No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life : The Great Courses: Modern Philosophy

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Robert C. Solomon
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern Philosophy
  • 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

What is life? What is my place in it? What choices do these questions obligate me to make? More than a half-century after it burst upon the intellectual scene - with roots that extend to the mid-19th century - Existentialism's quest to answer these most fundamental questions of individual responsibility, morality, and personal freedom has continued to exert a profound attraction.
Now, in a series of 24 probing and thoughtful lectures, you can enrich your own understanding of this unique philosophical wave, the visionary thinkers it brought together to ponder and debate these questions, and the prominent role it still plays in contemporary thought.
"Existentialism is, in my view, the most exciting and important philosophical movement of the past century and a half," says Professor Solomon. "Fifty years after the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre gave it its identity and 150 years after the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard gave it its initial impetus, it continues to win new enthusiasts and, in keeping with its still exciting and revolutionary message, vehement critics." Plumbing both sides of the debate, these lectures examine a wide range of Existentialist thought. You'll be exposed to the religious approach of Kierkegaard; the bold fiction of Camus; the warrior rhetoric and often-shocking claims about religion and morality posed by Nietzsche; the radical and uncompromising notion of freedom championed by Sartre; and the searching analysis of human historicity and finitude offered by Martin Heidegger. And you'll encounter the reluctance - often angrily expressed - of many of Existentialism's major figures to be thought of as part of any philosophical movement or even as intellectual allies!
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

So good I listened to it twice.

A very engaging speaker with a gentle but lyrical style. Comprehensive and thought provoking but designed to be accessible.
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- T J james

Excellent - informative and interesting.

I recommend this as an accessible introduction to existentialism. The lectures are a good length and Prof. Solomon explains the subject with clarity, charisma and contemporary relevance . I feel confident now in engaging in deeper study.
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- Miss Clare Bakhtiar

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses