Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World

ISBN : 9780190092221

Iddo Landau
312 ページ
140 x 210 mm

Does life have meaning? Is it possible for life to be meaningful when the world is filled with suffering and when so much depends merely upon chance? Even if there is meaning, is there enough to justify living?

These questions are difficult to resolve. There are times in which we face the mundane, the illogically cruel, and the tragic, which leave us to question the value of our lives. However, Iddo Landau argues, our lives often are, or could be made, meaningful窶背e've just been setting the bar too high for evaluating what meaning there is.

When it comes to meaning in life, Landau explains, we have let perfect become the enemy of the good. We have failed to find life perfectly meaningful, and therefore have failed to see any meaning in our lives. We must attune ourselves to enhancing and appreciating the meaning in our lives, and Landau shows us how to do that.

In this warmly written book, rich with examples from the author's life, film, literature, and history, Landau offers new theories and practical advice that awaken us to the meaning already present in our lives and demonstrates how we can enhance it. He confronts prevailing nihilist ideas that undermine our existence, and the questions that dog us no matter what we believe. While exposing the weaknesses of ideas that lead many to despair, he builds a strong case for maintaining more hope. Along the way, he faces provocative questions: Would we choose to live forever if we could? Does death render life meaningless? If we examine it in the context of the immensity of the whole universe, can we consider life meaningful? If we feel empty once we achieve our goals, and the pursuit of these goals is what gives us a sense of meaning, then what can we do? Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World is likely to alter the way you understand your life.


Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: Implications
Chapter Three: Against Perfectionism
Chapter Four: Anticipations of Non-Perfectionism
Chapter Five: Death and Annihilation (1)
Chapter Six: Death and Annihilation (2)
Chapter Seven: Life in the Context of the Whole Universe
Chapter Eight: Determinism and Contingency
Chapter Nine: Skepticism and Relativism
Chapter Ten: The Goal of Life
Chapter Eleven: The Paradox of the End
Chapter Twelve: Suffering
Chapter Thirteen: Human Evil
Chapter Fourteen: Why We Are Blind to Goodness
Chapter Fifteen: Identifying (1)
Chapter Sixteen: Identifying (2)
Chapter Seventeen: Recognizing
Chapter Eighteen: Conclusion (1)
Chapter Nineteen: Conclusion (2)


Iddo Landau is Professor of Philosophy at Haifa University, Israel. He has published extensively on the meaning of life.