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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL3002: Existentialism

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the place of existentialism as a philosophical tradition, while also exploring the cultural movement of existentialism that flourished in Europe during the 20th century. The module will situate existentialism within the history of philosophy and critically explore and investigate the challenges associated with the practice and method of existentialism as a philosophical movement. In addition, the module will explore the intersections between philosophical existentialism and literary existentialism. A further aim is to encourage you to be able to reflect existentially about your own lived experience and to explore the contemporary relevance of the existential approach to a variety of topics and disciplines. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Identify and cogently discuss the key methods, questions, themes and topics within the existential tradition and to critically compare this approach with other philosophical methods and traditions.
2. Critically distinguish and evaluate various approaches to existentialism, both in philosophy and literature, and related critiques, within the 20th century
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Demonstrate a high level of understanding of the interrelation between theories, values and lived experience, with particular focus on existential themes.
4. Engage in in-depth study of a text through detailed reading and analysis
Personal and Key Skills5. Demonstrate a significantly expanded philosophical vocabulary and understanding with respect to key ideas in twentieth century European philosophy and how this relates to philosophical approaches arising from the Anglo-Analytic tradition
6. Conduct research independently engaging with complex ideas and problems while developing original research insights.
7. Engage in complex and high level argumentation both orally and through writing.