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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "PH 302"
COURSE NAME: "Existentialism "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Brunella Antomarini
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 3:00-4:15 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS:
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Junior Standing; Corequisite: EN 110
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
The course aims at a phenomenological analysis, discussion, and development of the most important theme in existential philosophy: the Self, understood as consciousness, confronting a world and engaged in human action. Beginning with selected writings by Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, the fathers of Existentialism, the course will explore issues such as freedom, responsibility, decision, finitude, and alienation. These issues will be discussed in their existential contexts as they emerge from the works of philosophers such as K. Jaspers, Sartre, Heidegger, etc. A special emphasis will be placed on the relevance and critical significance of these issues to everyday life in contemporary society.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

 

The course analyses the existential turn occurred in XX century philosophy meant to overcome the problem defined as the body/mind separation. This main current proposes a concrete description of our mental processes in opposition to the traditional cognitive structure introduced by rationalism. Beginning with selected writings by Nietzsche as a path-finder of this epistemological attitude, the course delves into a new way to describe our relationships with the 'life world'. The fundamental themes in the philosophies of life, related to the notions of phenomenon, intentionality, perception, being-in-the-world, lived experience, the question of technique, the issue of groundlessness, are analysed and elaborated through references to the current discussions about an emergent definition of ‘life’, related to notions of augmented reality, the new technologies, embodiment, the hybrid character of life.

Authors to be analyzed:

 

Arendt, The Life of the Mind/The Human Condition

Heidegger, The issue of the Technological

Husserl, Crisis of European Sciences

Jaspers, Philosophy of Existence

Lyotard, The Inhuman

McLelland et a. Connectionism and AL

Lister, New Media

Nietzsche, Gay Science

A. Noe, Action in Perception

Georg Simmel, Metropolis and Mental Life

F. Varela, Intimate Distances. Fragments of a Phenomenology of Organ Transplantation, 2001.

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

Developing skills in critical thinking, theoretical analysis, ability in associating or distinguishing relevant and outdated elements of existentialism.

 

TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
papers, attendance, participation 35%
mid-term exam 25%
final exam  40%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required fo
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

 

Students should plan to regularly attend the class, since we will often broaden the topics contained in the texts to contemporary issues, and since this class is mainly intended to the rousing of students’ personal thoughts and ideas.

Please refer to the university catalog for the attendance and absence policy.

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Nietzsche, Gay Science

Husserl, Crisis of European Sciences

Arendt, The Life of the Mind/The Human Condition

Heidegger, The issue of the Technological

Georg Simmel, Metropolis and Mental Life

Jaspers, Philosophy of Existence

Lyotard, The Inhuman

McLelland et a. Connectionism and AL

Lister, New Media

A. Noe, Action in Perception

F. Varela, Intimate Distances. Fragments of a Phenomenology of Organ Transplantation, 2001.