How does Epicurus’ vision of the good life challenge your present lifestyle?
Examination of your present values, beliefs, commitments and/or actions in = *
the light of course readings in topic areas such as the Humanities, Education, the Meaning of Life, Love,
Happiness, and The Arts, Popular Culture, and Our Humanity. Students must author a concentrated
analysis answering one or more specific questions. Given that the topics of the course are inherently
interconnected students may draw on readings from more than one area. The emphasis of this paper,
however, should be on providing in-depth consideration of a particular question or topic. Put differently: do
not sacrifice depth of analysis in order to cover a lot of ground. Students are encouraged to identify a
particular focus and answer a question that is particularly of interest and importance to them.
Content and form: The paper need not be a cut-and-dry argument driven paper, but it must have
discernable purpose and direction. This essay must also directly consider and engage course works and
ideas relevant to the chosen topic. Furthermore, students should consider and engage ideas that challenge
as well as confirm the author’s own thinking. Finally, be sure to thoughtfully organize and develop the
paper: interesting introduction, carefully developed body paragraphs, conclusion.
Identify and articulate the key question your paper is considering and seeking to answer or bring clarity to.
Draw on, implement and/or critically evaluate course ideas/works relevant to your paper’s focus.
For example: How does Epicurus’ vision of the good life challenge your present lifestyle? What does
Seneca get right/wrong in conceptualizing the happy life? What insights or challenges does a film like
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World provoke in you? How does Virginia Woolf’s approach to life
validate/support or challenge your way of living?
Consider contrasting or opposing perspectives (i.e. those ideas you do not (or are less) convinced by)
Imagine that you were arguing that your philosophy of life is justified. Further, imagine that you bring
Epicurus into your paper to offer support: you explain how your philosophy of life relates to some of his
ideas and why you believe he’s right.