Synopses & Reviews
What is the meaning of life? It is a question that has intrigued the great philosophers--and has been hilariously lampooned by Monty Python. Indeed, the whole idea strikes many of us as vaguely pompous and perhaps more than a little absurd. Is there one profound answer, an ultimate purpose behind human existence?
Julian Baggini thinks not. Rather, as Baggini argues in What's It All About, meaning can be found in a variety of ways. He succinctly breaks down six answers people commonly suggest when considering what life is all about--helping others, serving humanity, being happy, becoming successful, enjoying each day as if it were your last, and freeing your mind. By reducing the vague, mysterious question of meaning to a series of more specific (if unmysterious) questions about what gives life purpose and value, he shows that the quest for meaning can be personal, empowering, and uplifting.
Illustrating his argument with the thoughts of many of the great philosophers and examples drawn from everyday life, Baggini convincingly shows that the search for meaning is personal and within the power of each of us to find.
This book is aimed at the reader who is serious about confronting the big issues in life but is turned-off by books which deal with them through religion, spirituality or 'psycho-babble'. It is for people who want an honest, intelligent discussion which doesn't hide from the difficulties or make undeliverable promises. It aims to help the reader to understand the overlooked issues behind the obvious questions and shows how philosophy does not so much answer them as help provide us with the resources to answer them for ourselves.