AP/PHIL1100 3.0 A: The Meaning of Life
Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite
An exploration of a number of fundamental practical philosophical questions, including: What is the meaning of (my) life? What is happiness, and how can I achieve it? What is wisdom? What is death, and what does it mean to me?
Dr. David N. Stamos
Office Location: S447 Ross
Phone Number: (416) 736-2100 Ext. 33134
Office Hours: TBA
In this course we will critically examine arguments on various issues concerning the meaning of life, which is one of the key “What is x?” questions in philosophy. Hence, what is the meaning of life?
The content of the course will be divided into a number of sections: some answers from ancient philosophers, the meaning of the question itself, some theistic answers, and finally some non-theistic answers, including answers from philosophers and non-philosophers, the latter including mainly biologists and psychologists.
The goal of this course is not to reach any final conclusion on our topic, let alone to indoctrinate, but rather to develop a critical understanding of many of the answers to our question and an appreciation of the related issues and problems. Students from all backgrounds are welcome but should keep in mind that this is a philosophy course, not a religion course, and intellectual curiosity is the key.
No text. The readings will be from pdfs and websites.
In-Class Test 25%
Tutorial Attendance 10%
Final Exam 35% (Do not book a trip during the exam period)
two 120-minute lectures per week and one 120-minute tutorial per week.
NOTE: this is a double-speed course, which means in effect that you will be taking the equivalent of two courses over a six-week period—i.e., it’s double intensive, and also double enjoyment.
Comprehension of the lectures and reading material, development of critical reasoning skills, and improved essay writing.
As this course deals with the topic of death, students who have recently suffered a death in the family, or have a loved one in the hospital possibly on their deathbed, or are taking medication for depression, or are simply having a problem with thinking about death, including especially the possibility of death as nothingness, should consider taking this course at another time.
- Academic Honesty
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Religious Observance
- Grading Scheme and Feedback
- 20% Rule
No examinations or tests collectively worth more than 20% of the final grade in a course will be given during the final 14 calendar days of classes in a term. The exceptions to the rule are classes which regularly meet Friday evenings or on Saturday and/or Sunday at any time, and courses offered in the compressed summer terms.
- Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities