Existentialism: Philosophy and Literature

Course code PHIL3015Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

Students will engage with the philosophy and fiction of Jean-Paul Sartre. The texts studied will include the following English-language translations: Being and Nothingness (London: Routledge, 1993), Nausea (London: Penguin, 2000) and The Wall (New York: New Directions, 1975).
Students will learn to analyse philosophically and negotiate critically various aspects of the Sartrean account of human existence; they will also reflect on Sartre's position within the main movements of twentieth-century French literature, including Modernism, Surrealism and Postmodernism.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
ObjectivesUpon successful completion of this course, students will have demonstrated an ability to:
- demonstrate an understanding of existentialist thought;
- analyse both philosophical and literary texts;
- challenge their understanding of existence;
- reflect on the broader philosophical and literary contexts into which Sartre's writing fits;
- perform textual criticism, challenging existing meanings and understandings of canonical texts and offering their own interpretations of primary material;
- develop research skills by engaging with secondary material;
- analyse the ways in which world-views are moulded by society's control structures.
ContentThe Philosophy of Existentialism, including: the notions of absurdity, contingency and freedom, being for itself, authenticity & bad faith.
Sartre's seminal novel Nausea as embodying existential and phenomenological themes.
The fictional representations of Existentialism in The Wall and other works;
Consideration of the literature of Existentialism in relation to Surrealism, Modernism & Postmodernism.
Replacing Course(s)ENGL3015
TransitionStudents who have completed ENGL3015 may not enrol in this course
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge20 units of Philosophy at 1000 level.
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Assessment Items
Essays / Written Assignments3 x 1,500-word essays (each worth 33%)
Contact HoursLecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for PHIL3015