Meaning in Life


Is meaning important for a good human life? If so how does it relate to other perceived goods such as happiness, morality? When exactly is a life meaningful? Susan Wolf believes that a meaningful life involves active engagement in projects of worth. But what is a ‘project of worth’? Are there objective, or only subjective, measures of worth? How actively must one be engaged in such projects? There will be plenty of opportunity to speak with other participants and the speakers.


Programme details


2.45pm           Course Registration

3.00pm           Meaningfulness: A third dimension of the good life

                        SUSAN WOLF

4.30pm           Tea / coffee

5.00pm           Meaningfulness, goodness, benefit

                       BRAD HOOKER

6.30pm           Break / bar open

7.00pm           Dinner

8.15pm-          The objectivity in (and of) projects of worth

9.30pm           SUSAN WOLF        

SUNDAY 17 MAY 2020

8.15am           Breakfast (residents only)

9.30am           Relationships, contingency, meaning

                       BRAD HOOKER                                               

10.45am         Coffee / tea

11.15am         Q & A

                       Questions directed by MARIANNE TALBOT

12.30pm         Break / bar open

1.00pm           Lunch

2.00pm           Course disperses




Description Costs
Tuition (includes tea/coffee) £80.00
Baguette Sunday £5.00
Dinner Saturday evening £21.00
Single B&B Saturday Night £83.00
Single Room Only Saturday Night £71.00
Sunday Lunch £15.00
Twin/Double Room (2 sharing) B&B Saturday night £118.00
Twin/Double Room Only (2 sharing) Saturday Night £94.00


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses



Professor Brad Hooker


Brad Hooker has an undergraduate degree from Princeton and a doctorate from Oxford. He taught at Virginia Commonwealth University from 1986-93 and has been in the Philosophy Department at Reading ever since. He has edited or co-edited many books and is the author of Ideal Code, Real World: A Rule-consequentialist Theory of Morality. In recent years, his research has been focused on fairness and he intends to have a book published on this topic soon. He has been Honorary Secretary of the Mind Association, President of the British Philosophical Association, and editor of the journal Utilitas.


Susan Wolf


Susan Wolf is the Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill.   She received her B.A. in Math and Philosophy from Yale University and her Ph.D. from Princeton in 1978.  Before coming to Chapel Hill in 2002, Wolf held positions at Harvard University (1978-81), the University of Maryland (1981-86), and the Johns Hopkins University (1986-2002). She has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has been a visiting fellow at Princeton, at Oxford, at the Australian National University, and at the National Humanities Center.  She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999 and to the American Philosophical Society in 2006.  She received a Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award in the Humanities in 2002, and served as President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 2010-11.  Along with many articles, she is the author of The Variety of Values: Essays on Morality, Meaning & Love (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), Meaning in Life and Why It Matters (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), and Freedom Within Reason (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), and co-editor with Christopher Grau, of Understanding Love: Philosophy, Film, and Fiction, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).

She is the 2020 John Locke Lecturer at the University of Oxford. 


Ms Marianne Talbot

Director of Studies


Marianne Talbot took her first degree at London University, then her B.Phil at Oxford (Corpus Christi College). She has taught for the colleges of Oxford University for 30 years (1987 – 1990 at Pembroke College, 1991 – 2000 at Brasenose College). She has been Director of Studies in Philosophy at OUDCE since 2001. She is the author of Bioethics: An Introduction, and Critical Reasoning: A Romp Through the Foothills of Logic. Marianne’s podcasts have been hugely popular. Two of them have been global number one on iTunesU. One of these (The Nature of Arguments) has been downloaded 7 million times.




Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Saturday night only.

Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.