What advice would C S Lewis offer us in today’s world? The 21st Century is the setting wherein powerful forces are set to meet and perhaps to clash. Self and the search for meaning are at the heart of these putative clashes. They include, but are not limited to, (a) the emerging of so called intelligent information technology, (b) the impact of psychological theories on everyday life and (c) the continuing thirst by people for a spiritual dimension to their lives, including the search for some meaning in life and for satisfaction with life. Take each in turn. This is a dialogue between a cognitive scientist (RA) and an arts scholar (MG) who both share the same communion at St Edward’s King & Martyr, Cambridge, England.
In a short paper all I can do is whet your appetite, if you have a taste for philosophical investigations. In other words, the best I can do is tease you. By ‘a taste for philosophical investigations’, I mean a fascination with certain questions-questions about ultimate meaning, but whose meaning is, ultimately, the question. For example, “What is truth?”; “What is reality?”; “What is knowledge?”; “What is the self?”; “What is meaning?” These are philosophical questions, both because the answers we give to them will shape the way we live our lives (and in that sense are ultimately meaningful), and because they are questions whose meanings are themselves so puzzling.