Max Steuer

From: Steuer, M
Date: 15 Oct 2003, 17:40:28
Subject: Life’s Meaning

Dear Caspar

I’m an economist, not a philosopher. But it is not for that reason only that I wonder if philosophers are either particularly privileged or interested in the question of the meaning of life.

In my view, words and other symbols mean something, but being alive is not a word or a symbol.

Last weekend there was a conference here on the Place of Values in a World of Facts. That might have been right up your street. Perhaps you attended.

I think the universe came about through natural causes, not devine or conscious creation of any kind. These causes are understood by some people better than others, and even the most informed probably know little compared to what might be known. But still, I’m pretty sure that it is natural, not magical.

I think ‘values’ is more to the point than ‘meaning’, and for many purposes nearly the same thing.

We all know the difference between pleasure and pain. I know what I prefer. At the same time, most, not all, of us have views about right and wrong. We can debate about these matters by making reference to some agreed objectives and observations.

You say you want humour as well. So solving the riddle of the universe is not enough!

Bye, bye

Max

About caspar

Caspar is just one monkey among billions. Battering his keyboard without expectations even of peanuts, let alone of aping the Immortal Bard. By day he is an infantologist at Birkbeck Babylab, by night he runs BabyLaughter.net
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