6th International Conference on Philosophy and Meaning in Life

Today - June 19, 2024
Department of Philosophy, University of Liverpool

United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

This event is available both online and in-person


University of Liverpool
University of Reading
Queen's University, Belfast (PhD)
William & Mary
University of Findlay
Singapore Management University
University of Liverpool
Central European University
Bielefeld University
Hokkaido University
University of Haifa
Le Moyne College
Waseda University
Oakton Community College
RWTH Aachen University
University of Sheffield
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Haifa
University of Cincinnati
University of Johannesburg
Keele University
Open University (UK)
University of Málaga
University of Manchester
Hitotsubashi University
University of Cincinnati


University of Liverpool

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We are very excited to be hosting the sixth Conference on Philosophy and Meaning in Life, which this time will take place in person on the campus of the University of Liverpool. There’s no need to worry, though: all talks and Q&A sessions will also be live-streamed, so that remote participation and interaction remains possible. Of course you would then miss your chance of visiting Liverpool, which according to the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung is the “pool of life”, which “makes to live”. John Lennon, who grew up here, was equally enthusiastic, though slightly more prosaic: “A good place to wash your hair”, he said. “Good soft water”. Either way, Liverpool is well worth a visit.

About the conference

The question what, if anything, makes our life meaningful, has in recent years received considerable critical attention from philosophers. Yet meaning in life continues to be a fascinatingly rich topic with plenty of aspects that remain controversial or have not been sufficiently explored yet. For instance, how much difference is there between individuals in terms of what makes life meaningful for us? How much difference is there between cultures? Are non-human animals capable of living meaningful lives? Can inanimate things have a meaningful existence, and if so, is what makes their existence meaningful also what makes human existence meaningful? Is there such a thing as anti-meaning? How do we decide which activities are objectively valuable and which not? Do we have a right to meaning? If so, does it follow that as a society we have an obligation to provide people with what they need to live meaningful lives? Why do we care about meaning in the first place? What exactly would be lost if our life was meaningless? How is meaning in life affected by the changes brought about by the rapid technological advancements we are currently witnessing? Is AI perhaps a greater threat to our ability to live meaningful lives than it is to our survival? 


DAY 1: 17 June

KEYNOTE Tatjana Schnell: An Empirical Approach to Meaning in Life

Nathan Emmerich: Psychedelics, Psychotherapy, and Meaning in Life

Oluwaseun Sanwoolu:Finding Meaning in Close Personal Relationships with AI

Franlu Vulliermet: Love, Loss, and the Meaning of Life 

Arto Tammenoksa: The Ascetic Path to Meaning – A Phenomenological Approach to Resignation in a World of Empty Transcendences

Chelsea Shay: The Fundamental Threat of Superintelligence: A Loss of Meaning in Modernity

Brylea Hollinshead: Dispositional Love and Meaning in Life Ranzenigo:Existential Necessity

Lucy Tomlinson: This Beautiful, Meaningful Life

Jared Parmer: Automation, Value Learning AI, and the Aftermath of Meaningful Work

Shawn Graves: Love and Meaning in Life 

Christine Susienka: Hope and Meaning in Life

Ying Xue: The Risk of Seeking the Meaning of Life and a Hegelian Solution

Jonathan Strand: On Making a Difference

KEYNOTE Kieran Setiya: Meaning and the Afterlife

Conference Dinner


DAY 2: 18 June

Joshua Lewis Thomas: In Defence of Sense. Why the Intelligibility View is Still the Most Attractive Analysis of Life’s Meaning

Jozef Majernik: “Life as an Experiment” in Nietzsche’s Gay Science

Roland Kipke: Meaning in the Life of Children

Nobuo Kurata: Intelligibility Approach of Meaning of Life Rabello: The Value of a Meaningful Life

Thomas Rule: Meaning as Horizon

Thomas Payre: A Sartrean Exploration of Meaningfulness in Mindless Actions

Natalia Tomashpolskaia: Border Situations as Stimuli to Search for the Meaning of Life on the Example of Wittgenstein’s War Experience

Masahiro Morioka: Phenomenological Structures of “a Life” in the Philosophy of Life’s Meaning

Iddo Landau:Suffering and Meaning in Life

Giulia Codognato: Human Nature, Practices, and Common Good: How Human Beings Flourish

Charlie Potter: Life as Lived Experience

Vincent del Prado: Our Corporeal Spell. Embodiment, Subjectivity, and the Analytic Philosophy of Meaning in Life Shalev: Final Ends and the Two Concepts of Meaningfulness

KEYNOTE James Tartaglia: Neutral Nihilism

Irene Liu: Meaning and Tradition

George Backen: The Phenomenology of Meaning

Fumitake Yoshizawa:Two Kinds of Meaninglessness in Life

Annemarie van Stee: Not Altogether Meaningless Lives

Kiki Berk: Beauvoir on Meaning in Life at Old Age

Patrick O’Donnell: Pessimism on Meaning, Transcendence, and Reconciliation

City and Beatles Bus Tour



DAY 3: 19 June

Patrick Derns: Meaning, Life, and Morality – Friends or Foes?

Travis Rebello: The Value of a Meaningful Life

Alon Shalev: Final Ends and the Two Concepts of MeaningfulnessNoah Jones: Utiliarianism and Meaningfulness: Enemies or Friends?

Noah Jones: Utilitarianism and Meaningfulness: Friends or Foes?

Katherine Martha: Narrative, Meaning, and Well-Being: Fact or Fiction

Jonah Goldwater: The Hierarchy Account of Meaning in Life

Ellie Palmer: Morality and the Posthumous Self

William Pamerleau: The Impact of Film on Meaning in Life

Ayush Nautiyal: The Coherency of the Moderate Supernaturalist View in Light of the Mawson-Metz Argument

Luke Elson: Moral Error Theory and Meaning

Markus Ruether: Meaning Objectivism and the Relativity Challenge

Matthew Hammerton: A Conditional Analysis of Meaning in Life

Christopher Earley: Witnessing History and Searching for Meaning

Damiano Ranzenigo: Existential Necessity

Asheel Singh: Openness to ‘Cosmic Realism’ about the Meaning of Life

John Adams: Memory, Wonder and Longing: How the Past Gives Meaning to Our Lives

Tayron Alberto Achury Torres: Perseverance in its Being and the Meaning of Life: A perspective from the Philosophy of Spinoza

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Today, 9:00am BST

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Who is attending?

7 people are attending:

University of New England (Australia)
Hitotsubashi University
and 5 more.

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