PHIL 2034 - Existentialism

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

The most distinctive focus of existentialism is the nature and meaning of human existence. Existentialist philosophers raise anew the question of the meaning of existence because they find traditional answers to it inadequate. Any conception of the nature and meaning of human existence has implications for questions such as the nature of the self, the relation with others, and ethical ideals such as altruism and self-creation. The course will focus on two prominent existentialist philosophers: Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre. Both philosophers attempt to address the question of the meaning of life. The central concern of Nietzsche's philosophy is nihilism and the conditions of its overcoming. The main problem addressed by Sartre's philosophy is the absurdity of existence and its practical implications.

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