I started into this book with high anticipation. Maybe it would lend me some insight into the meaning of life. After all it goes through some of the great people throughout history. People like Socrates, St Anthony, Aristotle, Kant, Descartes and more.
But I was surpised to see that none of these people really looked for the underlying meaning of existence. They all looked for making sense of life through the world that they lived in. True that all of these figures brought about change in the way the world thought about the world but not in the way that I seek.
some of the bios were interesting and some of them dragged on for too long. Boorstin explained the ups and downs of their lives, the political maneuverings, where they lived, what they did and so on. This all proved the premise that each persons viewpoint on life was shaped by the circumstances in which he lived. And that left out the underlying search for the real meaning of our existence.
I took extensive notes from this book so I could further look into some of them. Here are some snippets.
Socrates - The unexamined life is not worth living
Aristotle - Obsessed with the notion of the changeful world of motion and the unmoved mover (God)
St Anthony - The first hermit the the virtues of the simple life
Herodotus - the father of history, he changed myth into history
Descartes - What path of life should I follow?
John Locke - Sought a definitiion of teh limits of human knowledge and postulated that from experience all knowledge is derived
Hegel - The World Spirit
Hebrew Prophets - reached upward
The Greek Philosophers - Reached inward
The Wheel of Samsara - Life-death-life
The Spanish-Arabic Averroes - There is only a single mind in which all souls participate.
If you would like to help me in my quest to find the meaning of life consider buying this book. Thanks :)