Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Meaning and purpose

This is also how you do philosophy: good-humored nihilist Kevin Simler's A Nihilist's Guide to Meaning

I've never been plagued by the big existential questions. You know, like What's my purpose? or What does it all mean?

Growing up I was a very science-minded kid — still am — and from an early age I learned to accept the basic meaninglessness of the universe. Science taught me that it's all just atoms and the void, so there can't be any deeper point or purpose to the whole thing; the kind of meaning most people yearn for — Ultimate Meaning — simply doesn't exist.

. . .

Now, if [dancing and farting around] were the final word on the subject, I'd be perfectly content. Unfortunately, some of my favorite writers of recent years — Sarah Perry and David Chapman, in particular — can't seem to shut up about meaning. . . . What follows is my attempt at figuring out what people mean when they talk about meaning.

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