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UNSW Philosophy Essay

Question: Ethics and the Good Life.

Imagine you get the following email from an old friend:

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Hey! I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch for so long. The truth is, I’ve been struggling lately. I feel directionless, like I have no purpose. I keep having these nihilistic thoughts that there’s no point to anything. Sometimes I even have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Don’t worry, I spoke to my doctor and it’s not depression, but I do feel like I need help—not medical help, something else, something deeper. I remember you saying at the start of the year, when we were last in touch, that you were planning to take a philosophy class, something with ‘ethics’ in the title, and that you were going to be reading Aristotle. I’ve never read him but I’ve heard that he has some interesting ideas about living a good life. I was thinking that maybe he could help me—or, actually, that maybe you could help me. Have you read anything in his work that might help me get over this slump? Anything that might help me get unstuck and back to feeling like I have a direction, a purpose? I know it sounds kind of cheesy to ask you for ‘the meaning of life’, but I actually think that that’s what I need! Did you find an answer in Aristotle? Since I’ve never studied philosophy, I’d be really grateful if you could explain to me, clearly and straightforwardly, the ideas that you think I’ll find helpful, as though you were writing an essay. I know I can count on you, and I appreciate your help!

Do your best to fulfill the friend’s request, drawing on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Your reply should take the form of an academic essay.


I have attached the 2 readings and the class ppt for reference

Another file is the writing guidelines, please strictly follow all of the instructions such as the format/quotations/use of first person singular, etc

-Doesn’t have to use external resources (other than required reading)

Citation Example: Aristotle: in your text, in parenthesis, put the book and chapter number and

the standard page and line numbers which are found in the margins of the reading. So, the first line of Book I, chapter 7 would be quoted as follows:

“But let us return once again to the good we are looking for, and consider just what it could be.” (Nicomachean Ethics I.7, 1097a15)

At the end of your assessment you should have a section titled “Bibliography”. Simply enter the correct bibliographical information there:

Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Terrence Irwin (trans.). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing (1999).