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Social Theory and Practice


published on June 1, 2019

Roland Kipke, Markus Rüther

Meaning and Morality
Some Considerations on a Difficult Relation

The debate on how an individual human life can be understood as being more or less meaningful has been pursued for a considerable time now. Despite extensive discussion some important aspects remain under-explored, namely the relation between meaningfulness and morality – even though many authors implicitly assume a connection between these two value dimensions. But how does morality contribute to a meaningful life? Is it a necessary condition? Or is it not necessary but sufficient or contributive? Or is there, when explored further, no connection at all? This article discusses the relation between morality and meaning by outlining the central positions in the debate, explains the main arguments for and against, and offers some indications for future work in the field.

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