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Meaning in Life: Existentialism
29 Sep 2020 @ 18:30 - 20:30 AEST
How does one create or pursue “meaning IN life” if there is no cosmic “meaning OF life”? Does the absurdity of suffering and banality of repetitive human activities undermine meaning? What are the moral dimensions or altruistic requisites, if any, for leading a meaningful life? Can we only achieve “meaning in life” by engaging in worthwhile projects that advance the common good or by seeking to help others and transcend self? What constitutes a meaningful life for YOU and what sorts of literary, secular, philosophical, spiritual or religious ideas or ideals inform your sense of meaning? Please join the discussion so we can learn together.
The presentation will offer perspectives on life as meaningful based on the projects and purposes we each adopt, drawing on existentialist and absurdist thinkers including Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Martin Buber and Viktor Frankl, among others. Akiva will explore the extent to which meaning in life may be achieved through any number of personal choices about “what truly matters” to an individual and the possible role of shared moral values in creating and sustaining a life filled with purpose and meaning. Akiva will argue that meaning in life is for most, if not all, people necessarily inter-personal, communal and more broadly social – no less in the age of COVID and during times of physical isolation – as our sense of self is relational and life purpose entails concern for both self and others.
Bio: Akiva Quinn’s first, true love – in the realm of ideas – is philosophy, especially the sort of practical wisdom explored in applied ethics, moral, political and social theory or praxis. He studied philosophy and sociology at Monash University and completed an MA there in 2010. Akiva enjoys philosophy and literature, with a focus on meaning and morality, and has co-presented several workshops on life purpose and meaning in life. His other training is in the discipline of computer science and he works in software development where logic and reason also play key roles and meaning can be crafted as well.