Searching for—and finding—meaning is a deeply human drive. There is a frequent deep desire to believe that all of existence is working together in a purposeful way to some end or according to some design. It is not at all uncommon to find ourselves in a crisis of meaning at some point in our lives, brought on by significant losses or transitions, or by changes in our work and relationships. Though some find great freedom and joy in concluding that life has no meaning at all, many find this perspective to be depressing or terrifying. Different religious and secular worldviews around the world are centered on providing an answer for this search for meaning, and these answers frequently instill a sense of purpose and satisfaction in those that adopt them.
Featuring twenty-five insightful selections by prominent philosophers, literary figures, and religious thinkers, The Meaning of Life: A Reader, Fourth Edition, serves as an ideal core text for courses on the meaning of life and introduction to philosophy courses where the topic is emphasized.
Viktor Frankl’s riveting account of his time in the Nazi concentration camps, and his insightful exploration of the human will to find meaning in spite of the worst adversity, has offered solace and guidance to generations of readers since it was first published in 1946.