PHIL 220 Existentialism

This course will explore the philosophical tradition of existentialism. Students typically begin with an examination of the classic existentialist tradition: Kierkegaard; Dostoevsky; Nietzsche; Heidegger; Jaspers; Sartre; de Beauvoir; Camus; and Merleau-Ponty. Students will focus on the following major themes of existentialist philosophy: the alienation of reason and existence; the relationship between existentialism and phenomenology; "being-in-the-world" as our primary way of existing; the dissolution of various dualisms (subject/object, mind/body, reason/passion, fact/value); the relationship between self and others; God, angst, death, and absurdity; and the meaning of freedom. Students may conclude the course with an examination of the often-neglected perspectives of feminist, African American, and non-European existentialisms. This course may be offered as a survey of existentialist thought, or it may focus on a few particular existentialist works for deeper study.



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