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Søren Kierkegaard ( ) Considered the founder of existentialism

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Presentation on theme: "Søren Kierkegaard ( ) Considered the founder of existentialism"— Presentation transcript:

1 Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Considered the founder of existentialism
Our life is meaningless Fills us with despair, anxiety, hopelessness, and depression THERE IS NO ESCAPE Rejected the idea that science can provide meaning for our life

2 Pre-Existentialist Ideas
Life is meaningless truth is subjective Existence relates only to the individual; it is not universal

3 “I stick my finger into existence—it smells of nothing
“I stick my finger into existence—it smells of nothing. What is this thing called the world? Who is it who has lured me into this thing, and now leaves me here? Who am I? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted?” -Kierkegaard

4 Kierkegaard’s Existentialism
Kierkegaard is a Christian existentialist Embracing the absurdity and alienation of life brings us closer to God God fills “the void” “False Christianity” Trying to base faith on facts and science

5 Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) The “anti-philosopher”

6 “God is Dead” (Gott ist Tot)
What does this mean? Our belief in God is dead The scientific revolution hastened his death We no longer have a foundation for truth and morality We have to create that foundation ourselves But the death of God is good; religion made the individual weak, dependent, and cowardly

7 “Slave Morality” What does this mean?
Following pre-established values is a herd mentality Christianity leads to a slave morality Only a few can rise above it to reach the master morality Emphasis on the individual Split from Marx, who emphasized class

8 Plato and Christianity
Nietzsche rejects both Plato’s Ideal world places no emphasis on material existence Christianity places the afterlife above material existence Nietzsche wants a focus on material, human-centered existence But to do so requires the death of God Kant helped kill God by saying that we can’t know the “thing in itself” All debates about “appearance vs. reality are” pointless

9 “The Will to Power” A Freudian-type drive
Life is an expression of will The Will to Power is an urge to excel, to control, to dominate

10 The “superman” (a.k.a. “overman” or “übermensch”)
The superman is the individual who: Rises above slave morality Can form his own morality Creates meaning out of a nihilistic environment

11 Nihilism We are on the verge of meaninglessness
The power of the individual will have to create new meaning

12 Relativism “Truth, like morality, is a relative affair; there are no facts, only interpretations.” The übermensch creates his own truth

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