What's it All About?: Philosophy and the Meaning of Life Paperback – 7 Jul 2005
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A practical but charming exploration
Its witty, its engaging and its easy to pack: perfect beach reading for the disaffected -- The Observer
Baggini makes philosophy not only mind- stretching but also entertaining -- Publishing News
About the Author
Julian Baggini is the editor and co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine. He writes regularly for the Guardian, Independent and Independent on Sunday, Prospect and the TES, and has appeared on Nightwaves and In Our Time. He is the author of Making Sense: Philosophy Behind the Headlines (OUP) and Atheism: A Very Short Introduction (OUP).
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Top Customer Reviews
Which to many might ring a bit hollow: ''Ok, we can't see any meaning out there, so we are just going to make one up for ourselves....'' Really, is a made-up meaning a real meaning at all?
Yes, according to Baggini, assigned purposes are not inferior to predetermined purposes! He thinks that we should ''grow up'' and accept that there is not some hidden or secret purpose that we have not yet discovered.
Instead, our decision making should be based on what is out in the open for everyone to see: ''The whole problem of lifes meaning is not that we lack any particular piece of secret information ... It is rather to be solved by thinking about the issues on which the evidence remains silent....''
So what could life's purpose then be? Some might claim that life is all about having a good material standard of living or becoming successful someday in the future. Others claim that life is about helping others, serving humanity, being happy, enjoying each day or freeing the mind. According to Baggini there might be some truth in these answers - but not the whole truth.
The rest of the book (an entertaining and thought provoking journey) walks us through some of these ideas that people have (on lifes purpose). Trying not to be dogmatic, he doesn't reject anything completely, but does point out weak spots in a lot of the reasoning. In the end the reader should decide for himself, as long as he makes a ''Moral'' and ''Ethical'' choice....
In the end the reader should not think that he will really ever be any wiser.Read more ›
I won't ruin the conclusion of the book for you but it is both human and convincing, placing greater responsibility on you.
If you like the style of Alain de Botton's popular philosophy books (e.g. Status Anxiety) this is similarly clear and readable but far more persuasive and tightly argued.
This book offers an accessible guide, unprescriptive, scrupulously clear whilst encompassing the subtlety of the ideas it discusses. It is both serious and personal in it's scope and is probably the best introduction for anyone who has questioned human existence on this planet. It won't answer every question, of course, but there is nothing here to put off someone who has never yet read a book of philosophy. This book not only talks about philosophy, it shows how it is done. It's a marvel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant If you have a curious but objective analytical mind about life's purpose this book will be a staple in your library for ever. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Pauljh1
This was a thoughtful and logical consideration of where the meaning of life might lie.
However it occurred to me that the author neglected to consider the meaning of life... Read more
Tina... My soulmate of 48 years recently passed away. She fought for 36 days in Intensive Care. The loss is devastating... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Tony
Makes a lot of sense. In sum, it's about being the person whom you want to be and doing the things you need to do to be that person! Read morePublished 14 months ago by Dean P. D'souza
I have given the book 5 stars as I believe it is very well written and presents some great thoughts. Read morePublished 15 months ago by M. Forrest
Afraid i have yet to read this Book,however a brief glimpse through it suggests that it seems ok.
Cant put down much else for now.
I thought this book was great in that it provides a gentle platform to some of the larger questions of philosophy. Read morePublished on 2 Feb. 2014 by Alex
Very well written in a way that is easily understood by the " ordinary person ( man ) in the street.
I would say it is, potentially, a life changing book. Read more