Jan 18

Existentialism: The Quest for Meaning and Authenticity

Jill Carroll, Ph.D.

The popular caricature of an existentialist is someone sitting in a Paris cafe wearing all black, and smoking and drinking to fend off their depression. While some existentialists were French or spent time in Paris, and many went through a depressive period in their lives, this caricature ignores the deep vitality and even joy of those writers, thinkers, and artists who have come to be placed in the existentialist camp.

Existentialism is a hallmark modern western philosophy that places personal meaning and experience at the heart of its work, specifically the quest for an authentically meaningful life. For this reason, its purveyors are often harshly critical of bourgeois, “everyday” life for its tendencies to push us into false forms of selfhood and into pursuits that are destined to leave us feeling empty and disillusioned. Moreover, existentialists are often more attuned than other thinkers to the darker tendencies in human life that, if not faced, threaten to overwhelm any possibilities for meaning or joy.

In this course, we will use Gordon Marino’s wonderful anthology - Basic Writings of Existentialism (ISBN-10: 9780375759895 - available on Amazon and elsewhere) to explore this rich tradition in western philosophy, which is simultaneously confronting and comforting. Readings will include selections from Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus and others.

Twelve-Week Course Schedule | Thursdays
Jan 18 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Jan 25 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Feb 01 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Feb 08 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Feb 15 | No Class
Feb 22 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Feb 29 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Mar 07 | No Class
Mar 14 | No Class
Mar 21 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Mar 28 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Apr 04 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Apr 11 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Apr 18 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Apr 25 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This class will be held in-person at WIH and simulcast via Zoom



Class Tuition

11 in stock

Price is per student. Class tuition is non-refundable.