Philosophy and the meaning of life

Course Dates: 13/05/24 - 05/08/24
Time: 19:00 - 21:00
Location: Online
The search for a meaning to life has consumed human beings since time immemorial. What is the purpose of our being here? How are we supposed to live our lives? Is there a God or are we just products of nature, and depending on our answer, what does that tell us about the way we should conduct ourselves? What do we even mean by meaning?! If these questions intrigue or puzzle you, then look no further! While we cannot guarantee any answers, the quest for meaning and the exploration of the topic lead to some of philosophy’s greatest thinkers and their reflections on this most pressing of issues.
NB: No classes on 06/05/24 and 27/05/24.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £269.00 Senior fee £269.00 Concession £175.00

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Philosophy and the meaning of life
This course has started
  • Course Code: HP006
  • Dates: 13/05/24 - 05/08/24
  • Time: 19:00 - 21:00
  • Taught: Mon, Evening
  • Duration: 12 sessions (over 13 weeks)
  • Location: Online
  • Tutor: Karl White

Course Code: HP006

Started Mon, eve, 13 May - 05 Aug '24

Duration: 12 sessions (over 13 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

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.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

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...

Don’t expect to learn the meaning of life or how to live! But hopefully we will have reached a greater understanding of the issues using arguments covered on the course. By the end, you should be able to:

– Understand the many elements of the question of meaning
– 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) and is an ideal follow-up, offering the chance to study an exciting area for those who have done some philosophy before. Though you may find some of the reading material challenging, the only absolutely essential requirement is to be prepared to see things with an open mind. A willingness to listen to and think about views with which you may not always agree are more important than anything else!

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Classes will consist of tutor presentations and class discussion. There will be some reading suggested each week.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

All course materials will be provided by the tutor or are available free of charge online.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please check our website for details of other philosophy courses on offer:

Karl White

Karl White completed a Ph.D on the Romanian-French philosopher EM Cioran at King’s College London, having originally been educated at University College Cork. He has tutored students of all ages at university level in various areas such as Philosophy and Literature, Philosophy and Film, and Classical Civilisation. He has published work on Samuel Beckett and written educational works on Shakespeare. He believes in making philosophy accessible to people of all backgrounds and educational levels and promoting lively and open discussion in the shared journey of learning.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.