Analysis Of Wolf 's ' The Meaning Of Lives '

1619 Words Oct 20th, 2016 7 Pages
In “The Meaning of Lives,” Wolf asserts that the question “What is the Meaning of Life?” is inherently unintelligible because it is uncertain what the question is asking. In other words it is too general because it has no specified context. Wolf then acknowledges, however, that there is value in examining the meaningfulness of a life. This is because she observes people wanting meaning as an unchangeable fact. While there is no grand reason for meaning, she suggests that we can create value through what we do in our life. In her work, Wolf constructs a framework on how to obtain meaning in one’s life. I will examine her view, then critically discuss the positive attributes and the shortcomings. Wolf does a sufficient job to outline a possible way to achieve meaning. However, I will argue that a definition for the meaningful life that does not include morality and happiness is not sufficient. Lastly, I will express the subjective and objective tension that weakens her stance.
Wolf’s Argument
The author brilliantly uses contrasting examples of what meaning is not to extract her argument on how to obtain meaning in a life. Her first example involves someone who spends day and night watching television and drinking beer. While those two activities in themselves aren’t bad, the fact that this person is living in “hazy passivity…/…unconnected to anyone or anything, going nowhere, achieving nothing,” is certainly not a life of meaning; and she refers to this as…
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