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Tom Cochrane

Hi Samuel. This sounds interesting! A couple of questions.
1. How did you mark the assignments? Just as regular essays? What are you giving credit for?
2. Presumably, you had to present some options before students could make their choices- but then, what do you lecture on after the first few weeks? How would this tie into what they doing?


When designing such a course, you might also want to look at this anthology of readings:

E.D. Klemke (ed) The Meaning of Life.

The readings are interesting and generally of high quality; I think there might have been a number of editions over the years.

Samuel Rickless

Sorry I didn't catch these questions earlier.

Tom: I marked the assignments as regular essays. Students were asked to consider three theories of life's meaning discussed in the course, consider what those theories would say about their experiment in living, and then make a judgment about whether their experiment spoke in favor or against (or neither) those theories. Students received credit for understanding the theories they discussed, for applying those theories correctly to their experiments as described, and for making the right call about whether their own evaluation of their experiment supported or failed to support those theories.

I'm not sure what you mean by "options". I did not present students with options for their experiments. They had to come up with their experiments on their own. Here were the philosophers discussed: Schopenhauer, Leopardi, Camus, Nagel, Gowans, Rosemont Jr., Kim and Seachris, Sartre, Taylor, Schlick, Feinberg, Mill, Cottingham, Nozick, Thomas, William James, Mintoff, Levy, Brogaard and Smith, Wolf + critics, Galen Strawson, De Bres, and Scheffler + critics.

David: Thanks for the recommendation. I did use a number of essays from Klemke and Cahn (4th Edition), which includes Schopenhauer, Camus, Nagel, Gowans, Rosemont Jr., Taylor, Schlick, and Feinberg.

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