Existentialism

Course Code: PHIL 3100

Academic Year: 2021-2022

If you are looking for clarity and certainty, there are many philosophies and religions that will tell you what is right and wrong, and describe for you the best way to live your life. Existentialism, in contrast, will argue that we can never know what is true, never know what is right, and that we can't even understand our own nature; any pretence that we have the answers to these questions is nothing more than a failure to honestly face up to the uncertainties of the human condition. Real life, the existentialists often say, is profoundly absurd, since we must make important choices every day of our lives, and yet we cannot really justify any of these choices; they spring from our passions, not our reason. And yet, while we cannot escape from the absurdity of life, this does not make our lives meaningless. On the contrary, the existentialists will argue that by throwing ourselves fully into a cause, a belief, or an understanding of what is best in life, we can take ownership of our own lives, wresting back control from our slavery to the opinions of others. Category and Level: Arts and Humanities, Upper Level Restrictions: None Note: Students benefit from taking a lower level course in the Arts and Humanities category prior to enrolling in this upper level course.