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The Myth of Sisyphus: How to Best Cast Camus' Skeptical Challenge that Life Lacks Meaning

Discover the sharpest way to press Camus's skeptical challenge: You don't know that your life is meaningful. The challenge is best cast as epistemological, not metaphysical.

Camus' challenge is like other skeptical challenges. They bring into your awareness a possibility of error you ignore in everyday life. You believe you do stuff in life that matters and is worthwhile. But, nothing you do is ultimately worthwhile. It will not have a lasting impact. From a cosmic perspective, everything you do will come to nothing. You will eventually die and all your accomplishments will fade. Camus thought this clash between the internal and cosmic perspective captured the meaninglessness of life.

Philosopher Thomas Nagel argued a better way of understanding the absurd is a clash between two internal perspectives. You take seriously your life projects. You believe you're doing things that are worthwhile. But, all that you do is open to doubt. Such doubt undercuts your justification for...

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Free Masterclass Now Live!

The free masterclass is now live! Get started building a meaningful life you love by registering for the course at the home page: https://www.thephilosophicallife.com/

Click any button on the page to register for the masterclass. Watch it instantly after registration.

The masterclass helps you start building a super meaningful life because it:

- Busts 2 myths that keep people stuck
- Exposes 3 secrets to building a meaningful life you love
- Reveals the ultimate system for living a meaningful life—Mission Massive Meaning

Hope to see you inside the course!
-Christopher

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Feeling Like The Daily Routine Is Meaningless: How to Fix and Avoid

Living through the Coronavirus pandemic feels like living through Groundhog Day the movie. Bill Murray's character (TV weatherman Phil Connors) got stuck in a time loop. He repeated the same day many times. Coronavirus feels like the same day on repeat.
 
Such monotony makes life feel meaningless. Philosopher Richard Taylor identified the key feature in Albert Camus’ take on the Myth of Sisyphus as a repetitive cycle that never goes anywhere. It only fed back into a loop of the same cycle again, hoisting the stone up the hill.
 
As weatherman Connors asks in the movie, “What would you do if you were stuck in one place, and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” Well, what would you do?
 
Of course, Phil wanted to quit living the same day over and over again. How he acted going through the day ultimately got him unstuck. Instead of acting like things didn’t matter, Phil began developing his moral character. He...
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The Surprising Benefits of Feeling Like Your Life is Meaningful

 It's crazy how the Coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. Its changed how we communicate and relate to others.

Social distancing is good to prevent the spread of the disease, but it leads to social isolation and loneliness for many people.

Yet, there's good news...

As I talk about in this new video, research has shown that feeling like your life is meaningful has powerful effects. It improves about every aspect of your well-being.

Intentionally building meaning into your life can counteract loneliness, even in the midst of a global pandemic.

I've created a free masterclass. It shows you the exact 3-part system for building a massively meaningful life--without quitting your job or making history.

It goes live this Sunday (9/20). Keep an eye out for more details.

Wishing you the best in these bizarre times.

-Prof Phil Life

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The Napoleon Dynamite View of Massive Meaning

Let me ask: Do you believe you can live a massively meaningful life?

Perhaps you're thinking like Napoleon Dynamite: "I don't have any skills...You know, like nunchuck skills, bo hunting skills, computer hacking skills." Only people with great skills can live massively meaningful lives. And I'm like Napoleon on that front.

Well, it depends how you define a massively meaningful life. If you think only people who've developed super-skills through singular-focus on one area of life can live such a life, then you're right. In fact, you might think only the world's top performers and the mover and shakers of history can live a massively meaningful life.

I think this is mistaken. I think a super-meaningful life is within the reach of average people who don't have crazy skills in one area of life. You don't have to be Bill Gates, Elon Musk, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Einstein, or Mother Teresa to live a massively meaningful life.

How is it possible for us normal people to live...

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What makes you feel like a kid again?

What makes you feel like a kid again?
 
For me, it's going to the cabin in the mountains I grew up going to as a child. My grandparents built a cabin in a ski town. You had to use a snowmobile to get to the cabin in the winter.
 
Every time I go back to that town I feel the rush. I feel the rush of playing in the snow as snow was lightly falling. I recall the babbling brooks of water as the snow melted. I recall the Aspen treats shimmer in the breeze. I recall the crisp, clean air. I am transported to feeling like a kid again.
 
Philosopher of science Paul Thagard thinks the meaning of life consists in 3 things: love, work, and play. Yes, play.
 
Where do you go to regain that sense of childlike play? What do you do that makes you feel like a kid again? Yes, what do you do to add meaning to your life?
 
-Christopher "Building a Giant Snowman in My Mind" Cloos 🙂
 
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How I quit...

...longing for an old way of life.

About 20 years ago I was working a corporate job. You know, the standard cubicle job (cue the movie "Office Space" in your mind). I was bored with creating what felt like TPS reports.

I felt like my work and life weren't making an impact.

I left my corporate job to go back to school. I missed the challenge and rewards of studying philosophy (my undergrad major). I eventually got my PhD. I was on the path toward teaching at a university...then life happened. My wife and I became parents after years of waiting.

Our priorities changed. We wanted to raise our son near family.

That meant I would need to leave academia. That's when the idea for The Philosophical Life hit me! I could share what I had learned with people not in school at a university. I could share the power of philosophy with the public! (cue your favorite inspirational song)

Yet as I settled into being a stay-at-home dad and entrepreneur a funny thing happened. I found myself longing for...

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Racial Bias and Policing: How to Think Critically About Fixing a Broken System

Police reform in the United States is necessary. Part of that reform involves how we talk and think about racial bias and policing. This video helps you think critically about systemic racism and implicit racial biases.

You'll identify logical fallacies made by Senator John Cornyn and Vanita Gupta in a Senate Judiciary Hearing on police reform. You'll learned about Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt’s important research on bias, race, and crime. And you'll explore the nature of implicit racial biases as they relate to systemic racism.

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Reparations - Justice, Love, and Healing Require Atonement for the Sin of Slavery

In this video, you'll learn why reparations for slavery are owed to African Americans. Slavery involved economic injustice in the form of stealing labor, and its fruits, from slaves. It also involved immoral physical and psychological abuse. Such racist treatment of African American continued through policies that treated black lives as less valuable than white lives. Jim crow, segregation, share cropping, redlining, police brutality, and mass incarceration institutionalized racism. This video helps you think philosophically about the possibility of reparations for such harms.

After looking at comments by prominent African American leaders in the United States, you'll discover how Trevor Noah responds to an objection that reparations are not uniquely owed to African Americans. You'll then learn about 6 key facts concerning past and present injustices against African Americans. Such facts come from current bill H.R. 40 on reparations put forward by the House of Representatives....

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Charles Mills Refines Trevor Noah's Powerful Thoughts About George Floyd's Murder

In this video, you'll learn key features of Charles Mills' "The Racial Contract." We'll apply Mills' ideas to refining Trevor Noah's suggestive thoughts about George Floyd's murder and the protests and looting that followed.

Noah suggests the looting is a result of a broken social contract between black American's and those in power. Mills refines Noah's thoughts by implying the social contract is still in place. It isn't null and void. The contract still in place is not the classical social contract of Hobbes, Locke, Kant, or Rousseau. It's the Racial Contract between whites and nonwhites that maintains white supremacy.

The Racial Contract is enforced through violence and ideological conditioning. This explains Noah's claim that "police in America are looting black bodies." Looting such bodies is a way of maintaining and enforcing the Racial Contract. White people will be, as Mills says, "unable to understand the world they themselves have made." The Racial Contract imposes and...

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