Personal Singularity and the Significance of Life

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The paper proposes to base the notion of the significance of life on the grounds of the singularity of each person as a psychical subject, i.e. personal singularity. No two persons are alike; each one of us, as a person, is intrinsically different from every other person. This personal singularity has a universal significance, namely, it makes a universal difference, whether or not this difference is distinct and acknowledged. Because morality and the significance of a person's life both rely upon personal singularity, there is an inseparable connection between morality and the significance of a human life. Nevertheless, as relying upon personal singularity, there is no insignificant or meaningless life, for a person's life has a universal significance whatever the actions of that person may be. Immoral actions or behavior do not reflect or express the personal singularity of an agent, whereas moral ones reflect or express this singularity. There is more to personal singularity and the significance of life than morality. As singularity is not subject to any comparison or competition, personal singularity implies that the life of one person is not more significant than the life of any other person. Thus, in my view, the significance of life is strictly egalitarian.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-786
Number of pages12
JournalPhilosophia (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • Meaning of life
  • Morality
  • Panenmentalism
  • Personal singularity
  • Significance of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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