Susan Wolf

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    In Susan Wolf’s paper “The Meanings of Lives,” she discusses the qualifications of and the innate human yearning for a meaningful and fulfilling life. The foundation for her argument lies in her three criterion for meaning which include involvement, purpose, and success. She then continues her argument by explaining the opposite of each of these criterion as a stereotypical person. However, Wolf’s assertion suffers from being overly general in that it makes the assumption that all humans have access to the same resources and opportunities to perform the tasks required to be considered meaningful by her standards. As a result, while she does propose valid points, such as the three criteria, her failure to take into account abnormal circumstances…

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    What is the capacity in which things that are not under your control can affect the amount of moral responsibility that you face? For this topic, there are generally three main views that claim to answer this question, and they are each rather simple; first, there are those that think that people are only blameworthy for things that are under their control. Second, there are those who think that people are blameworthy for things that are not under their control, and lastly, there are those that…

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    In her writing on Moral Saints, Susan Wolf presents the idea of morally perfect beings, that is, hypothetical (or potentially existent along some contemporary moral theories) individuals who’s lives are dominated by acts of moral worth. Her argument goes over their compatibility with popular moral theories such as Utilitarianism and Kantianism, then expresses the unattractiveness of such an individual as an ideal. In this paper I will first briefly define moral saints and their characteristics,…

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    Susan Wolf, a professor at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, wrote Meaning in Life and Why It Matters to try to figure out why one’s life has meaning. She presents three different views to address the question of whether or not someone exhibits a meaningful life. Wolf presents what is called the fulfillment view, the larger-than-oneself view, and the bipartite view, however each view raises a problem that is sufficient enough to say that it does not answer the question presented…

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    Many philosophers and people around the world believe that being a moral saint, is something that should be a desirable goal for human beings. In an excerpt from The Journal of Philosophy, on page 116 of the textbook, the author, Susan Wolf, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, defines a moral saint as a person whose every action is as morally good as possible, and a person who is as morally worthy as can be. Wolf however, believes that moral…

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    Susan Wolf’s argument that a meaningful life is one that is actively and at least somewhat successfully engaged in a project (or projects) of positive value is developed through a philosophical distinction between the perception of what is meaning of life and what constitutes as a meaningful life (797). Wolf classifies a meaningful life as one of positive value and active engagement, not to be confused with subjective criteria like personal happiness or contentment. The author distinguishes a…

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    When most people hear the term “moral saint,” they think of the common “goody-good” or a “perfect child”. As defined by Susan Wolf in her essay “Moral Saints”, a moral saint is a person whose happiness “lie[s] in the happiness of others, and so he would devote himself to others gladly, and with a whole and open heart”. Although this may seem like a normal and amiable trait, the entire meaning is to consume oneself in the advancement of others out of pure altruism while simultaneously to ignore…

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    Susan Wolf has come up with a rather specific way in which someone’s life can be measured to be meaningful or not. I think it’s important to remember that everyone has the ability to make their life meaningful and their actions do play an important role in that. I think she is on the right track with her views on meaning in life with saying there needs to be active engagement in projects of positive value with some degrees of success. These standards make it objective rather than subjective,…

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    Matters,” Susan Wolf discusses the reasons that contribute to meaning in our lives and argues that we should “understand meaningfulness as an attribute lives can have that is not reducible to or subsumable under either happiness, as it is ordinarily understood, or morality” (3). In laying out her beliefs of how we can find meaning, she discusses different viewpoints and offers suggestions of how they should be altered and combined to make a more accurate theory she calls the ‘Fitting Fulfillment…

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    Environmental groups, such as Defenders of Wildlife, are trying to put a stop to the war on wolves. In a recently launched campaign, Idaho’s War on Wolves, they focus their attention on the recent wolf killings in their state and potential legalization of wolf hunting. Their position argues against wolf killing based from both an ethical and population-based standpoint. Ethically, they show how wolves have in fact been misunderstood by society to the point that they are being sought out and…

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