Really Hard Problem Meaning in a Material World

ISBN-10: 0262512483
ISBN-13: 9780262512480
Edition: 2009
Authors: Owen J. Flanagan
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Description: Honorable Mention, Philosophy category, 2007 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Awards for Excellence Competition presented by the Association of American Publishers, Inc. If consciousness is the "hard problem" in mind scienceexplaining how the  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 2/13/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Honorable Mention, Philosophy category, 2007 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Awards for Excellence Competition presented by the Association of American Publishers, Inc. If consciousness is the "hard problem" in mind scienceexplaining how the amazing private world of consciousness emerges from neuronal activitythen the "really hard problem," writes Owen Flanagan in this provocative book is explaining how meaning is possible in the material world. How can we make sense of the magic and mystery of life naturalistically, without an appeal to the supernatural? How do we say truthful and enchanting things about being human if we accept the fact that we are finite material beings living in a material world, or, in Flanagan's description, short-lived pieces of organized cells and tissue? Flanagan's answer is both naturalistic and enchanting. We all wish to live in a meaningful way, to live a life that really matters, to flourish, to achieve eudaimoniato be a "happy spirit." Flanagan calls his "empirical-normative" inquiry into the nature, causes, and conditions of human flourishing eudaimonics.Eudaimonics,systematic philosophical investigation that is continuous with science, is the naturalist's response to those who say that science has robbed the world of the meaning that fantastical, wishful stories once provided. Flanagan draws on philosophy, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and psychology, as well as on transformative mindfulness and self-cultivation practices that come from such nontheistic spiritual traditions as Buddhism, Confucianism, Aristotelianism, and Stoicism, in his quest. He gathers from these disciplines knowledge that will help us understand the nature, causes, and constituents of well-being and advance human flourishing. Eudaimonicscan help us find out how to make a difference, how to contribute to the accumulation of good effectshow to live a meaningful life.

Owen Flanagan is James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy. His books include Varieties of Moral Personality (1991), Consciousness Reconsidered (1992), The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World (2007), and The Bodhisattva's Brain: Buddhism Naturalized (2011).

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Meaningful and Enchanted Lives
A Threat from the Human Sciences?
Finding Meaning in the Natural World
The Comparative Consensus
Science for Monks
Buddhism and Science
Normative Mind Science?
Psychology, Neuroscience, and the Good Life
Neuroscience, Happiness, and Positive Illusions
Spirituality Naturalized?
"A Strong Cat without Claws"
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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