Can we create our own meaning and values in life? If you choose this question then you will have to engage with Existentialism (lecture 5, 6) and with Objectivism (lecture 7), and adjudicate between the two. It is recommended that your essay includes the following structure: 1) In the first section (titled “Introduction”) you define existentialism and objectivism, say what answer each of these positions would give to the question above, and characterize the two by contrasting them with each other.
2) In the second section (titled “Arguments for an Affirmative Answer” or “Arguments for a Negative Answer”, depending on your choice) formulate what you take to be the best argument(s) either for or against the idea that we can create our own meaning and values (which position you take will depend on your choice of topic). Here you will rely primarily on the readings, and/or external sources; you will explain the arguments from the readings (or in the existing literature). Also here you formulate your own answer to the question and present your own arguments. 3) In the third section (titled “Evaluation of the Arguments”) you assess the strengths and the weaknesses of the arguments presented in the previous section. You must consider at least one objection to the view that you are defending and answer it. 4) The last section is the Conclusion. Here you summarize the main points made in your essay and briefly restate your own answer and why you think it’s true
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