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PHIL 1100 (23)
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Chapter

Taylor Richard #2

3 Pages
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Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 1100
Professor
Anita Lam

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RICHARD TAYLOR pp. 134 Answer to the meaning of life (questions whether life has any meaning, and the idea of meaningfulness) • Answers this question by referencing “a perfect image of meaninglessness” – Sisyphus • Uses this understanding of meaninglessness to provide a clearer definition of meaningfulness in life (opposite) Myth of Sisyphus • References this myth as “the picture of meaningless, pointless toil...meaningless existence (pg. 134) – or as a paradigm of a meaningless existence • Taylor notes that Sisyphus’ life is pointless, not because he has to role the stone over the hill, over and over – but because Sisyphus is cursed with the fate of “a repetitious, cyclic activity that never comes to anything” (p. 135) – his “struggle comes to nothing” b/c his labour is pointless – there is no purpose/comes to nothing Finding Meaningfulness In the life of Sisyphus? • Taylor alters the myth – uses the story to make meaning of Sisyphus’ life by adding a purpose to his labours • Says - what if the gods (as an afterthought) were merciful to Sisyphus “by implanting in him a strange and irrational impulse; namely, a compulsive impulse to roll stones” (p. 136). • Suppose he had a desire to do something this pointless – this change in attitude/view would “release him from endless boredom and meaninglessness, his life is now filled with mission and meaning” (p. 136) – he would embrace fate • This would give his life purpose – a subjective meaning Sisyphus’ life = subjective meaningfulness • Sisyphus’ mindset derives intense meaning/happiness • “activity.....has a meaning if it has some significant culmination, some more or less lasting end that can be considered to have been the direction and the purpose of the activity” (p. 137) Sisyphus’ life = objectively meaningless • Sisyphus = accomplishing nothing, getting nowhere • Taylor references biological world to make his point (glow worms and their meaningless existence, how their activity culminates to nothing with no end goal). Says: “the point of any living thing’s life is, evidently, nothing but life itself” (p. 138) Human Life/Man’s life resembles Sisyphus • “the kind of meaninglessness that we found in Sisyphus and that we find all around, wherever anything lives.” (p. 138) • We live the mechanical lives, and “whereas Sisyphus himself returns to push the stone up again, we leave this to our children” (139). SO the only difference between Sisyphus and us is that he does not die (in the underworld), we die and pass our Sisyphian life generation after generation RICHARD TAYLOR pp. 134 • “The picture o
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