The Meaning of Life

Write a 3-4 page paper based on the prompt below. Your paper must be double spaced, with 1” margins, and written in a standard font (Times New Roman and Calibri, for example). You do not need to conduct research for this paper. However, if you do use/consult an outside source, you should cite that source using a standard citation method (Chicago, MLA, etc.). Late papers will receive a 1-letter-grade deduction for each day they are late.

Choose one of the assigned readings from the files I attached and analyze the main argument from that reading. This might be on the limits of knowledge, the existence of God, the philosophy of mind, free will, the meaning of life, or abortion. Once you choose a reading, do the following in your paper:

-Set the stage. What is the larger debate in which the argument is situated? Why is this debate important? What is the argument about? What point is it trying to make? Be sure to define and explain key terms and concepts. For example, you might say, “In ‘In Defense of Mind-Body Dualism,’ Brie Gertler seeks to show that dualism is true. Dualism is a view in the philosophy of mind which says that . . . The philosophy of mind is a sub-discipline in philosophy in which . . . ”

– Clearly state the argument (premise by premise and including the conclusion), then explain it in your own words. Then, give some reasons in support of some of the premises in the argument. That is, you should answer the following questions: Does the conclusion follow from the premises? What reason is there for thinking the premises are true?

– Respond to the argument you chose. That is, you should answer the following questions: Does the conclusion follow from the premises? What premise(s) seem to you to be false and why. In doing this, do not simply pick a premise and say that it’s false. Give a reasoned explanation for why you think it’s false. It’s okay if the reason you give is one that was discussed in class or is found on the lecture slides. However, you should use your own words in giving your explanation.

– Give your reasoned opinion of the argument. Do you agree with the argument or not? Do you agree with the objection to the argument? Why or why not?

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