The course explore the idea that there is much suffering endemic in the human condition and much of this suffering is rather uniquely human. We will begin by reading David Benatar’s Better Never to Have Been (2006). We will then turn to discussions of Schopenhauer’s pessimism and  Stoic ideas about suffering. I will then attempt to develop the idea of surplus suffering. We will consider some possible sources of such surplus suffering such as competitiveness, the difficulty of knowing what one needs and the problem of artificial desires.