The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Apr 24, 2008 - Philosophy - 128 pages
'Philosophers have an infuriating habit of analysing questions rather than answering them', writes Terry Eagleton, who, in these pages, asks the most important question any of us ever ask, and attempts to answer it. So what is the meaning of life? In this witty, spirited, and stimulating inquiry, Eagleton shows how centuries of thinkers - from Shakespeare and Schopenhauer to Marx, Sartre and Beckett - have tackled the question. Refusing to settle for the bland and boring, Eagleton reveals with a mixture of humour and intellectual rigour how the question has become particularly problematic in modern times. Instead of addressing it head-on, we take refuge from the feelings of 'meaninglessness' in our lives by filling them with a multitude of different things: from football and sex, to New Age religions and fundamentalism. 'Many of the readers of this book are likely to be as sceptical of the phrase "the meaning of life" as they are of Santa Claus', he writes. But Eagleton contends that in a world where we need to find common meanings, it is important that we set about answering the question of all questions; and, in conclusion, he suggests his own answer. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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User Review  - gottfried_leibniz - LibraryThing

Aristotle's Work is Classic. It might give the reader, a framework, systematic approach to life. His Essay on Friendship, still stands true. Aristotle's work on Ethics, Politics is relevant to this ... Read full review

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User Review  - MarcusBastos - LibraryThing

Meaning and Skepticism This short and well written book achieves it's goal. Terry Eagleton produced a clear and well balanced essay about the meaning of life, familiarizing the reader with the ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Terry Eagleton is John Edward Taylor Professor of English at the University of Manchester. His recent publications include iHoly Terror/i (2005); iThe English Novel: An Introduction/i (2004); iAfter Theory/i (2003); iSweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic/i (2002); iThe Idea of Culture/i(2000); iThe Illusions of Postmodernism/i (1996); and iLiterary Theory: An Introduction/i (2nd edition, 1996).

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