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Scholars Look To Literature To Find The Meaning Of Life

Plato and Aristotle in Raffaello Sanzio's "The School of Athens" (Creative Commons)

Plato and Aristotle in Raffaello Sanzio's "The School of Athens" (Creative Commons)

What is the meaning of life? How do you know?

Sure, they might be cliched questions. But really, is there one person out there who has never wondered about the meaning of life? And the thing is, we’re living in an age where for a lot of people, those questions are harder to answer than ever.

That’s why Harvard philosophy professor Sean Dorrance Kelly and his colleague Hubert Dreyfus put their heads together to offer us a new framework — one that’s based in the lessons of literature — to make sense of how we engage with what is sacred. That is, if anything is sacred any more.


  • Sean Dorrance Kelly, chair, Philosophy Department, Harvard University; author, “All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age”

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  • Jemimah Holbrook

    I don’t think there’s a meaning to life and that’s why so many brilliant thinkers get so depressed–some, sadly, to the point of taking their own lives.  To make it through each day, I concentrate on the sometimes tiny positive things.  I try to remain curious, try to keep learning, try to be kind and actively reach out to others by recognizing their existence.  There are just a few people on earth who will really change the way we live, but even they aren’t making the world turn….they’re just doing  a little more to make hanging on easier or more pleasurable!  That’s the nutshell version.  Cool show!

  • http://twitter.com/KeyyDE Keyy.de

    nice article

    • Meghna Chakrabarti

      Thanks! There isn’t much in the text on this web page. Did you have a chance to listen to my interview with Professor Kelly? He’s bursting with ideas that are tough to translate to the page. The audio conversation has all the energy.

      • Chamundeshwari201

        yah ! but i did not understanding it ……

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