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I die, therefore i am: The pursuit of meaning in the light of death

Cozzolino, PJ and Blackie, LER (2013) 'I die, therefore i am: The pursuit of meaning in the light of death.' In: UNSPECIFIED, (ed.) The Experience of Meaning in Life: Classical Perspectives, Emerging Themes, and Controversies. UNSPECIFIED, 31 - 45. ISBN 9789400765269, 9400765266

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In this chapter we discuss how individuals can find a personal sense of meaning after confronting their own mortality. We assert that the pursuit of personal meaning can take one of two divergent paths depending on how the individual construes death. Specifically, we predict that thinking about death in an abstract and unspecified manner, in which an individual is able to deny the reality of death, leads to defensive attempts to seek meaning from symbolic sources that are external to the self. Alternatively, we predict that thinking about death in a specific and individuated manner, in which individuals consider their death as an experiential reality, leads to authentic, open, and more intrinsic strivings toward personal meaning. We review empirical evidence in support of these divergent paths of meaning in the context of altruism, creativity, psychological needs, values, and the motivation to pursue (or escape from) freedom.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Philip Cozzolino
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2016 15:47
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 20:15

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