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Instructor: Zach Ferguson. This course meets MTWRF 9:45 – 11:15 a.m. in CW 213 via in-person (IP) instruction.

Is there any objective meaning in life? How should we live knowing that someday we must die? Can there be objective morality in the wake of the death of God? This course will look at philosophical and literary attempts to come to grips with these and other questions about the human condition in the modern world. To try to make sense of our absurd existence, we will engage with texts by religious devotees and atheists, pessimists and optimists, philosophers and artists.

The focus of the class will be on the writings of Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus. We will also consider existentialist themes in literature (e.g. Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, de Unamuno) and film (e.g. Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal).