Meaning in the Modern World - Schedule

FALL 2011 (B Block)

Texts:  Herbert Dreyfus and Sean Kelly,  
All Things Shining  (ATS)
            Susan Wol f, Meaning in Life and Why it Matters  (MIL)

 Week      Topic  Core Reading  Supplementary Material


Our contemporary
 ATS, Ch. 1 T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"  (text)  
 Eliot reading Prufrock  (audio)

Bill Bradley playing basketball (first 5 minutes of an archive video)

The Great Chain of Being  with (picture) - Wikipedia


David Foster Wallace's nihilism

Homer's poytheism

 ATS, Ch. 2

ATS, Ch. 3
David Foster Wallace, "This is Water" - Kenyon College commencement speech, Part 1  (10 minute audio)

"This is Water," Part 2 (12 minutes audio)

"This is Water" (text)

Homer, The Odyssey, Book IV

Homer, The Odyssey, Bk IV (excerpt)


The rise of monotheism


ATS, Ch. 4

ATS, Ch. 5


Melville's "Evil Art"

Meaning in a secular age
 ATS, Ch. 6

ATS, Ch. 7

From Moby Dick - "The whiteness of the whale"

Lou Gehrig's farewell speech

Best of Roger Federer (9 min. video)

D.F. Wallace, "Federer as Religious Experience"

Maradona's "goal of the century" (with amazing commentary)


Meaning in life      MIL, pp. 1 - 33 Susan Wolf on Meaning in Life
(14 min podcast)

From J. S. Mill's Utilitarianism, Ch. 2

Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

Google "Richard Taylor Meaning of life Philosophy Now" (for Richard Taylor's article on Sisyphus)

Why meaning in life matters  MIL, pp. 34 -63  


Comments on Wolf's views and her responses  MIL, pp. 67 - 132 Westacott, "Objections to an objectivist conception of intrinsic value"
 15 Concluding reflections A.C. Grayling on meaning in life (5 minute video)