PHIL 305
Existentialism and Phenomenology
Last Offered Spring 2008
Division II Writing Skills
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

According to Jean-Paul Sartre, the only philosopher to ever refer to himself as an “existentialist,” existence precedes essence. What is essential to human being is not any fixed set of characteristics, but rather what a human being becomes and how it defines and creates itself under conditions it does not choose. In this course we address key themes and figures from two of the most influential movements in twentieth century European philosophy, namely, existentialism and phenomenology, a philosophical approach to which existentialism is indebted. We will discuss major works (philosophical, literary, visual) by such figures as Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Richard Wright, Ingmar Bergman and Jean-Luc Godard. We will raise questions concerning the task of philosophy, the structure and meaning constituting function of consciousness, the relationship between self and other, the mind-body relationship, freedom, authenticity, and absurdity.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 10-15
Class#: 3032
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: short critical response papers, occasional short class presentations based on outlines of the text, and three 5- to 6-page papers; students will be required to re-write one of the three papers in lieu of a final exam
Prerequisites: Philosophy 101 or 102 or 240 or 271T or 304T or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: majors and those considering a major in philosophy
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives

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