What is the course about?
Philosophy is an abstract subject which can seem to have little to do with life. In fact, there are many philosophers who have argued that philosophy is, or ought to be, of service to us in understanding human existence. Does the life of a human being have meaning? Is there meaning in the universe at all? Does it make sense for us, when death is inevitable, to strive for anything or even to go on living? Be advised that this course is not life-coaching or therapy. It is a philosophical exploration of these difficult but fascinating questions.
What will we cover?
We will try to get to grips with arguments in the work of a variety of Western philosophers including Plato, Seneca, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Sartre.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
You should not expect to learn the meaning of life or how to live, but only how to analyse the question of the meaning of life using arguments covered on the course. By the end, you should at least be able to:
– break down the question of the meaning of life into more manageable questions (i.e. analyse the question)
– summarise some answers of philosophers covered on the course
– relate the question of the meaning of life to other areas of philosophy.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course complements The great philosophers (HP002/3) and is an ideal follow-up, offering the chance to study a neglected area for those who have done some philosophy before. Though you may find some of the reading material difficult, the only absolutely essential requirement is to be prepared to see things from an unusual point of view.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Classes will consist of presentations and small-group and whole-class discussion. There will be some reading to do each week.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
All course materials will be provided by the tutor or available free of charge online.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please see the prospectus or check the website for details of other philosophy courses on offer: www.citylit.ac.uk.