PHI 370 Existentialist Thought Office: Founders 303
Dr. Louise Carroll Keeley Phone: x 7548
Fall 2000 Office Hours: T/Th 8:55-11:25 and
TTH 11:30-12:45 1-2:45; M 12:35-2:05.
Our examination will center around four existential themes, each of which will be anchored by a philosophical text and a literary one. These themes include the death of God and the experience of nothingness (Nietzsche and O’Connor), the human predicament of freedom (Sartre), contingency and absurdity (Camus and Dostoevsky), and despair as the sickness unto death (Kierkegaard and Percy).
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Portable Nietzsche, ed. Walter Kaufmann
Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism and Human Emotions
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
Soren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death
Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground
Walker Percy, The Moviegoer
1. First paper on Nietzsche, 4-5 pages, typed, due September 26, 2000. (20%)
2. Second Paper on Sartre, 4-5 pages, typed, due October 12, 2000. (20%)
3. Third Paper on Camus, 4-5 pages, typed, due October 31, 2000. (20%)
4. Fourth Paper on Dostoevsky, 4-5 pages, typed, due November 14, 2000. (20%)
5. Final cumulative exam, to be scheduled by the registrar’s office (20%)
Notes on Policy:
1. Students are expected to attend class. Failure to do so (more than three unexcused absences) will be reflected in your final grade.
2. All assignments must be submitted on their due date during class time. Late papers will be marked down one grade for each day they are overdue. Students will not be permitted to make up exams at a later date unless they have an excused absence that has been arranged with me in advance of the exam date.
3. All students are expected to participate actively in class. Mere presence is not
enough--you must be prepared to say something thoughtful about the text.
4. The syllabus clearly indicates what percentage of the final grade correlates to each assignment. Grades will be assigned with these figures in mind but other factors, including attendance and participation (but not limited to them) may also be considered in the determination of the final grade.
Part I: Prospect: Introduction to Existential Thought
8/29: Introduction, Read in class The Gay Science, pp. 95-96 in The Portable Nietzsche
Part II: The Death of God and the Experience of Nothingness ( Nietzsche and O’Connor )
8/31: Read Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Prologue, pp. 121-137.
9/5: Read TSZ, Part I, pp. 137-191
9/7: TSZ, Part I, cont.
9/12: TSZ, Part I, cont.
9/14: Read TSZ, Part II, pp. 191-259
9/19: TSZ, Part II, cont.
9/21: TSZ, Part III, 264-343; (if time is available)
9/26: Read O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. First Paper on Nietzsche due
Part III: The Human Predicament: Bound to be Free ( Sartre )
9/28: Read Sartre, Existentialism and Human Emotions, pp. 9-51
10/3: EHE, cont.
10/5: Read Sartre, Nausea
10/10: Columbus Day Holiday
10/12: Nausea, cont. Second Paper on Sartre due
Part IV: Contingency and Absurdity: Ruptures in the Individual’s Experience of the World
( Camus and Dostoevsky )
10/17: Read Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus, pp. 3-65
10/19: MS, cont.
10/24: Read MS, pp. 66-92
10/26: Read MS, pp. 93-123.
10/31: MS, cont. Third Paper on Camus due
11/2: Read Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground
11/7: Notes from Underground, cont.
Part V: The Inner Landscape: Variations on the Theme of Despair ( Kierkegaard and Percy )
11/9: Read Kierkegaard, Sickness Unto Death, pp. 5-28
11/14: Read SUD, pp. 29-74 Fourth Paper on Dostoevsky due
11/16: SUD, cont.
11/21, Read SUD, pp. 77-131.
11/23: Thanksgiving Holiday
11/28: Read Percy, The Moviegoer
11/30: The Moviegoer, cont.
12/5: Review for Final Exam to be scheduled by Registrar’s Office during exam week