Views & Reviews Between the lines

Life unlimited

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39175.474919.59 (Published 12 April 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:803
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    It is an old hobby horse of mine that what drives many people to seek medical assistance, when they have nothing much wrong with them, is not so much fear of illness as fear of meaninglessness. This is what drives them also to such extravagant and obvious self destructiveness: for the crises that result from their conduct at least lend to the vacuity of their existence the patina of drama. Unfortunately, we doctors are not experts in the meaning of life.

    The well known literary academic Terry Eagleton has just published a book entitled The Meaning of Life (Oxford University Press). I do not think it is any criticism of it that it does not provide a definitive answer to the conundrum, …

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