Saturdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22 3 pm to 5 pm
Existence Precedes Essence. We are born. We die. In between, we exist. But what is this existence? Perhaps more importantly, how is this existence? If, as Nietzsche writes, "God is dead," then what? If all we are is a complex concatenation of neurons, flesh, and bone destined to become, as Hamlet says, "food for worms," then what? In a world where meaning is not given, where absurdity prevails, and where the "abyss" looks right at us, can we create meaning and joy, can we look into the great "Nothing" and still smile?
Focusing on the work of Heidegger, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus, as well as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Kafka, and Dostoyevsky, this course explores some of these questions through the lens of "Existentialism."
March 1: Introductory Themes: Kafka, Dostoyevsky
March 8: Proto-Existentialists: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche
March 15: Heidegger: Being Towards Death
March 22: Existence Precedes Essence: Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus
Professor: Eric Anthamatten received his Ph.D. in philosophy from The New School for Social Research, writing a dissertation titled "Habilitation and The Criminal: Punishment and Mutual Recognition," based on his work teaching philosophy in prisons in Texas, New York City, and Connecticut. He teaches at Fordham University and The New School, as well as the public lecture series at the New York Public Library.
Recommended, not required,Text: Walter Kaufmann, Existentialism: from Dostoyevsky to Sartre (New York: New American Library, 1975) Copies will be available at the 2nd floor desk soon. Or read it online here.
Presented in the 3rd floor program room.
Registration required: please visit the 2nd floor desk to sign-up. Sign up starts 11 am on Tuesday, February 18, in person only.
Readings will be offered in class.