Lots of great philosophers including Socrates and Plato were interested in the study of the purpose, but it was the early Greek philosopher Aristotle, who took it further. Aristotle was born around 384 BC in the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia.
One of his claims to fame was that he tutored Alexander the Great, who soon afterward, went out and conquered the known world. Aristotle was interested in a lot of stuff like What is art for? What are friends for? But besides all this, another vital question he looked into was the question of how people should live and what they should live for. He wrote a book called The Nicomachean Ethics–in the book he wrote about what he called eudaimonia—the highest good.
Although this Greek term is somewhat difficult to translate into English, it refers basically to self-actualization, fulfillment, and flourishing. Aristotle believed that all individuals possessed particular unique capacities and are meant to use those skills to fulfill a particular role or purpose. After Aristotle laid that foundation thousands of years ago, lots of schools of thought about the meaning and purpose of life have also sprung upOne of such schools thought was existentialism.
This school of thought opines that humans define their own meaning in life through the acts of the will, despite existing in an irrational universe. Philosophers like Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Fyodor Dostoevsky were the major influences in this field. Unlike existentialism, In fact, there are also some schools of thought that rationalize that life is meaningless, has no purpose and hence there’s even no need to create any meaning for ourselves.
Among these schools of thought are Postmodernism, and Nihilism. Postmodernism was a late 20th-century Western philosophy, which preaches skepticism, subjectivism, and relativism. For example, a postmodernist believes that as humans we know nothing, hence there’s no objective truth, or moral code of conduct, everything is subjected and relative.
Nihilism on the other hand is worse. It asserts that all religious and moral principles are rubbish and that life itself is essentially meaningless. These philosophies have served as a bedrock on which most individuals have launched out towards finding meaning in life. The philosophies you hold unto in life is very vital. For example, you can’t be a nihilist who believes that life is meaningless and then live a life of meaning.
Enjoy your day. PS: the paid purpose and self-discovery training is still ongoing. You can still get in.