This week marks the third anniversary of the first post on this site. As at the first two anniversaries, I think we should pause to take stock of our progress. The attentive reader knows that for the most part the 464 blogs are not random essays, but in general, comprise a developing philosophy text which examines the relevant elements of philosophy for the achievement of a meaningful life. Today I will summarize the path we have been following to provide context for new and erstwhile readers.

After a few introductory posts on defining philosophy and the site’s mission, I jumped into the Big Picture – the reduction of practical philosophy into its two major divisions:

[1] The nature of reality (9 posts from 11/9/18-12/3/18), and

[2] Ethics (13 posts from 12/5/18-1/4/19).

In those sections we found that reality and ethics are manifest at five levels or tiers, each of which requires reflection in fashioning a flourishing life; (1)  internal (the self), (2) proximate (that which we directly contact), (3) societal (the human world we know indirectly), (4) cosmic (non-human nature, science, and the celestial), and (5) ultimate (the divine realm, should one exist). The nature of these tiers and our conduct with regards to them define the field of play for this project.

I next took on eight special topics essential to expanding our understanding of reality and ethics that are the substrate for any system:

[1] Good and evil (10 posts from 1/6/19 -2/6/19),

[2] The question of God (19 posts from 2/8/19- 3/27/19),

[3] Body and soul (15 posts from 4/3/19 – 5/6/19),

[4] Death and immortality (24 posts from 5/13/9- 7/5/19),

[5] Free will, fate, and human destiny (42 posts from 7/17/19 – 10/23/19),

[6] Teleology (40 posts from 11/11/19 – 1/31/20),

[7] Suffering (40 posts from 2/10/20 – 5/11/20; including 7 on the COVID-19 pandemic).

[8] Certainty (38 posts from 5/18/20 – 8/14/20).

Conclusions on the big picture and the eight special topics were included in 5 review posts (8/17/20 – 8/28/20).

After that extended preparatory work, we arrived at the focus of our work- a systematic exploration of the concept of a meaningful life and a detailed analysis of the various components.

[1]   Introduction to the Meaning of Life    (21 posts  9/2/20 -10/12/20 and 10/19/20-10/28/20).

[2]  Virtue and the Meaning of Life (83 total posts divided as follows)

Introduction (5 posts 11/4/20-11/13/20);

Virtue and Self (13 posts 11/23/20-12/21/20);

Virtue and Others (10 posts 12/30/20-1/11/21 and 1/20/21);

Societal Virtue (13 posts 1/22/21-2/19/21;

Cosmic Virtue (40 posts 2/22/21-5/4/21 and 5/16/21-6/3/21);

Ultimate Virtue (1 post 6/7/21); and

Conclusion (2 posts 6/9/21-6/11/21).

[3] Purpose and the Meaning of Life ( 44 total posts to date divided as follows)

Introduction (4 posts 6/14/21 – 6/18/21 and 6/25/21);

Purpose and Internal Reality (6 posts 6/28/21-7/9/21);

Purpose and Proximate Reality/Others (34 posts 7/12/21-9/22/21; 10/8/21-

10/11/21 & ongoing)

(continued next post)

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