Fourth International Conference on Philosophy and Meaning in Life

Welcome to the website of the Fourth International Conference on Philosophy and the Meaning of Life, 17 to 19 January 2022



Meaning in life is one of the most fundamental philosophical problems, discussed for centuries but having acquired considerable depth in English-speaking philosophy over the past 30 years. Is there any meaning in life? If so, how can we find it? Can life be meaningful if death is the ultimate end of our existence? How is meaning related to well-being and happiness? What are the moral implications of philosophical debates on meaning in life? Can life be objectively meaningful, or can it only be subjectively meaningful? What are the links between God and meaning? What do we mean by ‘meaning’ in the first place?

The aim of the conference is to address these fundamental questions from a wide range of philosophical perspectives, including both western and non-western traditions. Potential topics could include, but are not limited to: theoretical approaches to meaning in/of life; the relationship between death and meaning; anti-natalism and nihilism; procreation and extinction; spiritual, religious, and psychological implications of meaning; linguistic, metaphysical, and epistemological issues concerning meaning; meaning in applied ethics, such as bioethics, environmental ethics, and transhumanism; the roles of narrative, identity, and agency; comparative accounts of meaning in religio-philosophical traditions around the world; implications of meaning for health, well-being, or virtue.

Conference Programme

The tentative conference programme is available here. Please note that it is still subject to change.



  • Participation in the conference is free, but you and inivitees must register here for the Fourth International Conference on Philosophy and Meaning in Life.
  • Please ensure to check the programme to see the specific time slots for each presentation. A kind reminder that ALL sessions are listed in South African Time, which is GMT+2. If unsure, please visit to check the scheduling.


Conference Frequently Asked Questions:

We appreciate the experience of an online event will be new to many of you so please see below for our online conference 'frequently asked questions' (FAQ's) and further information including how to register.



  • Zoom – the online platform for delivery of live presentations

  • Slack – our online community board and shared social space for delegates to post and reply to comments, direct message each other and also for general announcements and information about the conference

  • Conference website – this webpage, which houses general information including registration, keynotes and the dates and times of the programme content. Accessible to all.


On which platforms will the conference be hosted?:

The live presentations will be hosted through Zoom with links posted on the conference and programme websites and communicated via email. 


How will I be informed of the time and date for each event?:

You can find this information on both websites, which will show the time and date for each live event according to the different time zones. All programmatic communication will take place via email. Delegates will be sent more information and guidance on how to participate in the conference through Zoom and Slack after they have registered. This includes Q & A, and how to make the most of Slack to communicate with your fellow attendees!


Will there be a publication?:

Speakers are encouraged to submit their papers for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Philosophy of Life to be published by the end of 2022 (or possibly early 2023).


How long will each presentation be?:

Normally 50 minutes for live presentations (roughly 20-25 minutes for talk and the rest for discussion).


Is there and official conference language?:

Yes there is, and this is English.


Is registration required?: 

Yes, please visit the "Zoom Registration" page and follow the steps.It is highly recommended that you add the event to your calendar to avoid timezone confusion.


Who do I contact with any concerns or questions?: 

For questions, please email Prof Thaddeus Metz: [email protected]





Nobuo Kurata, Hokkaido University, Japan

Thaddeus Metz, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Masahiro Morioka, Waseda University, Japan

Tatsuya Murayama, Tohoku University, Japan

Yujin Nagasawa, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom