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Book Cover
Author Ruse, Michael, author

Title A meaning to life / Michael Ruse
Published New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2019]
Online access available from:
ProQuest Ebook Central    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource
Contents The unraveling of belief -- Has religion really lost the answer? -- Darwinism as religion -- Darwinian existentialism
Summary "In an empty universe without God, governed by scientific principles, can human life have any deeper meaning? Where might secular people find comfort and meaning, if not in the answers traditionally provided by religion? Answers on this question range wildly - from a negative, nihilistic pessimism that argues that real meaning is impossible, to scientists like E.O. Wilson who find a thinner kind of meaning in the promise of scientific progress. Michael Ruse's short book argues that, contrary to both, finding meaning without God is possible, if we embrace our true nature. Drawing on his expertise on evolutionary theory, Ruse advances a view he calls "Darwinian existentialism." Darwinism is traditionally seen to place human life within a soulless, mechanistic universe. But far from a bleak existentialism, Ruse argues that Darwinism can actually provide a positive framework for meaning in life. Over the millennia, evolution has produced within us a very real biological "human nature" that has ingrained in us unique traits like the ability to reason, the need for the comfort of family and friends, the love of beauty, and others. Arguing against both the pessimists and the scientific optimists, Ruse argues that it is only by embracing our deepest human nature, formed by evolutionary processes, that we can find meaning in life. Written in a personal style, and tracing the efforts of many others on the same question, from Sartre to Richard Dawkins, Ruse's thoughtful and deeply informed short volume should appeal to a wide readership interested in the question of the meaning of life"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882 -- Influence.
Human evolution.
Meaning (Philosophy)
Philosophical anthropology.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0190933232 (electronic bk.)
9780190933234 (electronic bk.)