PHL211 Existentialism

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Investigates existential philosophy from the 19th Century to the present. Introduces different branches of existentialist thought and the influence existentialism had on philosophy, literature, and culture in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Includes existentialist philosophers such as, but are not limited to, some of the following: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Camus and Sartre. Prerequisites: (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement. Audit available.  (For detailed information, see the Course Content and Outcome Guide).

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List of classes for PHL211 Existentialism
CRN Location & type Days & time Dates Seats available Materials More info Sign up
43338 Web


From September 21 through December 12, 2020
Textbooks for CRN 43338
Course details for CRN 43338
Instructor: Steve T Jolin
Tuition: credit Fees: $20

This page includes online classes only, more sections may exist for this class.

Course details: CRN 43338

Course materials


Find out which textbooks are required for this course.


There is no additional technology required for this class.

Instructor comments:

Welcome dear student of philosophy! Existentialism is a course that introduces the ideas of some of the best-known and and most influential thinkers of our time. They include philosophers and literary figures like Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, Gabriel Marcel, Karl Jaspers, Miguel de Unamuno, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and others. Existentialist thinkers, in venerable philosophical tradition, pursue traditional metaphysical and ethical inquiry--asking about the meaning of being and of moral obligation. But they typically do so by focusing on themes central to personal existence, such as the deep absurdity life involves, what it means to be an individual, the sense in which we are free, interpersonal relations, the possibility and meaning of transcendence. It is not uncommon for this emphasis on themes crucial to individual existence to draw students quite personally--not just academically--into their study of Existentialism. Steve Jolin, your instructor, has a special relationship with Existentialism. He studied in France with Existentialist philosopher Gabriel Marcel, writing his doctoral dissertation on Marcel, and translating one of the philosopher's important works into English for Northwestern University Press.

A note on the required textbook.  You'll need the texbook, Existentialism, 2nd edition, edited by Robert Solomon, immediately.  There will be an important assignment from the book starting the first day of class. The book is an excellent collection of original texts by existentialist thinkers, with valuable introductory material by Robert Solomon.  Fortunately, the book is quite inexpensive.  It's priced new in the range of $45.95 to $49.95, and is available used from a variety of sources for about $15 to about $38.  You can check out some of these sources at the PCC Bookstore site:

Web course information

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Web Prerequisite | Start Guide for Online Learning:
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