Existentialism!!

Almost all questions will be answered in group discussions and documented on notebook paper bubble clusters.

The end project will require them to put as many bubble clusters as people in their groups.Then they will attach 5 line essays on some aspect of the bubble cluster they made.

Finally, we will do a gallery walk.

 

SOREN KIERKEGAARD

Read the life story to the class.

 

Subject v. Object.

WE ARE ALONE!!!!!!

Christianity is the lonliest religion.

Would you rather go to heaven and have your family go to hell or vis versa?

Abraham went beyond reason into the world of fear and trembling.

He would have given up any claim to regard in this world had he killed his child.

Take this life seriously.

What would you do if you had 6 hours to live?Two weeks?Five years?60 years?

 

Kierkegaard - The present age

 

K. Would hate the present age.Cyberspace is the only frontier.Couch potatoes.People boxed in.They arentí even aware of it.There is no struggleNothing has ever happened, nothing, will.Everyone admires eachother and all is a joke.People are excited by things, then they fall off the radar.Iíd have lived.Done something great.None is really good and noone really bad.So people gossip. The ambiguity of good and bad is stimulating for weaklings.pg 44-45.Like clocks that donít ring on time.They make sound and signify nothing.Noone liies Kings, but if a ficticious one could be established all would cheer him.They seek no religious liberator.†† They want the established order to continue, but realize it no longer exists.Jesus died for boredom.In a passionless age, envy unifies us.But even if you break free, you are imprisoned by the slavery around you.The escape is in religious inwardness.Ostracism is the mark of greatness.Passionless folk donít resent.It leads to leveling .A man can lead a rebellion. He cannot lead a levelling.Even more than death, men now fear judgement.Religious is great in that it is an inward struggle.When folks do this as a group, it is sick.Jesus paid the highest price of an individual of conviction.Not so you could be content.Religion is individuality. On must learn to dominate oneself and be ones own priest.You donít wish Luther back.You cannot get the best things second - hand, Dont form societies.Individuality is the eternal truth.He wants an essentially religious and eternal view of life.Modern levelling requires a ďphantomĒ. That phantom is the public.Only when community is dead , so dead that you cannot give life to concrete realities, can the press fly ďthe publicĒ as a concept.The person reading the paper is not ďthe publicĒ due to lack of sponeneity.He is immediately a person .In a public all are equal. A person is part of the public to the extent that they are not individual, not alone.People will aspire to be a part of the public; ie to be nothing at all.This makes them easy to please and manipulate and level and degrade:As folks do nothing themselves.The press is kept aroung, like a dog, to manipulate and level and amuse.If it kills, chases and maims and gossips folks say, ďthat is not my dog.Ē The many are victims who never get a deeper experience of life than a meaningless grin.

Passionate ages have the ďprinciple of contradictionĒ.Passionate meaningful conflict.A reflective age has more scope, but less intensity.You are all, but nothing.Passionately contradicted person is true to themself.Talkativeness does away with the virtue of keeping silent. Someone who can really be silent has an innner life and their conversation isnít scatter shot., it is one focused topic.Onesí personal private space is his holy of holies.It should be created in the face of catastrophe. Gossip and superficial touching of subjects is due to a lack of silence.They say things are reliable. He says we shouldnít be allowed to speak of anything that happened in the last 50 years.

 

 

MARTIN HEIDEGGER (1889-1976)

 

Authenticity:

 

Feeling at home is really important.There is a choice between authenticity and Inauthenticity.Going along with the crowd.Living only in the eyes of others.

Authenticity is taking a hold of yourself in a certain way.

What would it mean to be authentic?

 

There are three existentials:

1) Existence:

We donít just exist the way a coffee cup does.We have a consciousness.We must appreciate who we are.Not that we are outgoing or fun.But a reflective consciousness that can ask about our own existence and essence.Consciousness has possibilities.Acorns have possibilities.They donít have a perspective.We see our world in terms of possibilities.We are not just now, we always see ourselves in terms of the future.Our plans, aspirations, hopes and fears.

 

The future and the past define our present.The future is an essential part of time.

We are stuck in this.

 

Our moods tune us into the world.They are our way of engaging us in the world.Happy with it or sad, it is part of our existence.These moods gear us towards the future.Hope and ambition are two of these emotion filled movements.

 

What does being sandwiched between the past and the future mean for consciousness in our lives?

 

2) Facticity:

The facts that are true of us.We are thrown into the world in a particular time place and history.We are born into a particular historical situation and tradition.

 

How much of our consciousness is created by our historical and geo-cultural situation?

Then how to be authentic?

 

3) Falleness:

Like the fall in the bible.Means we fall back from a reflective position stop wondering who we are and where we are and fall into tasks.This is how we live most of our lives.It is inauthentic because we are not taking a hold of our lives.We simply get caught up in the minutia.It is an escape.We just banter about stupid stuff.That keeps out of the world.It is part of existence and so needs respect.But it is inauthentic.

 

Contrasts of authenticity.

Understanding v. curiosity.Science gives us facts and how things work.Understanding is deeper.Who we are and what we do.

Thinking not computation:Technological society calculates.But we need to really think.Thinking properly understood is really philosophy.It is just using thought to get something done.It isnít important.

Speech v. idle chatter:Conversations with friends becomes gossip, news of the day.Hair doos.What theydid to a student.It is chatter.It fills in time it entertains us.You see an old friend and you donít dig into what has been the basis of your love.You just do chit chat.That is okay.But we should remember there is something else.

 

Authenticity says live a different and serious life with the big questions in front of us.

He adds two moretoo.

We have conscience that we are not all weíd like to be.We are not authentic.We are just going along with the crowd.We are not being authentic.We arenít saying whatís really going on.

We feel bad for not being all that we arenítThis is just because of the way our brains work. We get into a comfortable life, job and marriage and it still continues.

 

Not that you quit your job, or leave your wife.But you take a hold of it.You come to realize you are in it.

 

What should be your balance of seriousness to absentmindedness be?You must do your laundry?

How can we integrate seriousness into our lives?

 

Being unto death:

†††† It is a recognition of a fact about us.Sometimes in the future it will happen.It is our most necessary possibility.Live with death in mind.We all know we are going to die.

 

We think of death in an abstract way.We think of it happening to someone else.When we face death with reflection,†† When that film of your whole life flashes in front of you.It gives us a long stretch of life.

When you face death you ask some very specific and real questions about your life.You see your life as a whole.Usually we are caught up in a particular task.We think of who we are and how we stack up.††† We obsess on work.Death shakes us out of this.

 

Death makes us true individuals.We die alone.You are no longer your role or social function.You are just yourself.You must react to the fact that you wonít be there anymore.The universe without you .True nothingness.The world for you will cease to exist.

 

That is why some cultures say you must kiss the dead.Buddhists meditate on the corpses.

 

Death shakes you up.Thinking on this spurs us to authenticity.It forces us to see our We see our life in terms of mortality and then we see our lives as a whole.Then we start to ask some real questions.††

 

What can we learn from death?

 

Alien?

Will be become authentic and alienated?Or will we be in authentic and not authentic?

To overcome this Heiddeger said we must go back and embrace our world.We overcome the feeling of being thrown into this world with care.

Heiddeger became a NAZI and never apologized.What do you think of that?

 

JOHN PAUL SARTRE

Intro:

Sartre I the most famous existentialist.He would have the 16 hour coffees.He wrote twenty pages a day religiously every day of his life.He did newspaper articles, plays philosophy.He is your stereotypical French intellectual.Off eye.Beret.Cigarette.He was the worldís worst coffee shop customer.He would get one cup and sit there for 12 hours.But when he was famous this became a draw.

 

His historical situation:

His concept relies very much on responsibility.†† He was really politically engaged. Your writing must be practical.That means political.When he got the nobel prize he turned it down.

 

One is always responsible for what one does, who one is and the state of the world.

He did much of his writing on this resisting the NAZIís.The occupation gives him the impetus for his basic thesis.

 

He denounced the French for their collaboration.

He was particularly bothered by peoples excuses.

 

People collaborated and pursued their careers for them, but it is bad for all the rest of society.

We often have a bad idea for what is the basis of humans in history.Armchair philosophers guess that back in the state of nature people were friendly and.

 

We only really know who people are under stress.

 

No excuses!

To understand human nature you must look at folds under the greatest street.

 

People collaborated with the NAZIs and then had excuses.

1) Excuse from impudence.†† What can I do .One little individual.

2) Excuse from innocence.I didnít start the war.IT is an excuse.Iím not responsible.

3) Everyone else is doing it.So I went along.In business executives pay for social lunches on the company dime.

4)Iím just looking out for me. It is self-protection. It is natural.So you canít judge me.Its what anyone would do in a similar situation.

5) The I had no choice excuse:The appeal to choice and helplessness.The idea that we didnít have any alternatives.The Germans are in Paris.The germans are all around us and we should focus on what we should do.

6) I was afraid.

 

In what ways are we free?In what ways are we trapped?

(make two columns)

 

††† NO!

†† Sartre says NO to all of those.We are absolutely free.We donít have excuses we are responsible for what we do.

Not in the absurd sense that we can fly or always do what we want.But in the real serious sence, everything we do is a choice.We are somewhat constrained by our situation.We are thrown into our circumstance and time and politics.Our range might not be wide, but they are ours.

 

When a man is thrown in prison Marcel learns of the freedom of thought.How to face it.He can face the execution proudly or crazily.He thinks of the meaning of his life.Should he be a model citizen?Should he rant?You always have choices.

He can see himself as innocent and be angry.He may admit what he did and work on the restitution.

We may not accomplish what we go for , but we can always try.

 

A mountain can be looked at as an obstacle or a sacred object.

They could see it as an aesthetic wonder.Protection for the other side.Even limited there are always options.

 

What all could war be?A source of obligation.The war wasnít chosen by anyone, but it requires us to choose.We might see it as a sales rep.Sort of no one chose this situation.But we must make responses to it.

 

We have a choice on what we are going to become.And how we are to live our lives and what we are to make of each other.

 

We donít choose them.We donít even really choose ourselves.Our musical backgrounds and such are free and attached.

 

We can change and make something else of our self in the future.

 

Emotions

Your emotions donít control your actions.They are part of what goes into your decision to do what you are going to do.

 

ďIím sorry I poured a drink on you.I was drunk.I didnít know what I was doin?

You and the friend you yelled at played it off, but it was cutting. And I was in truth.Do you confront?Will you face the ugly?Would you like diiner.

 

How do you get angry.Sometimes anger blasts upon the scene.Once angry though, there is a decision to be made.What can we do about the major basketball intimidation.

 

There is love at first sight.But then you decide what you are going to do.You see them and get a charge.Do you walk towards them.Just look at them. You must decide whether or not youíll go eat with them.

 

Emotions donít simply happen to us.They are not excuses like the ďtrain got derailedĒ.We have emotions about something.

Cowards (like a lot of his compatriots in France) find lots of excuses and then say that they have no choice.They are cowards and so donít act.Sartre says the opposite.You fail to act , you decide to do nothing and therefore are a coward.

 

Responsibity:

We have choices all the time.Even things we donít know what the choices are.

You choose a restaurant, it is with full information and eyes wide open.††

 

We have behaviors that are done unreflectively cause they must be done.

But other choices we donít even think of.

Then we just chooseto notthink about alternatives.

The number of things you could do instead of being in this class.

Could you be helping the homeless or writing a great novel right now.

What other things could you be doing right now?

Are you responsible for not helping the homeless out?

The fact that an act has bad consequences or is inconvenient. doesnít mean that it isnít a choice.It is what you chose.††† If it is too expensive then you are choosing the cheap route.You are responsible for your self and responsible for the world.

 

You are responsible for not doing it.

 

Missionaries say folks who have never heard of Jesus are responsible for making him their lord.They can be punished for that.

 

If you were a French citizen during the second world war and they had occupied your country and were taking away minorities what would you do?Are you responsible?

 

What of the NAZIs that just did their job?Survival is a big factor for them too.