Journal of Philosophy of Life

An international peer-reviewed open access journal dedicated to the philosophy of life, death, and nature, supported by the Research Institute for Environmental Philosophy and Philosophical Anthropology, Osaka Prefecture University


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Human Extinction, Narrative Ending, and Meaning of Life

Brooke Alan Trisel

Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.6, No.1 (April 2016):1-22



Some people think that the inevitability of human extinction renders life meaningless. Joshua Seachris has argued that naturalism can be conceptualized as a meta-narrative and that it narrates across important questions of human life, including what is the meaning of life and how life will end. How a narrative ends is important, Seachris argues. In the absence of God, and with knowledge that human extinction is a certainty, is there any way that humanity could be meaningful and have a good ending? I will distinguish between two conceptions of how humanity could be meaningful: the traditional view and an alternative view, which I will outline. I will argue that this alternative view provides a plausible explanation for how humanity could become meaningful. I will also argue that coming to terms with our mortality and other limitations would add meaning to human life and provide humanity with a good ending.

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