CFP: Fourth International Conference on Philosophy and Meaning in Life

Submission deadline: October 1, 2021

Conference date(s):
January 17, 2022 - January 19, 2022

Go to the conference's page

This event is online

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, University of Pretoria
Pretoria, South Africa

Topic areas


Submission: We invite submissions concerning meaning in/of life as considered in the field of philosophy. Please send an abstract of approximately 500 words (excluding any references), prepared for blind review, via the website for the Conference ( We will begin screening abstract submissions on 1 October 2021, but there might be an opportunity for consideration after that date ([email protected]). Applicants will be notified of the result via email by the beginning of December 2021.

Publication: Speakers will be encouraged to submit papers for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Philosophy of Life to be published by the end of 2022 (or possibly early 2023). Papers would normally run from about 6000 to no more than 8000 words.

Online Presentation: Normally 50 minutes for live presentations, roughly 20-25 minutes for talk and the rest for discussion. Some sessions may be pre-recorded and shorter. 

Context: Meaning in life is one of the most fundamental philosophical problems, discussed for centuries but having acquired considerable depth in English-speaking philosophy over the past 30 years. Is there any meaning in life? If so, how can we find it? Can life be meaningful if death is the ultimate end of our existence? How is meaning related to well-being and happiness? What are the moral implications of philosophical debates on meaning in life? Can life be objectively meaningful, or can it only be subjectively meaningful? What are the links between God and meaning? What do we mean by ‘meaning’ in the first place?

The aim of the conference is to address these fundamental questions from a wide range of philosophical perspectives, including both western and non-western traditions. Potential topics could include, but are not limited to: theoretical approaches to meaning in/of life; the relationship between death and meaning; anti-natalism and nihilism; procreation and extinction; spiritual, religious, and psychological implications of meaning; linguistic, metaphysical, and epistemological issues concerning meaning; meaning in applied ethics, such as bioethics, environmental ethics, and transhumanism; the roles of narrative, identity, and agency; comparative accounts of meaning in religio-philosophical traditions around the world; implications of meaning for health, well-being, or virtue.

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)