Purpose (why), and meaning (what), are not welcome in modern science, which seeks only to know “how”, supplemented with “when” and “where”, and to a lesser extent “who”. Or, to be more academic- science has severed itself from teleological and ontological concerns.
The motivation for this should be self evident to anyone living in this world. If from one’s nature we understand our purpose, to which we must be obedient, it is convenient to exclude such concepts, replacing such epistemological concerns with a “how-centric” vision which merely interprets what SHOULD be done as being that which CAN be done. That is to say, if we know “how” to do it, there is no reason we shouldn’t.
Simultaneously, according to modern science, in looking backward at things in time, if we happen to pose the question of “why” something is or was, we need not look at its purpose, much less its nature. We need merely stop at “how”. The “how” is as much “why” or “what” modern science is willing to concede to.
In life, things occur at times, and in places, but there is no meaning to it, and certainly no purpose by which it ought to be judged. There are things liked and things disliked, but no “good” or “bad”, for such things originate in the realm of teleology and ontology. Thus “purpose” and “meaning” are to be seen as artificial constructs, available to us to apply however we see fit- for we are their authors. This is the world, from a view which sees no higher knowledge than the scientific pursuit of “how”.
The Five Branches of Philosophy
Metaphysics: Study of Existence- What’s out there?
Epistemology: Study of Knowledge- How do I know about it?
Ethics: Study of Action- What should I do?
Politics: Study of Force- What actions are permissible?
Esthetics: Study of Art- What can life be like?