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St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Quest for Meaning

Quest for Meaning

Purpose and Description of QFM


QUEST - the act or instance of seeking or pursuing something; a search.

MEANING - that which is interpreted to be the goal; intent, purpose, or end. That which is felt to be the inner significance of something or meaning beyond immediate comprehension, i.e., underlying or long-range meaning;
(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. NY: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1969.)

General Purpose of Course

Quest for Meaning is a senior level course created to challenge you to ask and seek answers to questions of meaning and purpose in your own life within the context of the greater community. This quest or search for meaning and purpose is unique to the species homo sapiens because we are "thinking creatures" who are capable of contemplating our future. As a graduating senior, you are soon to venture forth into the world beyond Eckerd College, and perhaps are asking yourself:

"What do I really want to do with my life?" "Who do I really want to be in this world?" "What will make me truly happy?" "How can I serve the greater good and still fulfill my deepest yearning?" "What am I called to do with my life and how can I comprehend and follow that calling?" You may also be asking some of the larger, existential questions regarding the meaning of human existence on planet earth, the reasons for the destruction, pain, and suffering we see in the world, and the reality of the existence or the absence of the transcendent.

Answers to these and other significant questions require a lifetime of thoughtful reflection and our dependence on the three primary ways of knowing available to us: reason or logical thought, observation or direct experience of the sensory world, and intuition or faith in things unseen and immeasurable. Through reading, class discussion, lectures from our faculty experts, and participation in a service-learning experience, we will seek answers to some of these pressing questions. Our hope is that through this shared quest, you will progress further in your discovery of your authentic calling and begin to define your role, beyond personal ambition and self-interest, in making a positive contribution to the well-being of the environment, your fellow humans, and the greater community.

Fall Plenary Sessions

Dawn Porter, Director of "Gideon's Army"

10/22/15 Prof. Anne Cox, "Sciences and Our Quest for Meaning"

11/03/15 Prof. David Hastings, "The Natural Environment and Our Quest for Meaning"

11/12/15 Prof. Arthur Skinner, "Art and Our Quest for Meaning"