A Meaning to Life
decline of religious belief, there has been growing interest-and growing doubt-about whether human life really does have meaning. If it does, where might we find it?
The historian and philosopher of science Michael Ruse investigates this question, and wonders whether we can find a new meaning to life within Darwinian views of human nature. If God no longer exists-or if God no longer cares-rather than promoting a bleak nihilism, many Darwinians think we can convert Darwin into a form of secular humanism. Ruse explains that, in a tradition going back to the time of Darwin himself, and represented today by the evolutionist E. O. Wilson, evolution is seen as
progress-"from monad to man"-and that positive meaning is found in continuing and supporting this upwards path of life. In A Meaning to Life, Michael Ruse argues that this is a false turn, and there is no real progress in the evolutionary process. Rather, meaning in the Darwinian age can be found if we
turn to a kind of Darwinian existentialism, seeing our evolved human nature as the source of all meaning, both in the intellectual and social worlds. Ruse argues that it is only by accepting our true nature-evolved over millennia- that humankind can truly find what is meaningful.
- Hardback | 216 pages
- 135 x 185 x 21mm | 268g
- 27 Jun 2019
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
Other books in this series
07 Sep 2017
Table of contents
Darwinian biology to present a framework for his own position. While confident in the capacities of science, Ruse humbly ventures his own approach to questions that ultimately lie beyond the reach of science. This book is a must read as a model of Socratic honesty about meaning in life. * Michael L. Peterson, Professor of Philosophy, Asbury Theological Seminary, and author of C. S. Lewis and the Christian Worldview * Another valuable book from the inimitable Michael Ruse who continues to write about religion and related matters in a way that is intelligent and neither fawning nor condescending. Do not be deceived by the apparent lightness of touch and endless Ruse humor (particularly about warthogs); this is a book with rich insights on almost every page. * Michael J. Reiss, University College London * Thoroughly infused with autobiography, casual erudition, and the characteristic humor of its author, A Meaning to Life gives an account of its title for a world in which the nature of humanity stems not from relations to God or religion, but to evolution. Tracing right and wrong turns in Darwinian conceptions of meaning, its provocative, "existentialist" proposal demands attention. * Anjan Chakravartty, University of Miami *
About Michael Ruse