PHL108 - The Meaning of Life

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Last revision date Sep 30, 2019 12:22:54 AM
Last review date Dec 2, 2019 12:15:14 AM

Subject Title
The Meaning of Life

Subject Description

As human beings, we want to understand the world in which we live, but we also want to understand how to make our own lives as meaningful as possible. Many individuals seek to know if their lives have meaning and  if so, what their ultimate purpose on this earth is. This course will promote reflection regarding one?s concern about the meaning of life and expression. Questions regarding powerful beliefs and connection will be explored. Theories of human nature (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Darwin, Kierkegaard, Nietzche and Sartre), theistic perspectives (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism), contemporary theories (Dualism, Materialism) and current theorists in focus (Tolle, Bryne, Chopra etc.), the psychosomatic relations from superstition to mortality and questions identifying the truth about human nature (i.e. free will, knowledge and belief) will be identified and discussed. Questions regarding the search for truth and meaning, the self, freedom, morality and the good life, justice and society, beauty and common informal fallacies will be highlighted and connection sought. 

Credit Status

One general education credit in the Arts & Humanities category

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Explain the meaning of one's relationship to a larger context utilizing critical thinking skills as demonstrated via group discussions and assignments;

2. Identify and describe theistic answers to  perspectives on the meaning of life so that one can develop and maintain a constructive dialogue about religion and it’s connection to purpose and meaning;

3. Critically analyze doctrines concerning God, philosophical beliefs; morals and society, justice, equality, sexual politics, beauty and truth, art, ethics and popular culture from a variety of perspectives to be shared during class discussions and papers;

3. Demonstrate creative thinking, inquiry and analysis as expressed through knowledge of non-theistic alternatives when addressing classical perspectives of human nature so that one can develop and maintain a constructive dialogue about philosophy and its connection to various viewpoints on the meaning of life as demonstrated via written work, class discussions and formal testing;

 4. Identify and describe the importance of freedom, whether from social norms and standards; religious, social, or political authority; external constraints; consumerism; or philosophical ideas themselves;

5. Demonstrate the ability to analyze, assess and identify characteristics, purposes, and varieties of current, popular beliefs and transformational experiences in an attempt to develop an understanding and appreciation of the moral and spiritual dimensions of the interpretive activity of others;

6. Identify, analyze, reflect and integrate varying theorists' perspectives while making references to one’s personal search for truth and meaning as indicated via classroom discussions and written work;

 7. Utilize time management and project management techniques as indicated via weekly tests and assignments;

8. Identify course requirements while demonstrating digital and information literacy necessary for successful completion of taking a course in an on-line learning environment. 

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

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Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.