Man's Search For Meaning

1527 Words7 Pages
Madeline Wisco
Victor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, wrote the book, Man’s Search for Meaning, which tells the story of his life in multiple concentration camps during World War II. Frankl uses his book to teach his audience how to find meaning through suffering and how to learn from it. In his book, Frankl states, “Man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life…This meaning is unique and specific in that it must be fulfilled by him alone; only then does it achieve a significance which will satisfy his own will to meaning” (Frankl, p. 99). Through the book, Man’s Search for Meaning, we can better understand and compare Meno’s search for the definition of virtue in Plato’s Meno dialogue. In this essay, we will first look at Frankl’s
…show more content…
In Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he writes, “Man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life…This meaning is unique and specific in that it must be fulfilled by him alone; only then does it achieve a significance which will satisfy his own will to meaning” (Frankl,…show more content…
What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment” (Frankl, p. 108). The meaning of life, when used as a general term, has a broad definition because of its ever-changing nature. However, the true definition of the meaning of life is supposed to be established on an individual basis. It’s the events going on in your personal life at that moment in time that defines what meaning is. “To put the question in general terms would be comparable to the question posed to a chess champion: ‘Tell me, Master, what is the best move in the world?’” (Frankl, p. 108). The “best move in the world” doesn’t exist because every person has a different best move; everyone lives different lives, no one has the same life. This question reminds me of the dialogue between Meno and Socrates, more specifically when Meno asks Socrates if virtue can be taught. Socrates replies, “Good stranger, you must think me happy indeed if you think I know whether virtue can be taught of how it comes to be; I am so far from knowing whether virtue can be taught or not that I do not even have any knowledge of what virtue itself is” (71a). Meno wants Socrates to give him a black and white answer; however, Socrates doesn’t even know the answer to Meno’s question. Going on a search with Socrates for the meaning of virtue would be “the best move in the
Open Document