Who invented the question about ’meaning of life’?
Although we think about it as some sort of eternal question asked since the dawn of mankind, actually the first recorded use of the phrase ’meaning of life’ occured only in 1834. Who was responsible for inventing the phrase? And why did the question become so burning in the 19th century that Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Tolstoy and others all made it into one of the central questions of their philosophies?
Also, a survey of 134 countries around the world shows that the richer the country, the more likely its citizens answer negatively to the question “Do you feel your life has an important purpose or meaning?”
Why is this so? Why do people in more wealthy countries find it harder to identify the meaning of their life? And where can we members of modern Western secularized societies find meaning?
Find an answer to all these questions from this TedX HelsinkiUniversity talk I recently gave:
Also, the talk ends with a one-sentence answer to the grand question about meaning of life.