For this assignment, you are to ponder some reflection questions before listening to the lecture component. These questions aim to stimulate your thinking and focus your concentration on the topics to be explored in the lecture, as a means of provoking you into thinking philosophically while you attentively listen to the lecture. Your responses to these questions are also a means of preparing you to craft your final project for this course, where you will be asked to construct your own philosophical account of what it means to you to live a good life. There will be multiple topics, but do not respond to them all. Rather, pick one topic to respond to that catches your attention or that you otherwise find intriguing. After you have selected your topic, spend 10 minutes pondering the topic’s questions and recording your thoughts. The reason for there being multiple questions within a topic is to assist with developing a response that has depth. For this assignment, do not be concerned about the number of thoughts you have on the topic. Rather, you should be concerned with the quality of your thoughts. In assessing your response, the teaching team will look to see how clearly and precisely you articulate your beliefs and how deeply you explain the reasoning for and assumptions underlying your beliefs. Here are the topics for you to consider:
Topic #1: What does it mean to think of someone as your friend? In other words, how would you define friendship? Do you distinguish between types of friends, like “casual” friends and “best” friends? What characteristics or qualities make those types of friendships different from each other? What features or qualities characterize an ideal friendship? And to what degree is friendship important to living a good life? As you articulate your position, clearly explain your reasoning for your position, and if appropriate provide a concrete real-life example that illustrates your position.
Topic #2: What does it mean to be a virtuous person? How would you describe a virtuous person? Why do you regard those features or qualities in your description as virtuous? As you articulate your position, clearly explain your reasoning for your position, and if appropriate provide a concrete real-life example that illustrates your position.
Topic #3: What do you think is the larger meaning or purpose of your life? What has led you to your belief about the larger meaning and purpose of your life? If someone was struggling to find their purpose or the meaning of their life, and asked you, “What do you think is the meaning and purpose of life?” how would you respond? As you articulate your position, clearly explain your reasoning for your position, and if appropriate provide a concrete real-life example that illustrates your position.
There will be a total of 12 reflections; the two lowest scores will be dropped when calculating the final grade. This results in 10 reflections, each being worth 20 points or 2% of your final grade. 6 reflections will be graded as credit/no credit and 6 reflections will be graded according to the rubric. You will not know in advance which reflections will be graded credit/no credit and which reflections will be graded with the rubric; as such, reflections should be completed with the expectation that the rubric could be used.