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Instructor: Will Kanwischer. This course meets MTWRF 1:15 – 2:45 p.m. via remote synchronous (RS) instruction.

This course examines an intellectual movement commonly called existentialism, which was hugely influential on both philosophy and popular culture in the 20th century. Existentialists used their work to explore problems related to meaning in life, freedom, authenticity, and experience, but unlike many philosophers, existentialists often expressed their ideas through fiction, film, and visual art.

As a class, we will read and discuss the work of philosophers like Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Simone de Beauvoir, Martin Heidegger, and Albert Camus, as well as artists like Fyodor Dostoevsky and Franz Kafka. With the help of this cheerful cast of characters, we will try to come to terms with our modern human condition: meaninglessness, alienation, suffering, doubt, and death included.