At the top of p. 141 in Richard Taylor’s article “The Meaning of Life,” he concludes, “This is the nearest we may hope to get to heaven, but the redeeming side of that fact is that we do thereby avoid a genuine hell.” Explain the meaning of this statement: what is “this;” what does Taylor mean by “the nearest we may hope to get to heaven;” and what does he mean by “genuine hell”? Then provide a reconstruction of Taylor’s argument for the conclusion. Taylor uses variations of the Sisyphus story as premises. So your job in reconstructing his argument is to a) state and explain, in your own words, the relevant variations of the Sisyphus story, b) make explicit the logical connection between these variations, and c) explain in this process what Taylor takes the phrases “meaning/meaninglessness of life” to be about. Has Taylor thereby offered an account of the “meaning of life” that would satisfy Nagel? Why or why not? Do you tend to agree more with Nagel, or more with Taylor, and why?
Important: Only use the sources listed, no outside sources, and no plagiarism.
I also want an effective and clear introduction and conclusion (with no confusing statements), thesis statement, clear arguments with evidence.
Write a paper of 5 – at most 6 pages. Set line spacing to double and side margins to 1.25” and use a 12-point font.
Reconstructing a philosophical argument is itself a philosophical exercise. There may not be one right way to read a text or to understand an argument. However, there are always plenty of wrong ways of doing so. It is essential that you explain both what the author is saying and how this is supposed to advance his or her argument. The first task is exegetical while the second is critical: you need to explain the internal logic of the author’s argument. You should consult the brief writing guides posted on the course website. (The writing guides that must be followed is going to be attached.)
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