FrSem: HYO Work, Play and Meaning

  • UH 155
  • Teacher: Darren Surman
  • Term: spring 2019
  • Credits: 3

Work and leisure. Think of how these two modes of being dominate our everyday lives. Are we governed by the necessity of work, while we pursue momentary havens of leisure(s)? Or, is it the other way around? Is it because of the necessity of leisure in our lives that we pursue work at all? When are we most ourselves? From Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy which explored the antagonism between the Apollonian and Dionysian spirits, to Max Weber’s The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, to modern movies such as Office Space, the tensions between, not just work and leisure, but ultimately meaning as well, provide productive spaces for exploration. In this course, we will explore the apparent antagonism between these two modes of being, how they function in our everyday lives, explore the thoughts of some of the best thinkers that have pondered such problems, and finally, inquire as to what it looks like to bring the two together in an age of careerism.