Philosophy 4002: Existentialism
- 12pm–1:40pm, Tu/Th HUM 211
This will be a course in historical as well as analytical existentialism. We will be concerned with the development of a framework for understanding the question of the meaning of life. We will read a collection of contemporary articles from analytical philosophers on this topic as well as selections from Kierkegaard (for his discussion of the person of faith in Fear and Trembling ), Nietzsche (for his development of the notion of a will to power in the Gay Science) and Sartre (for his outline of our human situation in Being and Nothingness). This course is designed to be an advanced philosophy course and will presuppose student’s knowledge of the philosophical tools of analysis and argumentation. My aim in this course is to provide you with a broad understanding of several key issues and methodologies in philosophy.
Students will also be required to screen three assigned films outside of class. Grades will be based on the following: (1) weekly one page argument papers, a take home (2) midterm and (3) final, as well as a (4) 15-20 page scripted final paper.
Texts: David Benatar, editor, Life, Death, & Meaning, Second Edition, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN: 978-1-4422-0170-5; Thomas R. Flynn, Existentialism, A Very Short Introduction , Oxford UP, ISBN: 978-0-19-280428; Charles Guignon and Derk Pereboom, editors, Existentialism Basic Writings, Second Edition, Hackett, ISBN: 0-87220-595-9.