Fall for 2016-2017
Existentialism was a literary, artistic, and philosophical movement that raised fundamental challenges to traditional and commonsense views about meaning in life. Many existentialists believed that we unconsciously shrink from confronting these challenges, but that facing them would allow us to live unprecedentedly free, creative, joyful, or “authentic” lives. This semester, we will examine the challenges these philosophers raise, including that of the death of God, the emergence of nihilism, and the threat of absurdity. We will also explore existentialist views of “human nature,” including their implications for the nature of race, gender and embodiment. Finally, we will explore the call to authentic living that these authors describe. We will focus mainly on philosophical texts, but also draw from literature and film, including the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Frantz Fanon.
Prerequisites: One of PHIL 010, 020, 098, or 099.
Other academic years
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