Suffering is a fact of human existence. In his interdisciplinary investigation of the causes, types, value, and outcome of human suffering, Adrian C. Moulyn has discovered a purpose in it. In The Meaning of Suffering Moulyn presents his thesis, (Suffering) heals the blemishes and the fractures in our problem ridden existence, in light of the binary nature of human temporo-spacial structure. Moulyn analyzes the source of suffering as a combination of the arbitrary nature of life itself (no one actually chooses to be born), and the dichotomy of the world as we see it (objectively) and the world as we want it (subjectively). While the melancholy of being thrown-into the world lays the groundwork, the discrepancy between desires and wants and the degree to which they are satisfied becomes a source of suffering. The value of suffering is in its healing powers. Suffering helps close the gap between what we desire and what we obtain. The outcome of constructive suffering is an increased ability to deal with the inherent contradictions of life, an enhanced awareness of the truly necessary and desirable, and a stronger, more secure conquest of happiness when it is achieved.
Moulyn's thesis is an intriguing and optimistic analysis of human experience, and will be an asset to philosophy collections.