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The Meaning of Life and Death
PHIL 271
Spring 2007
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: COL 271

Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? Is there any point or purpose to human existence? Does my life have any meaning? If it doesn't, then what should my response be? Can human life be meaningful if there is no God? Does my death have any meaning? Just what is death, anyway - and is it really a bad thing? Would immortality really be a good thing? Would it matter if humans ceased to exist? Is it a good thing for me to exist, or would I have been better off never having been born? If the latter, then is it morally wrong to have children and perpetuate human existence? It is very likely that you have thought about some of these questions at one time or another. Perhaps there was a nagging thought in the back of your mind one day, or a disquieting uncertainty, which kept you up at night. There is, of course, a variety of ways of coming to terms with these issues - through religion, for instance, or through art. The aim of this course, however, is to provide you with an occasion for distinctly "philosophical" reflection on these questions. Using a variety of classic and contemporary philosophical texts (both expository and literary), we will try to gain some greater clarity as to the nature of the questions and the possible ways one might go about trying to answer them. Even if (as some claim) the questions are unanswerable, it is worth considering that the implications of that might be. By its very nature, this course is meant to engage you on a very personal level. You should be prepared to challenge your own assumptions and beliefs, and to engage with material that may be dense, perplexing, or downright disturbing.

Essential Capabilities: Ethical Reasoning, Writing
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA PHIL
Course Format: Lecture/DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on MAY-27-2024
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