Please elaborate from your own perspective. The must be a solid 5 pages at least. Please edit the first 3 pages provided then add, answering the following question in the outline. Quote from ONLY the provided readings. Use simple terms and your own thoughts.
Outline what Susan Wolf interprets as a meaningful life. How does she divide what is of real worth of versus “intuitively inappropriate” and presumably meaningless activities? How does she try to combine both subjective and objective dimensions of meaning in her approach? Why does Christine Vitriano criticize Wolf’s stance? Does Vitriano offer weighty criticism such that Wolf’s main distinctions fail to hold real water? Can you think of ways to demarcate meaningful versus non-meaningful pursuits? (Make sure to use specific examples). If there is no way to offer such a distinction, are people left rudderless? Could this lead to problematic subjective interpretations of what it means to live a meaningful life?
According to Wolf (1997), a meaningful life composes of both subjective and objective meaning. She adds that it is a life of active engagement in worthwhile projects. She describes a meaningful life of great intellectual or moral achievement like that of Albert Einstein, while a meaningless life is whose characteristics are a life of waste and isolation. The author further describes a meaningful life of active engagement in a project of worth, which makes one feel gripped and excited by being involved.
She also explains that for a life to be meaningful must be actively engaged in worthwhile activities; otherwise, life is meaningless. The engaging activities may or not be worth it because the involvement may be worthless. For example, a mother and homemaker may be fully doing a valuable social job, and because her work is not engaging, she has no desire categorically to give a reason for living. She refers that a life with no definite passion is meaningless and inappropriate, but in some cases, such as a lawyer who sacrifices his health and success in profession, becomes controversial, while a person whose primary passion of memorizing a dictionary or collecting rubber bands is uncontroversial.
According to Wolf (1997), for a life to be meaningful, it should be actively engaged in which the lawyer and the rubber band collector are actively involved. Still, the lawyer does it out self -sacrifice, while the rubber collector does it out of passion. Still, his activities are not worthwhile, clearly distinguishing between an actual worth and an intuitively inappropriate one. Wolf (1997), for the case of an objective approach, there must be active engagement, and the project being engaged must be worth it. Thus anyone looking for ways to add meaning is looking for worthwhile projects. Wolf indicates the rise of meaningful life when objective attractiveness meets subjective attraction. This idea is brought about by the degree of the worthiness of projects since some are more worthy than others. For example, a farmer buys ample land to plant corn for feeding pigs compared to a doll collector.
Vitrano (2015) criticizes Wolf's stance for the following reasons; first, she offers a better explanation of a meaningful life because of her argument. She only assumes that there must be an active engagement for a worthwhile project in a meaningful life. The worthiness of the project leaves out activities such as climbing mountains, the cultivation of personal virtues, and writing; the same actions can be judged meaningful and meaningless depending on the reason why the person engages in them. Wolf does not indicate why some activities become unworthy, such as writing a book. For example, suppose to distance yourself from a monotony duty by reading an article on metaphysics; does it mean that the motive is unworthy. Second, Wolf’s weakened position is due to their commitment to an objective value which she finds hard to explain. Third, she criticizes Wolf as she admits having no theory indicating accurate value or an idea that is substantive of sort value. She relies on intuition which is shared regarding various activities' worthiness but assumes such agreement is unjustifiable.
Lastly, Wolf pick at yet dismisses one she values. Spending time, especially training marathons, or even wrestling in the crossword puzzle with a New York Times Sunday magazine, is not essential or unimportant but used as mere pastimes, which might not be the case because this depends on why the person engages in the activities. A person enjoys life, whether morally worthy or not, because such a life does not deserve to be judged positively by anyone with moral compunction. According to Vitrano (2015), Wolf lacks the basis of her assumption and fails to explain the meaningful life and meaningless due to shortcomings in the worthiness of a project; therefore, her criticism has weight.
Christine Vitrano (2015). Meaningful lives.
Susan Wolf (1997). Meaningful in life.
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