Life’s Meaning by Susan Wolf Argumentative Essay

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Susan Wolf, in her work Meaning of Life, explains that the question as to what the meaning of life questions the purpose behind our existence in the world. She then proceeds to answer the same problem. She argues that the meaning of the life of a human being should not be considered from a subjective perspective but an objective one.

A meaningful life according to her is that which is actively engaged in successful projects of positive value. In the author’s account of what makes the experience useful, she disagrees with the view that life is meaningful if it meets the subjective criteria like making a person happy. There is much more to a purposeful life than merely being happy as a person (Wolf Pp.90).

Wolf justifies her argument with the fact that there lived quite many people who were happy as individuals, but their lives cannot be counted as important ones. For example, she cites Blob who had a great deal of happiness and contentedness but in her view led a meaningless life. To support her argument further, she gives life examples of Gandhi and Mother Teresa who both did not have particularly happy lives but objectively speaking their lives were meaningful.

This author’s work basis his arguments on the compatibilist school of thought in which the history of ethics postulates that a man with the capability to reason well has free will to act with the full knowledge of what is right and what is wrong (Friedenberg and Silverman Pp.45). She refers to her argument which is aligned with this school of thought as the asymmetry of the reason view; according to this view, the responsibility of a human being for their actions depends on their ability to reason and consequently substantiate right from wrong.


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Life’s Meaning by Susan Wolf Argumentative Essay. (2020, Sep 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/lifes-meaning-by-susan-wolf/



What are the 3 theories according to Susan Wolf?
Susan Wolf proposes three theories of meaning in life: subjective, objective, and hybrid. The subjective theory states that meaning is a matter of personal preference, the objective theory suggests that meaning is determined by external factors, and the hybrid theory combines both subjective and objective elements.
What are Wolf's examples of meaningful lives?
Wolf provides examples of meaningful lives by discussing how people can find value and purpose in their work, relationships, and hobbies.
What does Susan Wolf argue?
Susan Wolf argues that meaning in life comes from having a rich and complex inner life, not from performing externally meaningful actions.
What is Susan Wolf's meaning of life?
Meaning, according to Wolf, is a distinct kind of value that the meaningful life possesses . Furthermore, “what gives meaning to our lives gives us reasons to live, even when we do not care much, for our own sake, whether we live or die.” And this is so even when the prospects for our own well-being are bleak.
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