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Lecture

PHIL 1100 Lecture Notes - Existentialism, The Strongest


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 1100
Professor
David Stamos

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Nozick
Provides a joke on the meaning of life, using a joke as a defense mechanism
American traveller seeks the meaning of life out east India
Meaning of life from the holy man: Life is a fountain, American gets angry and the
holy man says it can’t be a fountain as a joke
Joke: there is no simple answer to the question of the meaning of life
This question requires extensive analysis according to Nozick, cannot be a one line
answer
This question is so big, you should not confine to philosophical analysis only
Difference sense and kinds of meaning - different meanings of the word
“meaning”
1. External causal relationship
Causal Antecedent: what comes before (parents) Causal Concomitant: what goes
with it (humanà blood type) Causal Consequent what comes after
2. External referential/ semantic meaning
synonymy (two peoples life means the same thing) reference, symbolism
detecting symbolism in our life
We can stipulate different meanings with words, lives gets ridiculous We can
make our lives make it mean anything to us
Life can have a semantic meaning if it refers to an objective property eg. Terry
Fox: symbol of hope and courage
3. Intention/ Purpose someone else can have an intention or purpose for our lives
eg. Parents want their children to take over the family business
There is no meaning of life, so you have the freedom to choose the meaning of life
existentialism
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