Joshua Clingo

Founder @ Meaningful Minds
19 karmaJoined Pursuing a doctoral degree (e.g. PhD)Working (6-15 years)Merced, CA, USA



Founder of Meaningful Minds--we're studying meaning in a scientific way (

How others can help me

I'm looking for other scientists and otherwise nerdy people to help build out all the really cool projects we should build for studying meaning

How I can help others

Happier than a clam to give advice on how to incorporate meaning in your work--and of course, am happy to give more general advice and help out on neat projects!


I do think there are ways in which we we do more than saturate meaning (i.e., avoid it being to much of an endless mesa) as we experience it, but they involve expanding our senses--both our immediate sensorial experience and our sense of time and space (made possible and facilitated through memory and imagination) to broaden our cares.

Hedonic dimensions are of course much more troublesome, as they require our continual resetting in order to give us the good feelings over time. That's probably why our fictionists always envision hedonic ends being dystopian little zoos in which we are made to forget and be reborn forever. It's either resetting forever or continually one-upping ourselves.

I agree that the way we talk about wellbeing rarely considers constructively bad experiences--I reckon it's because the people who reduce life to hedonistic pleasures and pains are more or less of the same thinking background as those who talk about wellbeing. They're cut from the same reductionist cloth.

Funnily (and annoyingly, to me), I have found that the religious people I've spoken to are much less keen on reducing wellbeing to hedonism over time. They're convinced that there's got to be something more to life than just eating, drinking, and being merry (or so they see it). I think they're right, even if their reasons seem to come from mystical aether. It's unsurprising that Frankl, one of the torchbearers for meaning-making as central, was also deeply religious. Science has aligned itself with radical reductionism that hasn't been a great fit for phenomenal matters.