Presentation on theme: "Good Morning! Bell Ringer… Review your God paper with your neighbor. Agenda and Objectives: Through notes and discussion students will define existentialism."— Presentation transcript:
Good Morning! Bell Ringer… Review your God paper with your neighbor. Agenda and Objectives: Through notes and discussion students will define existentialism and identify the major themes of existentialism
Existentialism Ms. Krall
What does it mean to exist? To have reason Physical and mental awareness of your surroundings and choices Participation in life through interaction with others Understanding your personal nature
Themes in Art…
Mark Rothko (untitled 1968)
Edward Hopper (New York Movie 1939)
Edvard Munch (night in saint cloud 1890)
Edward Degas (L’absinthe 1876)
Pablo Picasso (Guernica 1937)
“I think therefore I am” Existentialism is the title of the set of philosophical ideals that emphasize the existence of the human being, the lack of meaning and purpose in life, and the solitude of human existence… Its roots come from the 19 th century but does not become a movement until WW II
Review of Existentialism…definition and themes. What is life? What is my place in it? What choices does this obligate me to make? Significance of the individual Importance of passion Irrational aspects of life Importance of human freedom.
In defining who you are as a human being, which is more important-to be able to define your existence or to be be able to define your essence?
What does it mean to have essence? Principle purpose and purity of everything and anything Having awareness of your self and things around you The reality of something Things you might be remembered by
Essence vs. Existence Essence can be defined as “the basic nature of something that determines its shape, its activity, its defining characteristics, and possibilities of its everyday life.” It therefore sets the ground rules for the actions and/or purpose that an object can or can’t do. Most Philosophers believe that essence precedes existence- except many Existentialists!
Good morning!.. Bell Ringer.. Agenda and Objective…through notes and discussion students will identify the themes of existentialism. Define Existentialism and give one characteristic of existentialism
Thought for the Day… “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.” ~e.e cummings
Common Themes in Existentialism Existence Precedes Essence The belief that nothing can explain or rationalize our existence. There is no answer to “Why am I?” Humans exist in a meaningless, irrational universe and any search for order will bring them into direct conflict with this universe.
Back to Existence Precedes Essence Existentialism is defined by the slogan Existence precedes Essence. This means: 1. We have no predetermined nature or essence that controls what we are, what we do, or what is valuable for us. 2. We are radically free to act independently of determination by outside influences. 3. We create our own human nature through these free choices. 4. We also create our values through these choices.
The Traditional View
The Existentialist view “We create our own nature” : We are thrown into existence first without a predetermined nature and only later do we construct our nature or essence through our actions.
Second Theme Absurdity: life is absurd and reason is useless in dealing with the depths of human life Man seen in this light is full of contradictions. Man creates himself through the choices he makes and thus takes responsibility.
Third Theme…Alienation The development of science has “separated man from concrete earthy existence, and forced him to live at a high level of abstraction. We have collectivized individual man out of existence, driven God from the heavens or from the hearts of men. Man lives in alienation from God, from nature, from other men, from his own true self.”
Continued… Existentialists are concerned how technology shuts man out of nature and from each other CCrowding of people into cities SSubdivision of labor GGovernment control GGrowth of advertising, propaganda and the mass media of entertainment and communication
Fourth…Fear, Dread and Anxiety Anxiety stems from our understanding and recognition of the total freedom of choice that confronts us every moment, and the individual’s confrontation with nothingness. Dread is a feeling of general apprehension to make a commitment to a personally valid way of life.
Fifth… Encounter with Nothingness and Death. If man is alienated from nature, God, neighbors, and self, what is left? Death hangs over all of us. Our awareness of it can bring freedom or anguish.
Sixth…Freedom Existentialists write about the loss of freedom or the threat to it, or the enlargement of the range of human freedoms. Freedom is the acceptance of responsibility for choice and a commitment to one’s choice. Believers-stress the man of faith rather than the man of will. Man’s essential nature is God- like – and humans should not alienate ourselves from it. Non believers- Because there is no God, we must accept individual responsibility for our own becoming.
The Existentialist- Absolute Individuality and Absolute Freedom The Existentialist conceptions of freedom and value arise from their view of the individual. Since we are all ultimately alone, isolated islands of subjectivity in an objective world, we have absolute freedom over our internal nature, and the source of our value can only be internal.
Bell Ringer Review! What is the definition of existentialism? What are the six themes of existentialism? Existence precedes essence Life is absurd Alienation Nothingness and Death Fear, Dread, Anxiety Freedom
For review… Existentialism attempts to describe our desire to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe. Two views- life might be without inherent meaning (existential atheists) or it might be without a meaning we can understand (existential theists). We are forced to define our own meanings, knowing they might be temporary. Everything is left up to Man.
Noted Existentialists Soren Kierkegaard Friedrich Nietzsche Albert Camus Jean Paul Sartre Victor Frankl* Please read n their biographies from your textbook.
Soren Kierkegaard ( ) It is a person’s responsibility to live a totally committed (valid) life and should be prepared to defy the norms of society for the sake of that commitment. Anti-conformist! Father of existentialism Rejected Plato and Aristotle (the idea that the essence of something determines what it is… “essence before existence.”) Believed that individual choice determines essence (existence precedes essence!)
"...the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die" - Journals 1835 suggests that people might effectively choose to live within either of two "existence spheres". He called these "spheres" the aesthetic and the ethical.
The aesthetic Aesthetical lives were lives lived in search of such things pleasure, novelty, and romantic individualism. thought that such "pleasure", such "novelty", and such "romantic individualism" would eventually tend to decay or become meaningless and this would inevitably lead to much boredom and dire frustration.
Ethical Ethical lives, meanwhile, as being lived with a sense of duty to observe societal obligations. Such a life would be easy, in some ways, to live, yet would also involve much compromise. Such compromise would inevitably mean that Human integrity would tend to be eroded even though lives seemed to be progressing (19 th century) Neither were satisfactory- so enter the 3 rd - “religious” they could "live in the truth," that they were "individual before the Eternal"
Welcome back! Bell Ringer…what are Kierkegaard's three stages of living? Agenda and Objective: through notes and readings students will evaluate Nietzsche's view on existentialism
Friedrich Nietzsche ( ) Most controversial and most important Looks at life critically Reflects upon the concept of Nihilism (life is senseless and useless), Saw society heading down a trivial, meaningless path of existence. Frustrated with the practice of Christianity during his life time… “God is dead.” There is not one way of looking at human behavior. “Perspectivalism:” observing life based on your own personal perspective.
Think about it…ideas of Nietzsche Take a few minutes and evaluate Nietzsche's concepts…
Think about it Doctrine of eternal recurrence- everything happens an infinite number of times with an infinite number of variations
Thus Spoke Zarathustra…what is the main point? Metaphorical prose Zarathustra- spent 10 years meditating on a mountain, comes down with an eagle and snake to teach men wisdom he has acquired. Sees man is empty and prescribes a better future.
Bell Ringer… Thus Spoke Zarathustra Read the Prologue What is Zarathustra’s attitude toward man? What advice is Zarathustra giving man?
Nietzsche’s advice to face the modern world…#1 Ubermensch “Overman” the ideal and not reality. Confronts all possible terrors and misery and is able to rise up and overcome personal desires (desires that make him part of the herd.) Power = the capacity to live well. The feeling of being in command of oneself and one’s future. Is independent, confident and has disdain for the weak. Ready to reinvent at a moment’s notice. Attention is on this world and not the afterlife.
Review of the Ubermensch Practice ethical relativism by judging actions as “good” or “bad” Lives in current moment and not worried about afterlife Has control of one’s desires Looks for ways to improve him or herself through knowledge and willingness to change.
21 st century Teenage Ubermensch Practices ethical relativism Lives in current moment Demonstrates the “will to power” through imagination and creativity Looks for ways to improve oneself through knowledge and change. What are some examples of ways the media attempts to influence teenagers? For example… Media control/manipulation Name Brand attraction Technology Sexuality Drug use/abuse How would the ideal of the Ubermensch deal with media expectations for teenagers?
“Every belief, every considering something-true is necessarily false because there is simply no true world. Nihilism is…not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one’s shoulder to the plow; one destroys. For some time now our whole European culture has been moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end… ” (Will to Power) Nietzsche and Nihilism (something to think about)
Read the following quote… What is Nietzsche trying to say???
The Full quote…(to think about) “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives. Who will wipe this blood off us? With what water could we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we need to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves become gods simply to be worthy of it?”
#2 The Will to Power It is the only law and the only “morality”. It applies to all living things. The pressure for survival or adaptation is less important than the desire to expand one’s power. Living in itself appears as a subsidiary aim, something necessary to promote one’s power. The notion of the will to power is contrasted by Nietzsche with that of utilitarianism, which claims all people want fundamentally to be happy. Humans are divided into a natural aristocratic group and a naturally dependent and inferior one, which are always opposed. Exploitation is a natural consequence of the will to power. Superior people express the will to power, taking advantage of their natural gifts to achieve their full potential and dominance over others. Inferior people use different ideologies, or “slave moralities”, to try to deny the will to power. Self expressing the will to power – truly living – can’t be “wrong”.
Good Morning… Bell Ringer: What is Nietzsche’s “Will to Power?” Agenda and Objective: Finish Nietzsche and by analyzing readings, students will identify Camus’ thoughts on Existentialism
For Monday… Bring The Stranger to class…you will be reading/working on your paper. If finished, you will start the Metamorphosis.
The Will to Power-universal desire to control others and impose our values on them. Slave morality is a social illness. It is essentially a morality of utility. INFERIOR PEOPLE This is the morality of the INFERIOR PEOPLE. Most slaves choose to be victims. This morality favors a limited existence. It “makes the best of a bad situation”. It promotes virtues such as pity, and obliging hand, warm heart, patience, humility and friendliness, which serve to ease existence for those who suffer. Good is related to charity, pity, restraint, and subservience. It means “tending to ease suffering”. Evil is seen in the cruel, selfish, wealthy, indulgent and aggressive. It means “tending to inspire fear”.
“God is dead” Nietzsche “Nietzsche is dead” God Nietzsche’s moral viewpoint The “death” of God would lead to the loss of any universal perspective of things and any coherent sense of objective truth. There is a God in each of us, waiting to be born.
These solutions (ubermensch, the will to Power) were created to rail against the suppressive structure of society, which created mediocrity and lives based on self- delusion.
Reading…The Myth of Sisyphus What is Sisyphus’ fate? Is he truly happy?
The Point of Sisyphus? Man is in a paradox. One the one hand, evidence shows that the world is unpredictable and chaotic. Life comes into existence and then passes. Ideas are proven to be true and then determined to be false On the other, man tries to make sense of this world. This human condition- the constant attempt to derive meaning from the meaninglessness. And thus it is absurd.
Good Morning! Bell Ringer…Compare your Camus answers with your neighbor Agenda and Objective: Through a reading students will identify Kafka’s views on Existentialism What does the term Metamorphosis mean?
Noted Existentialists We strive for clarity, meaning and explanation in a life that in turn cannot offer these answers. However, man still chooses to strive above his meaningless and anguished existence. Life is absurd! Albert Camus
How to deal with the absurd? To “live in revolt” To accept the tension and struggle of the search for meaning in a chaotic world.
Jean Paul Sartre What is free will? What is determinism? How is existentialism the complete opposite of determinism?
Good Morning! Bell Ringer…Complete Metamorphosis questions (10 minutes) Agenda and Objective: Through a reading students will identify Kafka’s views on Existentialism
Good Morning… Bell Ringer…Pick up Papers, read Sartre’s biography. What is his belief on existence? On freedom? How does he define “self?”
Essence and J. P. Sartre existence precedes essence. What we choose to do determines our nature The decision making process creates our personality and reality.
Activity…Living an Authentic Life With partner…answer the questions provided… What is free will? What is determinism? How is existentialism the complete opposite of determinism
Good morning…Bell Ringer.. Pair up and share Sartre questions. Tuesday: Note quiz! Agenda and Objective: By analyzing a reading excerpt students will review Sartre’s view of existentialism. Tomorrow: Metamorphosis!
Activity…Freedom questions Free will! All existence is meaningless in itself! It is the person decides (creates) individual fate and therefore accepts responsibilities for their actions. Gives you total freedom and responsibility to choose your meaning of existence. Is freedom a good thing??? To be free is to be caught in a paradox.
Sartre’s view point How would you interpret these quotes? “Hell is other people” “Man is condemned to be free.” “Man is nothing else but what he makes himself.”
Good Morning! Bell Ringer: Please review Frankl’s view of existentialism by filling out review sheet. Quiz on Tuesday! Agenda and Objective: Through review and discussion, students will understand Frankl’s and Kafka’s contribution to existentialism.
Viktor Frankl Developed an existential approach to psychotherapy. Humanity's primary motivational force is the search for meaning. Not an atheist/agnostic like Nietzsche Not a pessimist like Sartre Is hopeful in mankind’s ability to overcome evil and suffering.
Noted Existentialists Franz Kafka ( ) Writer who focused on alienation. Wrote about dehumanization, oppressive governments, ineffective bureaucracies. Wrote The Metamorphosis
Good Morning! Bell Ringer…Review for Tomorrow’s quiz Agenda and Objective: Through a film analysis, students will identify major themes of existentialism 6 themes of existentialism Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Camus, Kafka, Sartre “Will to Power,” “Ubermensch,” Nihilism
William Faulkner… “Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only one question: When will I be blown up?”