Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World
This book owes much to many, but the most to those who shared with me their qualms and views on the meaning (or meaninglessness) of life. Some of these were terminal cancer patients whom I met while volunteering for the Israel Cancer Association. Many others were registered students who took my classes over the years, and yet others, usually older than regular students, sat in these classes as auditors. Their stories, arguments, and questions, in class and very often after class, taught me very much.
Many have also generously given of their time to read and comment on parts or the whole of the book. I am very grateful to my colleagues and friends Aliza Avraham, Stephen M. Campbell, Peter Hacker, Mane Hajdin, Aviv Hoffmann, Ivor Ludlum, Menachem Kellner, Ariel Meirav, Avital Pilpel, Eli Pitcovski, Bracha Oren- Simon, Saul Smilansky, Daniel Statman, Moti Suess, Lior Tal, Rivka Weinberg, and Irad Yavneh, as well as to two anonymous referees for Oxford University Press. Their very helpful comments and criticisms alerted me to many problems and allowed me to improve the book in many ways. I am especially indebted to my friends Peter Hacker, Daniel Statman, Rivka Weinberg, and Saul Smilansky, who not only read and commented on two drafts of the manuscript but also offered invaluable practical help and advice. Their input is greatly appreciated.
At different stages of the development of the manuscript, Marion Lupo, Dana Rothman- Meshulam, Belina Neuberger, Richard Isomaki, and especially Marie Deer have made many excellent linguistic and stylistic suggestions. The text now reads much better thanks to their proposals, some of them not only linguistic but also philosophical.
I owe a special gratitude to Lucy Randall, the philosophy editor at Oxford University Press, who very helpfully commented on the whole of the book, making numerous important suggestions on both form and content. Her wise and experienced counsel changed the character of the book much for the better. Many thanks also to Hannah Doyle and Sasirekka Gopalakrishnan for their very patient and efficient administration of the production of the book.
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