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    Macalester College
  Feb 23, 2018
College Catalog 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PHIL 235 - Existentialist Metaphysics

“All living is one’s own living, feeling oneself live, knowing oneself to be existing, where knowing does not imply intellectual knowledge or any special wisdom but is that surprising presence which one’s life has for every one of us” (Jose Ortega y Gasset). For those thinkers whose work is associated with the philosophical tradition of existentialism, the understanding of human existence represents a singular gateway to the understanding of being, the general object of the study of metaphysics. But just what does it mean to exist? In this course, we will reflectively consider responses to this and other questions that play a key role within existentialist metaphysics. Typically, readings will be drawn from works by philosophers such as Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Jose Ortega y Gassett. While there is no prerequisite for this course, some familiarity with the history of European philosophy would be helpful. Offered alternate years. (4 Credits)