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Mind

Can Naturalists Believe in Meaning?

Cosmic VarianceBy Sean CarrollOctober 7, 2011 9:56 PM

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I have my answer ("yes, but not by finding meaning `out there' in the world"), which I hope to write about more soon. In the meantime, listen to a great conversation between philosophers Owen Flanagan and Alex Rosenberg from Philosophy TV. "What there is, and all there is, are bosons and fermions."

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Both discussants have written really good books. Rosenberg recently came out with The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions, while I very much enjoyed Flanagan's earlier book The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Natural World. Empirically, of course, naturalists often lead very enjoying and fulfilled lives. Here's a great profile of newly minted Laureate Brian Schmidt, in his capacity as a cook and winemaker as well as an astronomer. And here's Bob Kirshner, writing to the NYT from Friendship, Maine, about the meaning of dark energy.

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