Jens Timmermann

From: Jens Timmermann
Date: Mon Oct 6, 2003 1:00:22 pm
Subject: meaning of life

Dear Mr Addyman,

The meaning of life? That’s every philosopher’s nightmare of a question,
especially over dinner. As you kindly give me the opportunity to answer it
in writing, here’s a quick reply:

Drawing on Kant and Aristotle, my quick answer is that the meaning of life
consists in _activity_ in accordance with _reason_. So first of all, we
must do things with our lives, be active, not fritter it away. Secondly,
this activity should be in line with what makes us human: our capacity to
think, reason, act and communicate with others like us. This kind of
meaning is autonomous and does not depend on God or any supernatural
power. Human beings are in charge of their own lives, but they must obey
the standards of their own rational and moral faculties.

With best wishes,
Dr. Jens Timmermann


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