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Thad Metz's Fundamentality Theory of Meaning in Life: A Critical Review

Thad Metz's Fundamentality Theory of Meaning in Life: A Critical Review

Stephen Kershnar

SUNY Fredonia, USA


Thad Metz’s book of the nature and value of the meaning of life, Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), is the single best discussion of the meaning in life in the literature. It is an extraordinary work and is required reading for anyone wishing to think seriously about the topic. It includes a comprehensive and in-depth study of the literature, devastating criticisms of rival theories, and a restructuring of the issues in a way that will shape future discussions of the field. It is also well-written, including interesting-and-enjoyable references to historical figures (for example, Mother Theresa, Adolf Hitler, and Paul Gauguin), artists (for example, Aldous Huxley and Woody Allen), and works of art (for example, Groundhog Day and Guernica). In this critical study, I summarize the book and then put forth objections to its central ideas. In particular, I argue that Metz fails to show that there is meaning in life and that, even if there is, his theory likely fails to capture it.


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Science, Religion and Culture


Vol. 5, Sp. Iss. 1 Pages 1-82


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