Essay PreviewMore ↓
People often confuse satisfaction or pleasure with meaning. It is one thing to ask "How" (what Science does), another to seek an answer to "Why" (a teleological quest in most cases) and still different to contemplate the "What for". For instance: people often do something because it gives them pleasure or satisfaction – however this does not endow the act with meaning. Meaningless things can be – and many times, are – pleasant and satisfying.
A prime example is human games. Games are structured, they are governed by rules and represent the results of negotiations, analysis, synthesis and forecasting. They please and satisfy. Yet, a few will dispute their meaninglessness.
Games are useful. They teach and prepare us for real life situations. Sometimes, they bring in their wake fame, status, money, the ability to influence the real world. And even this does not make them meaningful.
It is easy to answer HOW people play games. Specify the rules of the game or observe it long enough, until the rules become apparent – and you have the answer.
It is easy to answer WHAT FOR do people play games. Pleasure, satisfaction, money, fame, learning, simulating real life experiences in anticipation and preparation for them.
But al this does not draw us an inch closer to the answer to the question:
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF GAMES?
For meaning to exist, we must have the following (cumulating) elements:
A relationship between at least two distinctive (at least partially mutually exclusive) entities (space-time is the result of such a relationship)
This relationship must manifest itself as the ability to map important parts of the entities unto each other ("Important" – without which the entity is not the same, an identity element)
That one of the entities should be larger than the other in some important sense. One of the entities must be physically bigger, older, more encompassing, mappable to more entities, etc.
That there be an interpreter to discern and understand the relationship between the entities (therefore, an "intelligent" interpreter)
That such observations would lead the interpreter (potentially) to explain and to predict an important facet of the identity and of the behaviour of one of the entities (usually, in terms of the other, within the context and while using the laws of mathematical logic)
That the understanding of a "Meaning" will provoke in a human observer an emotional reaction and in a non-human observer, an alteration in its information content and / or in its behaviour
How to Cite this Page
"The Pleasure Of Meaning." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Jan 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In the second chapter of John Stuart Mill’s essay, Utilitarianism, Mill responds to criticisms against utilitarianism. For one of these responses, he introduces the distinction of higher and lower pleasures to defend and more clearly define utilitarianism. This essay will further discuss this idea of higher and lower pleasures. Before even beginning to examine the idea of higher and lower pleasures, Mill firstly gives a clear definition of what utilitarianism is. He does this at the beginning of the second chapter, stating the core principle, or the ‘Greatest Happiness Principle,’ of this moral philosophy.... [tags: Human, Meaning of life, Pleasure]
1337 words (3.8 pages)
- What is a life worth living or what makes life worth living. In order to answer this, one must examine their own life. They should captivate their life with a vengeance. We all should continue to use reason, value friendship, keep life simple, master ourselves, be honest, be kind, and avoid greed as well as needless excess. One should continuously pursue new pleasures as well as new fates to reach with the mind. This reiterates many ideals from ancient philosophers; most outstandingly those that Plato emphasized via the teachings he received from Socrates, his teacher and idol.... [tags: Meaning of life, Human, Pleasure, Form of the Good]
1443 words (4.1 pages)
- When establishing whether or not the idea of disinterested pleasure is plausible it is important to determine whether or not the phrase is an oxymoron. An oxymoron is a phrase or idea where contradictory terms or words are used together (Oxford Dictionaries 2016, Oxymoron). Therefore, if an oxymoron were present in a philosophical idea then this would be problematic as the idea would most likely be make little sense and be fallacious. There is little consensus about whether disinterested pleasure is an oxymoron.... [tags: Meaning of life, Linguistics, Oxymoron]
1025 words (2.9 pages)
- In Sovran Maxims, Epicurus lays out his philosophy that pleasure is what gives meaning to one’s life. According to Sovran Maxims, the sole purpose of life is to experience pleasure, with pleasure being defined as a feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment. To maximize pleasure, pain, fear and unnecessary desires must be eliminated. Ecclesiastes is the lamentations of an old preacher. The preacher is troubled by the lack of meaning and purpose in life. He also has a focus on the cyclical nature of the world, which appears to be related to the meaninglessness of life.... [tags: Meaning of life, Life, Purpose, Suffering]
1983 words (5.7 pages)
- Poetry is a form of written word which has experience created by sound and meaning. It integrates various elements: Imagery; a figurative language which prompts the reader as well as the listener of the poem to create mental images. Poetic choice of words; this is based on the sound that is, denotation and connotation. Denotation refers to the accurate meaning of the word while connotation refers to the intended meaning of a word. The sound is another element of poetry which about the rhyme; words that sound similar or exactly alike in the poem.... [tags: Emotion, Meaning of life, Feeling, Art]
1386 words (4 pages)
- Breath in Poetry: In search of self-pleasure Although, they are different style in the writing, one poem rhymes and the other simply not, Gwendolyn Brooks’ “First Fight. Then Fiddle” and Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” share some common ideas. Both poems talk about death and survival and about the darkness of evil that lurks inside the snatched lives. In “First Fight. Then Fiddle”, Brooks addresses although life can be intimidating with many turns, enjoyment of it can be captivating. Brooks also embraces the fact that love can be hurting and music can be tasteless.... [tags: Poetry, Meaning of life, Sylvia Plath, Rhyme]
1610 words (4.6 pages)
- The word pleasure means a state of enjoying, satisfaction, sex… When I first think about it, I think as it is a way of having fun from something simple. I don't think pleasure is like passion. It doesn't have to mean you a lot. It isn't a wish or a goal or a life time wish. It is just finding joy from something simple and good enough to satisfy you. I concerned about it because in my mind the first definition that came up to my mind was sex. I was prejudiced about this word. But why should I be.... [tags: guilty, sex, hedonism ]
911 words (2.6 pages)
- Poetry is not facile subject to understand. Poetry is an art form that can be interpreted various ways. The meaning of each text of poetry relies on the readers, and the author 's emotional state of mind. When poetry is being read, it is not being read for fluency. These reading are to be analyzed and interpreted through an individual’s sight, intellection and sound. According to Louis Zokofsky, “ The test of poetry is the range of pleasure it affords at sight, sound, and intellectual. This is its purpose as art”.... [tags: Emotion, Feeling, Allen Ginsberg, Poetry]
1106 words (3.2 pages)
- Philosophers have discuss and debate about friendship and the true meaning to be a friend to others Aristotle have given requirements as well as qualities a friend possession within different types of friendships. He debates that a good man does not need friends but the points he brings up proves that a good man can not live a pleasant life in solitary. Many believe this to be true based off of Aristotle points that a good man does not need friends as long as they are self sufficient and blessedly happy (63).... [tags: Virtue, Meaning of life, Friendship]
1067 words (3 pages)
- Good afternoon and welcome to the Annual English Teachers Association Conference. The great aristotle once said, “Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence”. Today we will be discussing The Search for Meaning: Happiness and Existence - A Student’s Perspective. Happiness is defined as “a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure or joy.” The Dalai Lama once said “happiness is not a luxury but the purpose of our existence.” We, like the Dalai Lama, believe that happiness is the meaning of life.... [tags: Meaning of life, Absurdism, Existentialism, Life]
1185 words (3.4 pages)
The Meaning of Life must also adhere to these criteria:
As humans, we are distinct entities, largely mutually exclusive (though genetic material is shared and the socialization process homogenizes minds). We are related to the outside world and thus satisfy the Two Entities requirement.
Parts of the world can be mapped to us and vice versa (think about the representation of the world in our minds, for instance). The ancients believed in isomorphism: they mapped, one on one, features and attributes of entities in the world to one another. This is the source of certain therapies (acupuncture).
We are related to bigger entities (the physical universe, our history, God) – some of them "objective – ontological", others "subjective-epistemological". Some of them are even infinitely larger and, potentially, bear infinite meaning.
We are intelligent interpreters. We are, however, aware of the circular argument involved in observing ourselves and our relationships with other entities. This is why we are looking for other intelligent observers – preferably of a higher order of intelligence.
This has been the obsession of the human race: trying to decipher, understand, analyse and predict one entity in terms of others. This is the best definition of Science and Religion (though there have been other strains of human intellectual pursuits).
Every glimpse of ostensible meaning provokes great emotional turbulence in humans. The situation is different with machines, naturally. When we discuss Artificial Intelligence, we again confuse Meaning with Directional (teleological) behaviour. A computer does something not because it means anything to it, not even because it "wants" anything. A computer does something because it cannot do otherwise and because we make it do it. Arguably, the same goes for animals (at least those belonging to the lower orders). Only WE, the intelligent observers, can discern direction, cause and effect – and, ultimately, meaning (however limited – see the end of this Article).
This is the big human failure : all the "Meanings" that we divined hitherto are of the covariant, conjectural, dependent, circumstantial types. We can, therefore, safely say that humanity has not come across one meaning yet. Since the above condition must ALL co-exist for Meaning to manifest – human existence is meaningless.
For a meaning to arise – an observer must exist (and satisfy a few conditions). This raises the well-founded suspicion that meaning is observer-dependent (though invariant). Put differently, it seems that meaning resides with the observer rather than with the observed. This tallies nicely with certain interpretations of Quantum Mechanics. It also leads to the important philosophical conclusion that in a meaningful world – the division between observer and observed is critical. And vice versa: for a meaningful world to exist, we must have a separation of the observed from the observer.
A second conclusion is that meaning – being the result of interaction between entities – must be limited to these entities. It cannot transcend them. This means that it can never be invariant in the purest sense, it will always have a "privileged frame of reference".
In other words, meaning can never exists. The Universe and all its phenomena are meaningless.