Philosophy | Introduction to Existentialism
P135 | 24857 | Spade

Topic: Kierkegaard and Sartre

This class will introduce students to some of the main themes and
figures in the existential tradition of philosophy. We will focus on
two people, Soren Kierkegaard and Jean-Paul Sartre, and their views
on topics such as: human responsibility and choice, the nature of
belief in God and the effect it has on people, interpersonal
relations, self-deception and human emotions. We shall find that,
although Kierkegaard was a dedicated Christian whereas Sartre was a
confirmed atheist, in many respects their views are quite similar.

Class will meet in lecture format twice a week, plus a required
discussion section on Fridays. There will be regularly scheduled
short quizzes throughout the semester, to make sure you are getting
the terminology and basic concepts. In addition, students will be
required to write two examinations and two papers.

Required Textbooks:

(1) Robert Bretall, *A Kierkegaard Anthology* (Princeton).
(2) Soren Kierkegaard, *Fear and Trembling* (Penguin).
(3) Walter Kaufmann, ed., *Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre*
(2nd ed.) (Meridian).
(4) Jean-Paul Sartre, *Nausea*.