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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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The Murder of George Floyd and the Immorality of Racism

This video presents the ideas and experiences of those who have experienced racism in America. As I white male I do not pretend to understand what it's like to have to deal with systemic racism. Though I was deeply disturbed by what happened to George Floyd as he was murdered by law enforcement, I cannot imagine how hard it has been on those that confront racial profiling, police brutality, and fear for personal health and safety on a regular basis. This is wrong. Racism is unjust.

In this video, I transmit and unpack the ideas of African American writers, statesmen, and people from other minority groups. I hope these ideas will open your eyes as they have mine. As a society we need to heal the wounds of the history of racism. We need to stop killing black men and boys. We need to stop disproportionately disadvantaging people of color. I don't pretend to have any tidy solutions. But we can start by listening.

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Albert Camus vs. Richard Taylor on The Meaning of Life

In this video (below), you'll discover how a debate between Albert Camus and Richard Taylor on the meaning of life might go. Camus embraces absurdism—the absurdity of life makes it meaningless. While Taylor embraces subjectivism—meaning in life is a matter of how things appear to you from a first-person perspective. If you find life satisfying because you're doing what you most desire to do, then your life is meaningful.

After getting these views on the table, Camus responds to Taylor. Taylor's tweak of the Sisyphus case doesn't make Sisyphus live a meaningful life. Instead, Sisyphus is not only condemned to an eternity of pointless toil, he's also unable to embrace the truth of his situation and actually take ownership of his fate. In Taylor's tweak of the case, the gods implant in Sisyphus a desire to roll stones. This makes Sisyphus subjectively-fulfilled, but it also makes him manipulated and deluded. Living a lie doesn't make life meaningful even if it makes life...

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Ethical Disagreement - Can Science Ever Resolve a Moral Disagreement?

Charles L. Stevenson’s “The Nature of Ethical Disagreement” 

Today we’re discussing an influential reply to a challenge to morality. The challenge is that moral disagreements are unresolvable by scientific means. Disputes in science can be settled through data confirming or disconfirming hypotheses. Yet, moral disputes cannot be resolved through scientific methods.
 
But, what if science can help resolve ethical disagreements? Is that possible? Wrestling with is challenge will help you better strategize how to resolve ethical disagreements in your life. Welcome to The Philosophical Life!
 
Watch a video version of this post below. Or, skip over the video to read the post.

Two Kinds of Disagreement 

Stevenson identifies two types of disagreement. The first kind is disagreement in belief. Let’s illustrate this form of disagreement by way of a current example.
 
Right now in the United States we’re still actively trying...
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