1. Look back at the ethical theories we studied this term. What do they say say about human nature? Put
the psychological egoist, the ethical egoist, Aristotle, and Sartre in conversation among each other. Is there
anything they have in common? Or do they offer irreconciliable points of view? If so, how can they be
helpful as a guidance to our lives? Remember, the authors are offering arguments that are designed to
convince their audiences of their positions. They are not just offering opinions.
2. Richard Taylor argues for a subjective criterion for the meaning of life; but Epicurus and Epictetus argue
for happiness, which would seem to be an objective criterion for a meaningful life. In your essay, choose to
talk about either Epicurus or Epictetus’ position and then offer Taylor’s reasons for rejecting an objective
criteria like theirs. Remember, the authors are offering arguments that are designed to convince their
audiences of their positions. They are not just offering opinions.
3. Philosophers have been raising (and answering) questions about happiness and the meaning of life.
Could art offer an answer? And maybe one that is less debatable? Using Tolstoy, Aristotle, and Bergson,
explain how art could (maybe) come to our rescue. Always remember: do not solely offer opinions.
The weekly Short Essays and Discussions asked you to discuss individual readings or subjects, basically
to do summaries. The Final Exam asks you to discuss the relationship among various readings and
subjects. Instead of simply asking whether you understand the material, the Final Exam requires you to
compare and contrast the readings in the text. It goes beyond simple summary and requires you to think
about how to build relationships among the readings. It allows you to show your intellectual abilities. The
Essays, Quizzes, and Discussions provide your preparation and study notes for the Final Exam; so, go
back and review them before you answer the exam questions. The Final Exam will ask you to look into the
readings that we have done this term and see how this is all connected. While the Weekly Essays and
Discussions are judged “adequate” or “inadequate” in terms of whether or not you understand the material
(so simple comprehension is enough), the Final Exam is judged based on how well you can tie the various
readings together. You should have read my weekly comments, my comments on your weekly essays, and
the discussions, along with the text. These should help you to understand the material; but you are not to
quote, paraphrase, or summarize this material. Do not use outside sources. The examination is supposed
to be your original work. This is your last opportunity to show me what you can do, and can really boost
your final grade. Give it your best try.