Existentialism and Beyond
The official TIP description of this course- Existentialist literature addresses the individual’s concern for meaning, authenticity and truth. Those philosophers and theologians who are classified as Existentialist recognize that in the absence of traditional sources for certainty the individual is left to determine his or her own meaning of life, actions and values. Some existentialists see this moment as a moment of terror where nothing is certain, while others embrace this moment as incredibly liberating because all is permitted. The most famous Existentialists are Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, Heidegger, Camus, and Beckett, but we will also consider the writings of philosophers who responded to Existentialism, specifically Michele Foucault. This course will look at ‘existential’ literature in an effort to understand and evaluate the variety of answers offered in response to the problem. In addition to philosophy, literature and fiction, we will also be looking at several films that are either film versions of existential literature, or pick up on Existentialist themes.
This course caused many students to question everything about anything. The instructor in the past has been Dr. Benko, who is very cuddly (an inside joke from Term I, 2005). Benko likes to screw with the TIPsters heads and the whole course is a bit of a whirlwind.
After one comes to terms with these philosophers view, he or she is a lot more confident in his or her own personal beliefs. The time period after the course in which one doesn't seem to know anything he or she believes has been dubbed an 'Existential Crisis" and can last anywhere from a couple hours to several months.
This class has ceased to exist. Duke 2006 was the last time it was offered. Dr. Benko had a child, Kate. There are no clues whether or not Dr. Benko will return after his daughter has aged a bit.
This would have probably been Roman's favorite class, until 2015 when he became better than that.