St. Olaf College

Courses with the Curator

In addition to his duties as Curator of the library collection, Professor Gordon Marino regularly teaches the following courses in the St. Olaf Philosophy Department. Students interested in these courses can find information on availability on the Student Information System.

PHIL 233: Kierkegaard and Existentialism

An introduction to Kierkegaard’s work and to existentialism, this course emphasizes the aesthetic, ethical, and religious “stages on life’s way.” Existential questions concerning the meaning of human existence, passion and faith, freedom and choice, despair, and the absurd are examined. Offered annually. Counts toward Nordic studies concentration.

PHIL 252: Ethics and the Good Life

This course examines the main Western ethical theories and their application to contemporary moral concerns. Theoretical issues may include rights, duties, virtue, hedonism, egoism, the relation between ethics and theology, the fact-value distinction, relativism, and pluralism. Students discuss current topics such as global economic justice, euthanasia, the death penalty, animal rights, censorship, racism, privacy rights versus public safety, reproductive ethics, and environmental ethics. Offered annually. Counts toward biomedical studies concentration (for students through class of 2016) and management studies concentration. Prerequisite: completion of BTS-T or permission of instructor.

PHIL 261: Freud and the Study of Human Behavior

Students examine Freud’s thesis that our thoughts and actions spring from the darkness of our unconscious. Because Freud based his theory on a small sample of case studies, the course scrutinizes this qualitative data and discusses the role of case studies in the study of human behavior. Students evaluate the criteria for a scientific theory of human behavior and consider whether Freud’s theory meets them. Offered during Interim. Counts toward German studies concentration.

Other Opportunities for Study

Professor Marino also partners with students pursuing Independent Research and Study projects and teaches the senior PHIL 399 capstone seminar. Over the summer, Professor Marino leads the young scholar program in daily discussions on a variety of Kierkegaard’s texts.