PHIL 180: EXISTENTIALISM
Earlham College, Fall Semester 2013-2014
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50. Carpenter 220
Instructor: Ferit Güven
Office: Carpenter 328
Office Hours: By appointment
Office Phone: 983-1399 (voice mail)
web page: http://www.earlham.edu/~guvenfe
Course Description: The aim of this course is to introduce you to the intellectual movement of existentialism through close readings of philosophical texts. Although existentialism as an explicit school of thought emerges in the 20th Century, its roots lie in the 19th Century. Therefore, we will begin our readings with texts by 19th Century philosophers. In addition to philosophical texts, we will cover novels and short stories in order to familiarize ourselves with different genres in which the existentialist ideas are formulated. We will also study the existential questions in the context of social and political issues such as race, feminism and postcoloniality.
Required Texts: (available in the Earlham College bookstore)
Kaufmann, Walter, Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre, revised and expanded edition, (New York: Penguin, 1975)
Fanon, Frantz, Black Skin White Masks, (New York: Grove Press, 1967)
Pamuk, Orhan , The White Castle, (New York: Vintage Books, 1998)
de Beauvoir, Simone, Ethics of Ambiguity, (New York: Philosophical Library, 1995)
There will be additional reading material on Moodle.
Learning Goals: From General Education Requirement Goals at Earlham College
*Close and critical reading, thoughtful reflection, ready discussion and cogent writing
*Increased adeptness in thoughtfully considering texts of all sorts, whether singly or in comparison with one another
*Multiculturalism in the study of domestic and international diversity
*Informed understanding of the arts through performance or creative fashioning as well through theory and history
Course Requirement and Evaluation: You are expected to write two papers: I will provide paper topics for each assignment. You are also allowed to decide on your own topic provided that you discuss your topic with me at least a week before the deadline. Along with the paper topics I will also provide specific guidelines for each topic. Besides this, for every paper (including papers on topics of your own choice) you are responsible for following the general guidelines provided. (See "Comments and Suggestions for Papers").
For each week, two students will work together in order to prepare
a two paged (single-spaced) protocol of the material
during the previous week. A protocol is a carefully
edited summary of the previous class sessions written in full
Protocols will be photocopied by the student who wrote it and handed
out to all students at the beginning of each Monday to be read aloud,
will serve as a cumulative record of the course. The students who
the protocol should come to class a couple of minutes early, so that
protocols will have been distributed at the beginning of the class
10:30 am). In addition to reviewing the material covered in the previous
the protocol should include announcements made in class, questions
and, if possible, future questions for the material to come. The best
protocols will be those that do not simply reproduce word-for-word
that was said during class, but those that rearrange the material
thematically, editing out what was unimportant, and emphasizing what
The point of this is not only to get you to work together, but also to
allow you to think during class, and not just take notes; because
someone will be taking notes for you, you can concentrate on the ideas
presented, and participate without having to write constantly. Also you
a summary of every class which will help you with writing papers.
There will be announced or unannounced quizzes either at the beginning or at the end of the sessions. There will be no make-ups for the quizzes.
There will be no final examination!
Your grade will be calculated according to the following distribution: Paper I: 20%, Paper II: 30%, Protocol: 15%, Quizzes: 25% Participation and Attendance: 10%. In order to pass the course you must fulfill all the requirements.
Participation and Attendance:
Attendance and participation are important dimensions of the course and
your grade. I expect you to come to class prepared and ready to
i.e., having read the text carefully (at least twice), and ready to
raise and answer
questions. If you have not completed the reading for the day, you
will not be able to participate in class discussions.
The success of this course depends on your attendance. If you miss three sessions, you will lose your entire participation grade (%10). If you miss more than four sessions, you will fail this course regardless of your grade.
Our sessions will start at 10:30 am. Students are expected to come on time. Walking into (and out of) the classroom while the session is in progresss is very disruptive for everybody. For every two late attendance (or early exit) you will be marked as absent for one class session.
You are required to bring the text (the book or photocopied material) to class, and refer to them during discussions.
Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the instructor and Disability Services Office (Academic Support Services) at the beginning of the semester. Accommodation arrangements must be made during the first-two weeks of the semester.
Calendar: The calender and the reading assigments will be posted on Moodle.
There may be some modifications to the calendar. It is your responsibility to be aware of these changes. Make sure you follow these changes on Moodle.
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