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Abstract

Contemporary ethical theorists have sought criteria to identify meaningful lives. A central issue that divides accounts is whether the concept of meaningfulness rests on objective values. My own view is that each side in the controversy is partially right and partially wrong. I believe objective values are needed for the concept of a meaningful life but that no successful account of such values has yet been offered. Lacking such an account, the concept of a meaningful life should be replaced by more useful terminology. I shall contrast my view with that of Susan Wolf though my goal is not primarily critical but, instead, the development of a different and, I believe, more useful approach.