Why Meaning In Life Matters

Better Essays
Topics: Meaning of life
Tania Manjarrez
Honors 120
Dr. Schunke
First Paper Assignment Why Meaning in Life Matters Aptly named Meaning in Life and Why it Matters, Susan Wolf’s book comprises a series of lectures attempting to propose her view on the meaning of life. It seems she bases off of a premise that there is a meaning in life and that it correlates with the happiness experienced.
Focusing on her chapters “Meaning in Life” and “Why it Matters”, there is an emphasis on her theory of Fitting Fulfillment. She utilizes her theory as a standard to gauge whether the life being lived is truly meaningful or if it is merely fulfilling and lacking in true meaning. To maintain a consistency within my reflection on her theory, I will apply it to the pursuit of a career as a musician. I will attempt to break down her core argument of what constitutes a meaningful life by discussing it from a musician standpoint and provide support as to why I personally believe her argument to be plausible. Wolf sets out to define meaning outside of a dichotomic view of either a subjective or objective value. Typically it seems that when discussing meaning, it has only been viewed in such a stance. The subjective stance, as I understand it, is closely linked to an egoistic, hedonistic view. Hedonism, in this context, aims to continue and maximize the sense of pleasure

in life and so implies that the most meaningful life is one spent pleasurably. To contrast with the hedonistic view, is the perspective that a meaningful life is dedicated to morality. This is a more impersonal view, that asks the individual to look beyond oneself for a greater good of some sort, of a greater degree of reasoning (Wolf 21). While both views seem to cover to an extent the general reasoning behind why, as humans, we do what we do, Wolf believes that they lack an important value and lose something within their exclusivity. She argues that the lacking element links the objective and

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