PHIL 33 -- Philosophy between Reason and Despair
Spring 2015

Professor:    Clinton Tolley
   office:   H&SS 8018
   hours:   Tues 11:30-1pm
   email:   ctolley [at]

Teaching Assistant:   Peter Yong
   office:   H&SS 8029
   hours:   Thurs 2:15-3:15pm
   email:   p1yong [at]


Time:        Tues, Thurs 3:30pm--4:50pm
Location:  Warren Lecture Hall (WLH) 2205 [map]

NOTE: despite what is posted on the Registrar's course listings, there will *NOT* be required sections for this course.

Required textbooks

{available at UCSD Bookstore (in the Price Center)}

Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals
  Paton, trans; Harper Perennial

Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling
  Hanney, trans; Penguin Classics

Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
  Smith, trans; Oxford World's Classics

Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity
Citadel/Philosophical Library

Course description

This course will serve as an introduction to 19th and early 20th century philosophy, with a focus on the emerging skepticism about the authority of reason to answer questions about the ultimate meaning and value of human life.

Readings will include texts from Immanuel Kant, Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Emma Goldman, and Simone de Beauvoir.

Throughout we will also look to developments in the arts and culture of the period (and today) to help us think through some of the conceptual issues under discussion.

Course requirements

* weekly reading/lecture questionnaires on TED
* weekly online posts on pli
* mid-term exam
* final exam
* attendance
* participation

Schedule of readings

{tentative; full syllabus to posted on TED}
weeks 1-3: Kant
weeks 3-5: Kierkegaard
weeks 6-7: Nietzsche
week 8: Goldman
weeks 9-10: de Beauvoir

Reference links

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entries

The Age of Enlightenment
Immanuel Kant
Soren Kierkegaard
Friedrich Nietzsche
Emma Goldman (wikipedia)
Simone de Beauvoir

Course URL

last updated: March 25, 2015