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  1. The economics of meaning has largely been ignored until they were explored in Lowenstein's et al. 'The Economics of Meaning'. Based on the article, I believe utility derived from meaning can be maximised using the second and third interpretations of meaning are used. These interpretations are meaning as an extension of self socially and temporally and meaning as an act of sense-making. This is because the interpretations of meaning as a resolution of uncertainty about preferences and meaning as an act of autonomous choice are inherently flawed. This is because preferences are inconsistent and vary depending on situational factors, And meaning through the assertion of free will lead to self-destructive behaviour. For example, A person may have been consistently warned and stopped from taking drugs by their parents. However, The person believes that they will derive meaning through exerting free will through taking drugs, And eventually develop a drug addiction which is self-destructive and decreases utility dramatically as it can lead to death from drug overdose. Therefore, This interpretation does not lead to maximising utility, As while utility can be increased from exercising free will it is countered by the decrease in utility from self-destructive behaviour. So, The first step in the plan to maximise utility from meaning is to extend oneself socially through a nation or religion, And them temporally through the belief in an afterlife. However, This interpretation may lead to a very cynical view of belief in religion only to improve utility through extending oneself. Nevertheless, Just because utility is improved through temporal extension doesn"t lead to the conclusion that a personal only extend themselves temporally for personal gain in utility, But also you extend yourself because a person genuinely believes it exists despite the utility gained from belief in it. Then, In conjunction with social and temporal extension, The next and final step in the plan is to derive utility from sense-making. In order to deal with negative experiences, It is crucial you use sense-making to rationalise the negative experience in order to reduce its negative effect. For example, It is easy to understand and accept the rejection of a place at a university if you understand why you didn"t get it, For example due to your poor performance in entrance papers, Instead of believing you were robbed from a place. Therefore, Through using temporal and social extension as well as allowing pain, Which is often unavoidable, To increase utility through sense-making, Meaning is created. Meaning provides pleasure, And therefore increases utility according to Neoclassical economic theory. Therefore, This maximises utility derived from meaning.
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