From: David Harvey
Date: 16 Oct 2003, 13:13:11
Subject: The Meaning of Life?
In common with at least one other respondent, I now understand why a free copy of the New Humanist arrived on my doormat, so thanks for that.
In exception to at least one other of your respondent’s, I do not
accept that the question is beyond the scope of philosophical inquiry – if that were to be so, then there are limits to the scope of enquiry – what are these? Are the answers to this question then some form of answer to your question – a matter of faith and belief, but not of sensible enquiry? This answer, then, is: whatever you want to believe.
Finally, I’m impressed and not a little flattered that whatever
search engine or method you used should identify me as a practising philosopher. I am trying (very, according to many of my colleagues) – though without the benefit of any formal specific training in the art.
I am also trying to creep up on an answer which satisfies me (if no one else). You can find the products of this creeping search at:
I suggest that a starting point in this rubbish might be found under the ESRC/Prospect sub-heading, especially “Knowledge: How do we come by it and what does it mean? – an essay on the origins of everything submitted as the second of a quintet of essays to the Prospect challenge (but rejected, of course).
On this basis, my provisional answer is: To self-realise within the patterns and fabrics of universal self-realisation, – meaningless unless you follow the story and find it at least partly credible.
Good luck with your search, and let me know if you find anything useful.