WCC Invulnerability Achievement Accepting Our Vulnerability Discussion.
General topic: The term paper is a critical and argumentative essay, that is, a paper in which you
consider a philosophical issue or question, criticize one view of the issue, and argue for your own
position on the issue.
Specific assignment: Read A Fragile Life and answer this question: If you could take a pill that
would allow you to become invulnerable (in Todd May’s sense) would you take it? Why or why
not? Give the reasons for and against taking the pill and explain why you would or would not
take it. Would you take the pill if it made you temporarily invulnerable? Would you take the pill
if it made you invulnerable for a lifetime? Would it be better to take a pill for instant
invulnerability or would it be better to gradually become invulnerable through Buddhist or Stoic
Requirements: The term paper should be 5 to 7 pages typed and double-spaced in Times New
Roman (or equivalent) 12-point font. Longer is fine, but shorter is not. Do not mess around with
margins. Do not even think of plagiarizing! Staple the paper once in the upper left-hand corner.
No title pages, covers, or other excess baggage. Your name should be on the first page only. No
running headers with your name on subsequent pages. Do a good job—this counts for 20% of
your grade. Spelling, punctuation, clarity, and style all count. This is not a research paper, and so
you are not expected to do any outside reading or cite any sources. When you quote from A
Fragile Life be sure to give page numbers parenthetically in the text.
Due Dates: If you write the paper early you may give the professor a rough draft, but be
prepared to do some work in revising it. Don’t expect the professor to fix everything that is
wrong with your term paper. You can’t bring a broken-down Chevy to a mechanic and expect a
brand-new Porsche when you return. It is highly recommended to take your paper to the writing
center prior to submission. Drafts are NOT required but will be accepted until April 17. After
April 17, the instructor will look at drafts only during scheduled office hours. Papers are due in
class on April 29. A hard copy is due in class AND an electronic copy is due on the same date.
Please send a Word document as an e-mail attachment. Late papers will be penalized 10 points
per calendar day.
Questions/Issues to Consider
*You do not need to answer all of these questions in your paper. But after reading the book you
should be able to answer these questions.
What does May mean by “invulnerabilism”?
What does May mean by “vulnerabilism”?
What are projects? What are ground projects or central projects?
How is Buddhism a philosophy of “invulnerabilism”?
How is Taoism a philosophy of “invulnerabilism”?
How is stoicism a philosophy of “invulnerabilism”?
How is Epicureanism a philosophy of “invulnerabilism”? How is it not?
In rejecting “invulnerabilism” what does May say about politics, death, failure, and loss?
How does May distinguish between acceptance and affirmation?
How does May distinguish between Small Matters and Large Matters?
What does May say about acceptance and vulnerabilism? What does May say about acceptance