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Stamos.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1100
Professor
David Stamos
Semester
Winter

Description
Stamos - existentialism as a response to nihilism - key features: subjective outlook, the universe is absurd, atheism (sometimes fideism), our lives are fundamentally meaningless, free will, we are free to choose our meaning (otherwise, bad faith), there is no human nature - evidence of an instinctual need to find the meaning of life (or of our lives) - ubiquity of the question; evidence of purpose on the brain; small children; tragedies; Viktor Frankl (existential frustration, existential vacuum, logotherapy) - proximate cause vs. ultimate cause - our evolution in two environments: (i) natural and (ii) social - binding relations: (i) environmental knowledge and (ii) group cohesion (including love sympathy, empathy, kin altruism, reciprocal altruism, fairness, in-group/out-group distinction) - but where does art fit in? - evidence of finding meaning in (ii) plenty of extreme examples - Gandhi, Schweitzer, M Theresa, MLK Jr, Dian Fossey - evidence of finding meaning in (ii) plenty of extreme ex
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