There are two principal ways in which reflective human beings try, by placing their lives in a larger context, to give sense to those lives.

The first is by telling the story of their contribution to a community. This community may be the actual historical one in which they live, or another actual one, distant in time or place, or a quite imaginary one, consisting perhaps of a dozen heroes and heroines selected from history or fiction or both.

The second way is to describe themselves as standing in immediate relation to a nonhuman reality.

The tradition in Western culture that centers on the notion of the search for Truth, a tradition that runs from the Greek philosophers through the Enlightenment, is the clearest example of the attempt to find a sense in one’s existence by turning away from solidarity to objectivity.

Solidarity or Objectivity