PHIL20500 Phenomenology & Existentialism

Academic Year 2023/2024

This course offers an introduction to and critical assessment of some of the key figures of the phenomenological tradition, the most prominent European philosophical movement of the twentieth century, and the movement that inspired the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, and others.

In the first part of the module we generally explore the work of key phenomenological figures such as Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, and consider their views on the nature of human existence, meaning, consciousness, perception and relations to others. We then look at the existentialism of Sartre, Beauvoir and Camus and consider their views on the anxiety, alienation, freedom, being and nothingness. In the final third of the module we examine the way contemporary philosophers draw on phenomenology to critique issues such as racism, social invisibility and solitary confinement in prisons.

There are two components of assessment: (1) An essay due in the middle of the semester (2) A final assignment that may take the form of a written essay, phenomenological diary, podcast or film due in week 12. Further and final information will be provided in lectures.

If you are taking this module as an elective - you may be interested in pursuing a Structured Elective programme in Philosophy (this will entail taking two more Philosophy electives). Your University Transcript could show that you have a Structured Elective in Existential Philosophy & Critical Theory, as appropriate. For further details: See: https://www.ucd.ie/students/electives/structuredelectives.html

Please Note: The aim is to deliver this module through face-to-face lectures. However, this may change to on-line delivery, if restrictions caused by Covid-19 prevent face-to-face teaching.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

(1) Understand the meaning of the phenomenological approach; (2) Be able to apply the phenomenological method to critically analyze a range of different areas central to human experience (such as human nature, sociality, consciousness); (3) Have a clear sense of the development of the phenomenological tradition in the twentieth century; (4) Appreciate the manner in which phenomenology relates to other movements in twentieth century philosophy (hermeneutics, critical theory, deconstruction); (5) Be able to read and comprehend critically classical phenomenological texts.

Indicative Module Content:

This course offers an introduction to and critical assessment of some of the key figures of the phenomenological tradition, the most prominent European philosophical movement of the twentieth century, and the movement that inspired the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, and others. Particular attention will be given to the works of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Beauvoir, as well as key influences on the development of phenomenology. Themes treated may include some or all of the following: intentionality, perception, consciousness, the life-world, the nature of human existence, freedom, embodiment, relations between self and other, empathy and intersubjectivity. Details will be updated before the commencement of the module.

If you are taking this module as an elective - you may be interested in pursuing a Structured Elective programme in Philosophy (this will entail taking two more Philosophy electives). Your University Transcript could show that you have a Structured Elective in Existential Philosophy & Critical Theory, as appropriate. For further details: See: https://www.ucd.ie/students/electives/structuredelectives.html

Please Note: The aim is to deliver this module face-to-face. However, this may change if restrictions caused by Covid-19 prevent face-to-face teaching.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Lectures

20

Tutorial

7

Autonomous Student Learning

98

Total

125

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, tutorials, independent learning, feedback on assignments.


Please Note: The aim is to deliver this module face-to-face. However, this may change to on-line delivery if restrictions caused by Covid-19 prevent face-to-face teaching. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

It is recommended that students doing this module should have already done 3 stage 1 modules. You are advised to consult the module co-ordinator in advance of choosing this module if you have not done philosophy before.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Incompatibles:
PHIL30010 - Phenomenology & Existentialism


 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Final Assignment Week 12 n/a Graded No

55

No
Essay: Essay Week 6 n/a Graded No

45

No

Carry forward of passed components
No
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given to individual students post-assessment.

Name Role
Dr Georgios Petropoulos Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Jonathan Wren Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Samuel Ferns Tutor
Alessandro Guardascione Tutor
Professor Aisling Swaine Tutor