|7||Existentialism in Literature & Film||Chislenko||MTuWTh 2-4||215 Dwinelle|
In the modern era, a tradition of philosophers and artists began to question the meaning-giving status of social custom, and eventually of rationality and religion. The breakdown of rational and religious authority raises the threat of nihilism, the total absence of meaning or value. It also calls for a new kind of thinking, a new vocabulary and an alternative to rational argumentation to find meaning independently of God or reason. This course follows the development of existentialism from its religious beginnings in Pascal and Kierkegaard, through Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece The Brothers Karamazov and Nietzsche’s atheistic affirmation of life, and into the 20th century.