Category Archives: Meaning of Life – Classics

Summary of E. D. Klemke’s, “Living without Appeal”

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E.D. Klemke (1926-2000) taught for more than twenty years at Iowa State University. He was a prolific editor and one of his best known collections is The Meaning of Life: A Reader, first published in 1981. The following summary is of his 1981 essay: “Living Without Appeal: An Affirmative Philosophy of Life.” I find it one of the most profound pieces in the literature. Continue reading Summary of E. D. Klemke’s, “Living without Appeal”

Summary of R. M. Hare’s: “Nothing Matters?”

R.M. Hare (1919 – 2002) was an English moral philosopher who held the post of White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford from 1966 until 1983, after which he taught for a number of years at the University of Florida. He was one of the most important ethicists of the second half of the twentieth century. Continue reading Summary of R. M. Hare’s: “Nothing Matters?”

Summary of Bertrand Russell’s, “A Free Man’s Worship”

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Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (1872 – 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, atheist, and social critic. He is, along with his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the founders of analytic philosophy and widely held to be one of the 20th century’s most important logicians. He co-authored, with A. N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics in logic. His writings were voluminous and covered a vast range of topics including politics, ethics, and religion. Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950 “in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought.” Russell is thought by many to be the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. Continue reading Summary of Bertrand Russell’s, “A Free Man’s Worship”

Summary of Kurt Baier’s “The Meaning of Life:”

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Kurt Baier (1917 – 2010) was an Austrian moral philosopher who received his DPhil at Oxford in 1952. He spent most of his career at the University of Pittsburgh, authored the influential, The Moral Point of View: A Rational Basis of Ethics, and was one of the most important moral philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century. Continue reading Summary of Kurt Baier’s “The Meaning of Life:”