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A Significant Life: Human Meaning in a Silent Universe Hardcover – 15 Apr 2015


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (15 April 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022623567X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226235677
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Boxed-product Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 352,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"In "A Significant Life," May has produced a tour de force. It is a thoughtful, subtle, beautifully written discussion of what it takes to live a meaningful life. A careful study of this book will tell you what it takes to make life worth living. It is refreshing to encounter someone worrying about such a big question in the small-minded times we live in, and an absolute joy to discover that he may actually have provided an answer."--Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

"In this eloquent and inspiring book, May argues that meaning in life is not given to us by God or the universe; nor is it, as the existentialists claimed, something we invent for ourselves. It is found instead in living in accordance with what he calls 'narrative values, ' which inform and structure our lives as wholes. May's arguments are often illustrated with examples drawn from literature and his writing is frequently lyrical, though always accessible. The book does not claim to reveal the meaning of life. May is a seeker rather than a proselytizer. Indeed, it is in part because he is not content with simplistic certainties that he is able to offer such wise guidance in our efforts to understand how and why our lives matter."--Jeff McMahan, author of The Values of Lives

In "A Significant Life," May has produced a tour de force. It is a thoughtful, subtle, beautifully written discussion of what it takes to live a meaningful life. A careful study of this book will tell you what it takes to make life worth living. It is refreshing to encounter someone worrying about such a big question in the small-minded times we live in, and an absolute joy to discover that he may actually have provided an answer. --Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less"

In this eloquent and inspiring book, May argues that meaning in life is not given to us by God or the universe; nor is it, as the existentialists claimed, something we invent for ourselves. It is found instead in living in accordance with what he calls narrative values, which inform and structure our lives as wholes. May s arguments are often illustrated with examples drawn from literature and his writing is frequently lyrical, though always accessible. The book does not claim to reveal the meaning of life. May is a seeker rather than a proselytizer. Indeed, it is in part because he is not content with simplistic certainties that he is able to offer such wise guidance in our efforts to understand how and why our lives matter. --Jeff McMahan, author of The Values of Lives"

In A Significant Life, May has produced a tour de force. It is a thoughtful, subtle, beautifully written discussion of what it takes to live a meaningful life. A careful study of this book will tell you what it takes to make life worth living. It is refreshing to encounter someone worrying about such a big question in the small-minded times we live in, and an absolute joy to discover that he may actually have provided an answer. --Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less"

Todd May is something of a legend, known for his lively, conversational style of discourse, and this book on no less than the meaning of life showcases all of his best features. It is engaging and clear, with vivid examples from literature and May s own life. It addresses a topic of very broad interest, yet it does so in a philosophically sophisticated way. Despite Pierre Hadot s claim that all ancient philosophy was about the meaning of life, there is surprisingly little engagement of the question by contemporary philosophers. May s book fills this void marvelously.
--Charles Guignon, author of On Being Authentic"

This is an engaging, beautifully written book that grabs the reader from the first page something one cannot often say about a philosophy book. More important, May has given us a wise, humane reflection on one of the central questions of philosophy what makes for a meaningful life? While accessible to a broad audience, A Significant Lifealso makes a significant contribution to the scholarly literature.I highly recommend it. --Daniel Haybron, author of Happiness: A Very Short Introduction"

"In A Significant Life, May has produced a tour de force. It is a thoughtful, subtle, beautifully written discussion of what it takes to live a meaningful life. A careful study of this book will tell you what it takes to make life worth living. It is refreshing to encounter someone worrying about such a big question in the small-minded times we live in, and an absolute joy to discover that he may actually have provided an answer."--Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

"This is an engaging, beautifully written book that grabs the reader from the first page--something one cannot often say about a philosophy book. More important, May has given us a wise, humane reflection on one of the central questions of philosophy--what makes for a meaningful life? While accessible to a broad audience, A Significant Life also makes a significant contribution to the scholarly literature. I highly recommend it."--Daniel Haybron, author of Happiness: A Very Short Introduction

"Todd May is something of a legend, known for his lively, conversational style of discourse, and this book--on no less than the meaning of life--showcases all of his best features. It is engaging and clear, with vivid examples from literature and May's own life. It addresses a topic of very broad interest, yet it does so in a philosophically sophisticated way. Despite Pierre Hadot's claim that all ancient philosophy was about the meaning of life, there is surprisingly little engagement of the question by contemporary philosophers. May's book fills this void marvelously."

--Charles Guignon, author of On Being Authentic

About the Author

Todd May is Class of 1941 Memorial Professor of the Humanities at Clemson University. He is the author of many books, including Friendship in an Age of Economics, Contemporary Movements and the Thought of Jacques Rancière, and Death


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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
David E. Storm
4.0 out of 5 starsGood book if you are philosophically inclined. Here is a simple summary (at the bottom).
9 April 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
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13 people found this helpful.
Brian Hines
5.0 out of 5 starsBest "meaning of life" book I've ever read
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24 people found this helpful.
Violetah
5.0 out of 5 starsCondition
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Dr Rie
5.0 out of 5 starsBrilliant ideas. The author said sometimes he reads philosophy ...
1 May 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
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5 people found this helpful.
Just Jimmy
3.0 out of 5 starsMy Thoughts on the Book
8 September 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
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6 people found this helpful.