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    Exploring the Meaning of Life: Plato and Kant

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    I need some help getting started on the following:

    - Identify 2 philosophers, ethical writers, or theorists who have written about the meaning of life.
    - Explain why you chose the two writers.
    - 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.

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    Solution Preview

    For our purposes, we can use two major names: Plato and Immanuel Kant, separated by 1500 years. Plato died in 347 BC, while Kant died in 1804.

    For Plato, all objects on earth are reflections of the immaterial realm. This is the realm of the forms, entirely spiritual, containing all knowledge. The objects in our world are (relatively speaking) not real - they are imperfect in that they are "encased" in matter.

    For Plato, the entire purpose of human life is to arrange the soul so as to "live" in this spiritual realm.
    The soul is made up of three parts - the passionate, the "spirited" and the intellectual. Only the last can participate in the superior world of forms. The passionate demands bodily satisfaction, while the spirited seeks earthly glory. Those two parts of the soul must be brought under the rule of the intellect. This is the point of life and it is a nearly impossible struggle.

    For Kant, his moral theory seeks to unify all humanity. Our job in life is to treat all human beings as ends, never as means. By itself, this does not say much. But understand this - our moral life is based only on one thing - our duty to the free will.

    But what is free will? It ...

    Solution Summary

    The expert explores the meaning of life by Plato and Kant.

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