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    To what extent is a meaningful life an integrated one?

    Dixon, Hugo (2021) To what extent is a meaningful life an integrated one? MPhil thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Abstract

    I argue for two main links between a meaningful life and an integrated one. First, if we give meaningfulness its proper role in our conceptions of happiness and morality, we will be likely to be less pulled in different directions and so likely to be more integrated. Second, if we are integrated, our lives will be more meaningful. My conclusions largely hinge on my definition of a meaningful life as one that is effectively engaged in things we care for, which we can see we have reasons to care for. As such, a meaningful life has subjective and objective aspects. I explain that reflection plays a central role in this conception of meaningfulness, not least because it is often the spur to seeking meaning in the first place. I defend my conception of meaningfulness against other alternatives. I then argue that reflective beings have no reason to pursue a happy life unless their conception of happiness embraces meaningfulness and that they have no reason to pursue an ethical life if that alienates them from their raison d’etre. This leads to the first of my main conclusions: that if meaningfulness takes its proper place in our conceptions of happiness and morality, we will be likely to be less pulled in different directions and so likely to be more integrated. I next look at the issue from the other direction: to what extent an integrated life contributes to a meaningful one. I examine three ways a life can be integrated: integrating one’s agency, integrating oneself and integrating with one’s world. In each case, I argue that integration enables us to understand better why the things we care for matter and to engage more effectively in promoting their wellbeing. As such, integration contributes to a meaningful life.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2021 11:08
    Last Modified: 14 Sep 2021 11:08
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/45969

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