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Sartre & Existentialism (PH332-15)

Timing & CATS

This module will run in the Spring Term and is worth 15 CATS

Module Description

This module will be devoted to a study of the existential phenomenology of Jean-Paul Sartre. There are few, if any, recent philosophers who have had a similarly wide and profound impact as Sartre, reaching out far beyond academic philosophy to other areas of intellectual and artistic work and to the wider culture. Partly under the influence of earlier phenomenologists, Sartre might be said to have set a new agenda for philosophy. The theoretical exploration of the texture and the structures of everyday human being in the world in existentialism became a central philosophical theme in its own right. Sartre's extraordinarily original ideas on selfhood, consciousness, self-deception and ‘bad faith’, freedom, affectivity and emotion, the phenomenology of the body, ‘knowledge of other minds’, concrete relations to others including love and sexuality, the nature of value, and ‘authentic’ human existence, continue to be of pervasive influence today. The main text studied on the module will be (selections of) Sartre's central philosophical work, Being and Nothingness, supplemented on some topics by minor writings and essays of Sartre's, including ‘Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions’.

Learning Outcomes or Aims

By the end of the module students should (1) be able to understand the central concepts and methodological tools of at least one major type of existential phenomenology (2) be able to understand and critically assess the substantive arguments and analyses distinctive of at least one type of existential phenomenology (3) be able clearly to articulate their own arguments and informed judgements on major philosophical issues addressed by existential phenomenology

Contact Time

In this module students must attend 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of seminars

Lectures for 2017-18

Tuesday 10am to 11am in OC1.01

Thursday 11am to 12pm OC1.01

There will be no lectures in reading week (week 6)

Seminars for 2017-18

Seminars for this course start in week 2

Sign up for a seminar group using Tabula.

There will be no seminars in reading week (week 6)

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed in the following way:

  • One 1,500-word essay (worth 15% of the module)
  • One 2-hour examination (worth 85% of the module)

Essays should be submitted to Tabula in line with the essay deadlines schedule.

Background Reading & Textbooks

Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness [BN] (London: Routledge, 2005; originally published 1943).

Other works by Sartre also referred to:

Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions (London: Routledge, 2002; orig. published 1939), The Transcendence of the Ego (New York: Octagon, 1972; orig. published 1936), Notebooks for an Ethics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).

Course Materials

From October 2016 course materials will be available on Moodle. Simply sign in and select the module from your Moodle home page.