RCHUMS 360 - Existentialism
Section: 001
Term: WN 2010
Subject: RC Humanities (RCHUMS)
Department: LSA Residential College
Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Other:
WorldLit
Waitlist Capacity:
10
Advisory Prerequisites:
Junior/senior standing.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.” (Nietzsche)

“If there is not God, then everything is permitted.” (Dostoevsky)

“Everything that exists is born without reason,
Continues to live out of weakness,
And dies by chance.” (Sartre)

Existentialism combines the investigation of major issues in the history of Western philosophy with daily problems of intense personal concern. In this course, existentialism will be viewed as a literary as well as philosophical movement united by a number of recurrent and loosely related themes:

  1. Theological: the disappearance of God; the condition of being “thrown” into an indifferent and ultimately absurd universe; man’s encounter with nothingness beneath the floor of everyday reality revealed when familiar objects and language drop away.
  2. Psychological: man’s imperfection, fragility, and loneliness; the feeling of anxiety and despair over the emptiness of life and the terror of death; arguments for and against suicide; human nature as fundamentally ambiguous and hence not explicable in scientific thought or in any metaphysical system; the absence of a universally valid morality; and human nature as undetermined and free.
  3. Social: man’s rebellion against the inhumanity of social institutions that suffocate the “authentic self”; the escape from individual responsibility into the “untruth of the crowd.”
  4. Finally, man’s various attempts to transform nihilistic despair into a creative affirmation of life. Philosophic texts by Pascal, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Buber; fiction by Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Camus, Sartre, and Kafka. Two examinations and one term paper required.

RCHUMS 360 - Existentialism
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
46294
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 3:30PM - 5:00PM
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