time and transcendence, connecting the philosophy of philosophy and the meaning of life for the first time.

About the Author

James Tartaglia is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Keele University, UK


Tartaglia's book is an intriguing contribution to the ongoing philosophical discussion regarding the meaning (or meaninglessness) of life, written in a lucid and engaging style. * Notre Dame Philosophical Review *
A fascinating book. It is refreshing to read a well-written book of contemporary philosophy that puts the question of the meaning of life at its very centre and at the very centre of philosophy itself. The argument rests on a huge amount of reading and learning, lightly worn. And, in particular, in highlighting the difference between meaning (significance) in life and the meaning of life Tartaglia has done any philosopher who thinks about either of these things a great favour. He makes a very persuasive case that recent discussions have equivocated between these two different concepts. And he may well be right that this equivocation has been motivated by a fear of nihilism. * International Journal of Philosophical Studies *
Tartaglia's discussion is subtle, and displays both historical sensitivity and attention to debates in recent literature. * Philosophy in Review *
A superb and original work. Tartaglia addresses head-on the question of the meaning of life - which he calls 'the keystone of philosophy' - and gives an uncompromising nihilist answer to it. But rather than turning to gloom and despair, he shows how nihilism is, in a certain sense, neither good nor bad; and that it can be used to address some central traditional questions of philosophy: about consciousness, time and universals. Elegantly written and very readable, this is a unique work of philosophy that deserves a wide readership. * Tim Crane, Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, UK *
Tartaglia's fascinating book on nihilism argues that if life as a whole lacks meaning, then so does fretting about it: as a belief, nihilism calls for neither chagrin nor champagne. Like a philosophical Franz Klammer, Tartaglia slaloms adroitly round delusions that flag our downhill path from absence to annihilation. On the way he has engaging things to say, among much else, about absurdity, the nature of mind, the tedium of childhood, and the notion that human life might have been created by aliens as reality TV entertainment. -- Glen Newey, Professor of Practical Philosophy, University of Leiden, The Netherlands

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