Existentialism

 

PHIL 3240-001                                                           Fall Semester 2007

M W F  10:00 – 10:50                                                 Scott Hall 135

Nita de Oliveira, Ph.D.                                                 Office: Scott Hall 3012

Phone: 419-530-4517                                                  Office Hours: MWF 11-12:00

Email: ndeoliv@utoledo.edu                                          F 3:00 - 5:00 or by appointment

 

Personal Website: http://www.oocities.com/nythamar/nita.html

 

U Toledo Home

Summer 2008: PHIL 3750 Social and Political Philosophy

Phenomenology Seminar

Existentialism Power Point

 

Course Description:

 

PHIL - 3240 EXISTENTIALISM
[3 hours] A study of existential philosophers, including Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre, Camus, Jaspers, Heidegger and others. Topics may include anxiety, meaning and meaninglessness, freedom, and human sociability. Besides introducing to existentialist interpretations of key concepts such as existence, dread, Angst, boredom, alienation, absurdity, meaning, freedom, self, choice, decision, guilt, commitment, engagement, facticity, thrownness, and nothingness, the course will particularly focus on the Heidegger-Sartre controversy over the contention that “existence precedes essence.”

 

Required Texts:

 

Kaufmann, Walter. Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre. Edited, with an introd., prefaces, and new translations. New York, Meridian Books, 1956.

 

Heidegger, Martin, Sein und Zeit [1927]. English Trans.: Being and time. Translated by John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson. New York, Harper, 1962.

E-book: Joan Stambaugh’s translation

 

Sartre, Jean-Paul. L’Être et le néant: essai d'ontologie phénoménologique [1943]. English Trans.: Being and nothingness: an essay in phenomenological ontology. Translated with an introduction by Hazel E. Barnes. New York: Washington Square Press, 1992.

 

Reserved Materials / Library:

 

Anderson, Thomas C. Sartre's two ethics: from authenticity to integral humanity. Thomas C. Anderson. La Salle, Ill.: Open Court, 1993.

Barnes, Hazel Estella. Existentialist ethics. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1978

Warnock, Mary. Existentialism. London, New York, Oxford U.P., 1970.

Cooper, David Edward. Existentialism: a reconstruction. Oxford, UK ; Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1990.

Heidegger, Martin. Basic writings: From Being and time (1927) to The task of thinking (1964). Edited, with general introd. and introductions to each selection by David Farrell Krell. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.

Jaspers, Karl. Existentialism and humanism, three essays. Edited by Hanns E. Fischer, translated from the original German by E. B. Ashton. New York: R. F. Moore Co., 1952

Koenig, Thomas. Existentialism and human existence: an account of five major philosophers. Malabar, Fla.: Krieger, 1992.

Litch, Mary M., Philosophy through film. New York: Routledge, 2002.

MacDonald, Paul S. (ed). The existentialist reader: An anthology of key texts. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Pojman, Louis P. Editor. Philosophy: The quest for truth. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. (Appendix: How to read and write a philosophy paper)

Raymond, Diane Barsoum (ed.). Existentialism and the philosophical tradition. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1991.

Sartre, Jean-Paul. Existentialism and human emotions. New York: Wisdom Library: Citadel Press, 1957.

______. Existentialism and humanism. Translation and introd. by Philip Mairet. London: Methuen. 1948.

______. L'existentialisme est un humanisme. Paris: Nagel, 1946.

______. Search for a method. Translated from the French and with an introd. by Hazel E. Barnes. New York, Knopf, 1963.

______. L'être et le néant, essai d'ontologie phénoménologique. Paris, Gallimard, 1949.

Tillich, Paul. The courage to be [electronic resource]. With an introduction by Peter J. Gomes. New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, 2000.

 

Grading Policy:

Grades are based on point accumulation throughout the semester.  There are 6 Homeworks worth 5 points each and 2 Midterm Essays worth 15 points each.  NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED, unless they are accompanied by evidence of a medical emergency (e.g., signed doctor’s note) or death in the family (e.g., funeral program). Make-up exams will be given only to those students who inform me of their emergency by email on the day of the exam. The cumulative final exam is worth 40 points, so as to make up 100 points:

 

30 points – Homework

30 points – Midterm Essays

40 points – Final Exam

100 total points

 

Final grades for the course are based on the following scale:

 

93-100 pts. = A                       77-79 pts. = C+

90-92 pts. = A-                        73-76 pts. = C

87-89 pts. = B+                       70-72 pts. = C-

83-86 pts. = B                         60-69 pts. = D

80-82 pts. = B-                        59 and below = F

 

Academic Honesty:

Neither plagiarism (i.e., presenting the written work of another as one’s own) nor cheating (i.e., providing answers to exam questions or receiving exam answers from another) will be tolerated. Any academic dishonesty will be disciplined according to the guidelines in the University of Toledo student handbook.

 

Accessibility:

If you need special accommodations to attend my class, please notify me immediately. Your need for special accommodations, including special testing requests, will need to be documented by the Office of Accessibility, located at 1400 Snyder Memorial.

 

Reading Assignments & Class Structure:

Make sure to prepare all the readings before the date given. The reading assignments are usually short and hopefully pleasant. Homework is turned in at the beginning of class on the day it’s due.  In-class practice exams will be given on Review days.


Related Links:

 

Philosophy Dept - UT

What is Philosophy ?

Religious Studies at UT

Program in Law and Social Thought - UT

Wikipedia entry on Kierkegaard

Wikipedia entry on Nietzsche

Wikipedia entry on Camus

Wikipedia entry on Jaspers

Wikipedia entry on Heidegger

You Tube on Heidegger's Life and Philosophy

You Tube on Sartre's Life and Philosophy

You Tube on Nietzsche's Life and Philosophy

Jonathan Miller, Rough history of disbelief

Wikipedia entry on Sartre

The Concept of Dread (Intro)

Selections from the Writings of Kierkegaard

Nietzsche, The Antichrist

Nietzsche, The Gay Science Book III-IV

What is Phenomenology?

Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947)

M. Heidegger, Basic Problems of Phenomenology (1927)

F. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

Nietzsche, Foucault, and the Death of God

Nietzsche's Genealogy of Modernity

Jean-Paul Sartre's Existential Phenomenology of Liberation

Paul Ricoeur’s Revelatory Hermeneutics of Suspicion

Dialectic and existence in Kant and Kierkegaard

Husserl, Heidegger and the Transcendental Problem of Signification

Heidegger and Heraclitus

Edmund Husserl's Phenomenology of Meaning

Jean Calvin's Philosophical Anthropology

Rawls’s Normative Conception of the Person

Social Justice, Secularization, Democratization (Research Project)

Transcendental-Semantic Perspectivism (Research Project)

The Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights (Research Project)

Philosophy Soccer (Monty Python)

Class Schedule:

August              20: Introduction: What is (or rather was) Existentialism ?

                        22:  Kaufmann Chap. 1: Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre (I-IV)

                        24:  Kaufmann Chap. 1: Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre (V-VII)

                        27:  Kaufmann Chap. 3: Kierkegaard 1-3 (revised ed.)

                        29:  Kaufmann Chap. 3: Kierkegaard 4-5

                        31:  Kaufmann Chap. 3: Kierkegaard 6-7

September         3: Labor Day – No Class

                         5: Kaufmann Chap. 11: Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

                         7: Homework #1 & Review
For the Homework # 3, due on Oct. 12, you can write a 1-2 page essay trying to address the question: "What is metaphysics?" You might want to relate this question to Heidegger's contention that Western philosophy has forgotten the question of Being, and how one can relate ontology to metaphysics in light of the ontic-ontological difference (the difference between Being and beings). You can use the texts you read and material available on the internet, but make sure you cite your sources properly.
For the Homework # 4, due on Oct. 26, you can write a 1-2 page essay on any topic related to your readings of Heidegger, as long as you do not repeat yourself. For instance, you may write a short paper on Heidegger's existential analysis, Dasein, phenomenology, hermeneutics, humanism, ethics, language, self-understanding and/or freedom. You can use the texts you read and material available on the internet, but make sure you cite your sources properly.
For the Midterm Essay #2, due on Oct. 29, you may choose one topic related to one of the texts you read or to one of the authors previously discussed, and write a 2-3 page philosophical essay in which you will try to argue for or against one particular position in existentialism (e.g., Heidegger's view of subjectivity and/or existence as opposed to, say, Kierkegaard's or Nietzsche's). This is a take-home exam, but if you prefer to write your essay in the classroom, you may use our class time for this (I'll be here anyway).

You might want to take a look at Jeff McLaughlin, How to Write a Philosophy Paper and/or P. Bokulich, Paper Writing Hints. If you don't have the Kaufmann revised ed., read the selections for each philosopher from another version or edition, such as the texts available online.

For the Homework # 5, due on Nov. 16, you can write a 1-2 page essay trying to address the question: "What is existentialism?" in light of Sartre’s writings (e.g., in Kaufmann’s book), esp. “Existentialism is a Humanism.” You can use the texts you read and material available on the internet, but make sure you cite your sources properly.
For the Homework # 6, due on Dec. 7, you can write a 1-2 page essay on any topic related to your readings of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, and try to avoid repeating yourself. For instance, you may write a short paper on Sartre’s conception of phenomenology, humanism, consciousness, en soi / pour soi, and/or freedom. You can use the texts you read and material available on the internet, but make sure you cite your sources properly. If you prefer, you may as well turn in both homeworks as one single 2-4 page paper on Dec. 7 (you may leave your paper in my office or with the Philosophy Dept secretary, Mrs. Linda Smith).

For the FINAL EXAM on Dec. 12, be prepared to write an in-class essay (2-3 pages) on one of the following topics:

Kierkegaard’s existential conception of subjectivity
Nietzsche’s existential conception of the will to power
Jaspers’s existential conception of transcendence
Heidegger's existential analysis of Dasein
Sartre’s existentialism.
You might want to relate the views of one author to another, as long as you thematize their differences and respective conceptions, such as existence, dread, meaning, freedom, self, choice, decision, commitment, facticity, and nothingness.

                        10: Kaufmann Chap. 4: Nietzsche 1

                        12: Kaufmann Chap. 4: Nietzsche 2-3

                        14: Kaufmann Chap. 4: Nietzsche 4-5

                        17: Kaufmann Chap. 8: Jaspers 1

                        19: Kaufmann Chap. 8: Jaspers 2-3

                        21: Homework #2 & Review

                        24: Midterm Essay #1

                        26: Kaufmann Chap. 9: Heidegger 1-2 and/or 3

                        28: Heidegger, Being and Time, Introduction sections 1-2 / Sein und Zeit

October             1: Heidegger, Being and Time, Introduction sections 3-4

                          3: Heidegger, Being and Time, Introduction sections 5-6

                          5: Heidegger, Being and Time, Introduction sections 7-8

                          8: Heidegger, Being and Time, sections 9-11

                        10: Heidegger, Being and Time, sections 12-13

                        12: Homework #3 & Review

                        15: Fall Break -- No Class

                        17: Heidegger, Being and Time, sections 28-29

19: Heidegger, Being and Time, sections 30-32

                        22: Heidegger, Letter on Humanism (1)

                        24: Heidegger, Letter on Humanism (2)

                        26: Homework #4 & Review

                        29: Midterm Essay #2

                        31: Kaufmann Chap. 10: Sartre 1 and/or 5

November        2: Kaufmann Chap. 10: Sartre 2

                        5: Kaufmann Chap. 10: Sartre 3

                        7: Kaufmann Chap. 10: Sartre 4: Existentialism is a Humanism

                        9: Sartre, Being and Nothingness, Introduction, I-III

                        12: Veteran’s Day -- No Class

                        14: Sartre, Being and Nothingness, Introduction, IV-VI

16: Homework #5& Review

19: Sartre, Being and Nothingness, Part I, ch. 1, I-III

21-23: Thanksgiving Break -- No Class

                        26: Sartre, Being and Nothingness, Part I, ch. 1, IV-V

Existentialism Power Point

                        28: Sartre, Being and Nothingness, Part I, ch. 2

                        30: Sartre, Being and Nothingness, Part II, ch. 1, I-II

December        3: Sartre, Being and Nothingness, Part III, ch. 1, I-II

                        5: Sartre, Being and Nothingness, Part III, ch. 1, III / Review

                        7: Homework #6 (no class)

December        12: FINAL EXAM Wednesday 10:15-12:15

 

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