Many writers in various fieldsphilosophy, religion, literature, and psychologybelieve that the question of the meaning of life is one of the most significant problems that an individual faces. In The Meaning of Life, Second Edition, E.D. Klemke collects some of the best writings on this topic, primarily works by philosophers but also selections from literary figures and religious thinkers. The twenty-seven cogent, readable essays are organized around three different perspectives on the meaning of life. In Part I, the readings assert and defend the theistic view that without the existence of Godor faith in Godlife has no significance or purpose. In Part II the selections deny this thesis, defending instead the humanistic alternativethat life has or can have meaning and worth without any theistic beliefs or commitment. In the final group of readings, contributors ask if the question of the meaning of life is in itself legitimate and significant. The volume also includes an introduction by the editor and a selected bibliography. This new edition adds essays by A. J. Ayer, Hazel Barnes, William Lane Craig, Owen Flanagan, Antony Flew, Thomas Nagel, Kai Nielsen, Philip L. Quinn, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Walter T. Stace.
The only anthology of its kind, The Meaning of Life, Second Edition, is ideal for courses in introduction to philosophy and human nature. It also provides an accessible and stimulating introduction to the subject for general readers.