2023-2024 University Catalog 
    
    Feb 21, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog
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PHIL 261 - The Meaning of Life


FDR: HU Humanities Distribution
Experiential Learning (EXP): Yes
Credits: 4

Thinkers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Frantz Fanon, and Albert Camus contemplated life’s meaning against the backdrop of World War II, death camps, and the development of the atomic bomb. What were they to make of the human condition in such a world? In this course, we will spend four weeks following in the footsteps of Parisian existentialists contemplating the same questions they did. Is life absurd? Is meaning possible in a world without God? Is meaning possible under a materialist scientific world view?What is the role of identity in life’s meaning? What reasons, if any, do we have to fear death? To answer these questions, we will pair our readings and discussions with experiences in which people throughout history have found meaning (and try to find meaning ourselves).



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