Episode 7: The Meaning of Life and Intrinsic Value

Pull up a chair, and shut your mouth while Pierce once again lectures you about morality, religion and Jordan Peterson. Listener BEWARE!

(Picture: Young William James looking pretty sick.)


Wolf, Susan. “Meaningfulness: A Third Dimension of the Good Life”

Scruton, Roger. “Of Beauty and Consolation.”

Peterson, Goldstein and Craig on the Meaning of Life

Peterson on Purpose (Why do people put crap music over these clips?)

Marks, Pierce. “Metaethics and Absurd Angst.”

Swinburne, Richard. “Simplicity of Evidence of Truth.”

Swinburne, Richard. “The Probability of the Resurrection.” (there’s a lot of work on this…)

Shafer Landau, Russ. “Moral Realism.”

Tolstoy, Leo. “A Confession.”

William, James. “The Varieties of Religious Experience (Lectures IV-VII).”

2 Comments Add yours


    I just discovered your podcast and for some reason (directed by God??) started with this episode. I found it immensely helpful in making my thinking on this topic more precise! I also intuitively sense that there has to be a higher authority when it comes to arguing for intrinsic value – intrinsic good – in the matter of leading a meaningful life, and it is also one of the principal reasons I am a Christian. I am also in the fortunate position of being a physician, in that nobody else doubts the intrinsic value of my life’s work – but my observation, and even my own conscience, shows me that it is all too easy to let one’s motives drift from doing intrinsic good into pure utilitarianism, with a resulting loss of joy. As a result of your discussion I was able to have a wonderful discussion with my adult children about ‘The Meaning of Life’, one that certainly got everyone thinking! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! We haven’t been making episodes lately, and I hope we can continue to. I’ve started teaching at a University, and the pandemic has made things hectic. I do have a series of informal papers and videos on meaning and intrinsic value, and am still working on the topic as one of my primary areas. Never hesitate to reach out if you have any episode requests, questions or just want to chat!



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