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Philosophy: On the Meaning of Life

PHIL 010 OL2 (CRN: 61406)

3 Credit Hours

For crosslists see: REL 085 OL1

About PHIL 010 OL2

Courses introducing philosophical argument and analysis in a variety of ways. Content, readings and assignments vary by section. Not repeatable for credit. Credit not awarded for more than one Philosophy course numbered below 100, except that credit will be given for PHIL 013 in addition to one other course numbered below 100.


Related Program

High School & Pre-College Programs


Dates: June 15- July 10, 2020; Class will be taught as a Microsoft Teams virtual class will be held Monday-Thursday 4pm - 6:15pm with a break. Attendance at the Teams class is recommended but not mandatory as the class will be recorded and available to watch at your convenience during that week. Cross listed with REL 085 OL1; Credit not awarded for more than one PHIL course numbered 010

More Information

Section Description

This course is meant to be of value to both beginners and to people who have already delved into philosophic questioning and religious life. We will explore how various thinkers' texts and films respond to some of the most basic questions of what it means to live a meaningful life. What does it mean to find meaning in life, given the fact that life is fleeting? How do various thinkers understand and respond to this question? We will discuss the quest for human happiness, the meaning of human freedom and responsibility, human suffering and the responses to it. We will also explore how human beings fundamentally encounter and relate to one another. We will take a brief look at the relation of fantasy to reality and of morality to politics.

Section Expectation

I want to emphasize that I view all education as continuing education. The greater variety of students and the somewhat more informal setting of Summer Academy makes these courses among my favorite to teach. The course will be divided between lecture and discussion. The requirements are simple and straightforward. This syllabus is roughly the one we will pursue. It may seem like a lot of reading, but it is quite doable within the time frame. We will not read the entirety of each book, rather we will be reading selections or excerpts from most book. There will be reading adjustments according to the pace of the class, drawn from the following, some of which we will read in part, others in full.


Grading - Attendance and participation ~ 25%. - Tests ~ 25% - Papers . . . . 50%. Topics can be of the students’ own choosing or a response to one or two questions to be assigned.




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Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

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Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
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