BASS Social Anthropology and Philosophy
Year of entry: 2022
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Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
Existentialism is an approach to philosophical questions that can be found in the writings of Nineteenth Century authors such as Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, and Nietzsche, and more explicitly in Twentieth Century Philosophers Heidegger, Sartre, and de Beauvoir. Existentialist thought focuses on the meaning—for our individual lives—of lived experience, value, freedom, responsibility, and commitment, and is often associated with an ethics of authenticity. In this unit we will consider a selection of writings by these authors, looking at how existentialist ideas have been represented in both philosophy and literature.
- introduce students to the philosophical writings of Nineteenth & Twentieth Century existentialists;
- present the historical, philosophical, and literary context in which existentialism was developed;
- explore in detail some central concepts of existentialism: meaning, value, lived experience, authenticity, mortality, etc;
- show how existentialism relates to issues in ethics, epistemology and the philosophy of mind.
Student will be able to demonstrate:
- an ability to identify the main philosophical questions arising in existentialist texts;
- an ability to engage with some of the major issues in the interpretation of the existentialist tradition in philosophy;
- an ability to evaluate the significance of existentialist philosophy;
- an ability to relate the work of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and de Beauvoir to other philosophical disciplines.
Teaching and learning methods
There will be a mixture of lectures and tutorials.
Please note the information in scheduled activity hours are only a guidance and may change.
|Written assignment (inc essay)||33%|
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Joel Smith||Unit coordinator|