introduction to Philosophy â€“ Fall 2021
The Meaning of Life â€“ Dialogue and Essay: Assignment and Rubric
First Part: Write a short philosophical dialogue of 250-500 words that critically engages with the question of the meaning of life.
- Your dialogue should include at least two characters (itâ€™s not a monologue!).
- At least one of the characters should be a Unit 2 author (Tolstoy, Camus, Taylor, Wolf, Cahn, or Frankl). The other character(s) could be another author and/or a random person.
- At some point in the dialogue, one of the characters must raise an objection (i.e., a doubt or concern) about that authorâ€™s conception of the meaning of life and that author should respond to it.
Second Part: Write an essay of 600-900 words answering the following questions:
- How do you understand the question of the meaning of life?
- What is your chosen author(s)â€™s answer to the question of the meaning of life? Use evidence from the course readings to support your analysis.
- Where in your dialogue does a character raise an objection to the authorâ€™s answer? What is the nature of the objection? Does the author successfully answer this objection?
- On the whole, do you agree or disagree with the authorâ€™s answer to the question of the meaning of life? Why or why not?
Completing this essay will help you work towards Goals 1-4 of the course, which are:
- To understand core concepts in philosophy.
- To read arguments.
- To write clearly.
- To engage arguments critically.
- You should upload your paper through Canvas.
- If you would like to discuss your paper, I can meet with you during my regular office hours (Th 2-3:30 in DM 341-D) or by appointment.
- Please include a â€œWorks Citedâ€ section for the second part of the assignment. I reserve the right to dock up to 5 points for missing or incomplete â€œWorks Citedâ€ sections.