Anti-meaning and why it matters

Stephen M. Campbell, Sven Nyholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
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It is widely recognized that lives and activities can be meaningful or meaningless, but few have appreciated that they can also be anti-meaningful. Anti-meaning is the polar opposite of meaning. Our purpose in this essay is to examine the nature and importance of this new and unfamiliar topic. In the first part, we sketch four theories of anti-meaning that correspond to four leading theories of meaning. In the second part, we argue that anti-meaning has significance not only for our attempts to theorize about meaning in life but also for our ability to lead meaningful lives in the modern world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 694-711
JournalJournal of the American Philosophical Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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