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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

Reply to Holland ... The Meaning of Life and Darwinism

John Cottingham

Environmental Values 20 (2011): 299-308. doi: 10.3197/096327111X13077055165866


While finding no fault with Darwinism as a scientific theory, this paper argues that there are serious problems for the scientistic construal of Darwinism that interprets the universe as nothing but a purely random and contingent flow of events. Life in a godless impersonal universe is beset by contingency, alienation, despair, failure and fragility. Notwithstanding Alan Holland's claim that we can evade these problems though self-affirmation, I argue that human beings can achieve meaningful lives only by acknowledging our dependency and accepting the authority of values we did not create.


Contingency, God, futility, meaning, alienation

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Darwin and the Meaning in Life. Alan Holland

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: To Act or Not to Act? Katie McShane

What Do We Do about Bleakness? Alan Holland

Is Naturalism Bleak? A Reply to Holland and Cottingham. Ian James Kidd

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