Meaning of Life


Over the last two years, Evgenia Cherkasova, an associate professor of philosophy at Boston’s Suffolk University, has taught the university’s first course focused entirely on exploring the meaning of life.

Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of a $3.2 million effort to get colleges to explore “enduring questions,” the class has become one of the most popular ones that Cherkasova has led over her decade-long career at the university.

Through readings and discussions on philosophy, religion, art, fiction, autobiography and psychology, the first-year students in the class — mostly 18 and 19-year-olds — are asked to “explore different paths to meaning, learn about crises of meaning and their causes, and clarify our own perspective on what it means to live a meaningful, fulfilling life,” according to the syllabus.


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