Why are we here? What is my purpose? Am I supposed to be doing something great (or greater) with my life?
For thousands of years, men and women have pondered these and similar questions. Have you ever taken the time to do some deep thinking to try to determine what life means to you? If you have done so before, this task will give you the opportunity to put some of those thoughts down on paper. If you have not, now is the time to spend a little time thinking about these types of questions. For this task, you are to research at least 2 philosophers, ethical writers, or theorists who have written about the meaning of life. You are to discuss their philosophies on the meaning of life, and you are to compare their philosophies to your own thoughts on the topic. In your response, please make certain that at a minimum, you answer the following questions: Identify your two philosophers, ethical writers, or theorists. Explain why you chose the two writers. Was it because they were names with which you were familiar? Have you read some of their work before, or have you engaged in conversation about the philosopher? Did your research for this assignment lead you to this philosopher? Describe, in your own words, their philosophies of life. Discuss the differences or similarities, if any, in the philosophies of your two chosen writers. Have you given this topic any thought prior to this assignment, or is this a new exercise for you? Discuss how their philosophies of life are similar to, or different from, your own philosophy of life. Discuss what you have learned in studying their philosophy of life that can benefit you in your future, in either your personal or professional life.
Philosophies of Life: On Descartes and Plato
If there ever were 2 thinkers that had an impact on the way I view life and the way I live, it would be Rene Descartes and Plato. Both are considered 'pillars' in the study of philosophy although Plato had preceded Descartes a few thousand years. Plato came from the time of the golden age of Greece while Descartes was an Enlightenment thinker. I would like to begin this discussion by focusing on Descartes. Who is he? Rene Descartes is a key figure in the Enlightenment and was among the prolific thinkers who ushered what we now term as the 'Scientific Revolution'. He is also honoured as the 'Father of Modern Philosophy' due to the impact of his work, particularly 'Meditations on first Philosophy', ' Rules for the Direction of the Mind' and 'Principles of Philosophy'. For Descartes, why we are and who we are because of the mind for it allows us to know, to recognize, to learn, to become.
Descartes philosophy in life is summarized by his most famous line - 'cogito ergo sum', which translates to 'I think therefore I am'. Experience for Descartes is not enough to establish knowledge. For him, the mind is what allows his existence - he perceives his body through his senses, he confronts the reality before him & the world as he knows it through the facilities of thought, perception, imagination & experience. He concludes without doubt that he is a 'thinking thing'. Cogitatio or thought is the mechanic & the reason behind his being as soon as he is right away conscious of himself every waking moment, even in his dreams. To compare his views of thought & the body he provides the 'wax argument' - a wax can come in various colours, shapes & sizes. But a wax can melt into another shape or lose its texture & adopt a different colour. For Descartes, if he ...
The solution provides information, assistance and advise to students in putting together an essay that answers the questions set in the original problem (see above) as it relates to the purpose of one's philosophy in life. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic. A word version is also attached.