The Meaning of Being Human

Over the course of this semester, we have been introduced to the thought of a number of different thinkers and their respective view of what it means to be human. The course began by examining the thought of Plato, but then moved through the thought of St. Augustine, Hobbes, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Sartre, and de Beauvoir. Each of these thinkers had their unique idea of the human being and human flourishing (or happiness). These thinkers have also described the different ways or forces that stifle human flourishing or happiness. This paper is a critical engagement with these different thinkers.
For this paper, you are to choose two of the thinkers from the course and develop clearly what their view of the human being. Using these different views, you are to show which thinker has best captured what it means to be human and what it means to flourish as a human being. You are welcome to disagree with any of these thinkers, show how aspects of their thought are compelling, and ways that their thought ought to be revised. The central point is to use these thinkers as a means by which to better understand your own experiences and what these experiences have taught you about human existence.
Your paper should have at least the following sections:
1. Introductory paragraph: In this paragraph you should have a clear thesis stating the main point you wish to make regarding the meaning of the human being and how this relates to the two thinkers you have chosen from the course.
2. Review of Two Thinkers: This section of the paper should serve as the explication what each thinker believes the meaning of the human being is and their particular view of human flourishing or happiness. It is crucial that you provide arguments in support of each. Also be sure to discuss the personal and social obstacles that prevent humans from realizing genuine happiness or fulfillment.
3. Your View: For this section, you are to describe your experience of living through this pandemic and what it has taught you about being human. As is the case with the section above, you need to provide reasons in support of your position.

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4. Concluding Remarks: For this final section, you are to show how your view relates to the thought of the other thinkers and what this means in terms of the accuracy of their thought. This should ultimately work to defend the thesis you stated in the introductory paragraph.

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Papers should be at least 1500 words in length. For more information on The Meaning of Being Human check out:,Pocket%20Dictionary%20of%20Current%20English

Attachment: Jean Jacques Rousseau – Class Notes (1) Class notes for Simone de Beauvoir

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