Meaning in Life
The Harmony of Nature and Spirit
242 pp., 6 x 9 in,
- Published: December 30, 2009
- Publisher: The MIT Press
An acclaimed philosopher suggests that the art of living well employs the same principles as those that exist in all artistic creativity.
This final book in Irving Singer's Meaning in Life trilogy studies the interaction between nature and the values that define human spirituality. It examines the ways in which we overcome the suffering in life by resolving our sense of being divided between them. Singer suggests that the accord between nature and spirit arises from an art of life that affords meaning, happiness, and love by employing the same principles as those that exist in all artistic achievements. It is through the meaningfulness created by imagination and idealization, Singer says, that we make life worth living.
This human art form, Singer writes, enables us to unite our selfish interests with our compassionate and loving inclinations. We thereby effect a vital harmonization within which the naturalistic values of ethics, aesthetics, and religion can find their legitimate place. The good life, as envisioned by Singer, includes the love of persons, things, and ideals so intricately intermeshed that the meaning in one contributes to the meaningfulness of the other two. The result is a kind of happiness that we all desire.
A gold mine for those who wish to better understand the intellectual foundations of the good life.
Marvin Kohl, The New School for Social Research
Rarely does one get a chance to see such a polished, mature, and humane piece of writing, all the rarer in philosophy.
Thomas Alexander, Southern Illinois University