Finding Meaning in a Life Prison Sentence

In 1930 the historian and philosopher Will Durant—who was at that time a famous public intellectual—received a number of letters from persons declaring their intent to commit suicide. The letters asked him for reasons to go on living. In response Durant asked a number of luminaries for their views on the meaning of life, publishing those responses in his 1932 book, On the Meaning of Life. Continue reading Finding Meaning in a Life Prison Sentence

What is Cosmological Natural Selection?

Messier 92 in the Hercules constellation.

My friend Lawrence Rifkin MD. published a wonderful piece in Scientific American, “The Logic and Beauty of Cosmological Natural Selection.” Rifkin argues that “The hypothesis [of] cosmological natural selection, and its power, beauty, and logic provide what may be the best scientific explanation for the existence of complexity and life in the universe.” Continue reading What is Cosmological Natural Selection?

Will Durant on Youth and Old Age

Will Durant wondered if there is something suggestive about the cycle of a human life that sheds light on its meaning, a theme explored in his 1929 book The Mansions of Philosophy. (Later retitled The Pleasures of Philosophy.) He admits that “life is in its basis a mystery, a river flowing from an unseen source; and in its development an infinite subtlety too complex for thought, much less for utterance.” Continue reading Will Durant on Youth and Old Age

Philosophers on Hope

A rose expressing hope, at Auschwitz concentration camp

In previous posts (here and here), I’ve been discussing hope, and I’d like to now briefly summarize the standard account of hope among professional philosophers.Here’s how the discussion of hope begins in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Continue reading Philosophers on Hope