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In this comparison/contrast essay, choose one to the following questions to answer. Place one of the bold titles at the top of your essay. The prompts under each question are intended to guide your response. Use examples from the text readings or summaries in the content section of the modules to support your points.
- Kierkegaard argues against Hegel that an Existential system is impossible. What does he mean by this?
- What is his assessment of the Aesthetic individual, who flees from himself and despairs at existing, while living under the categories of the interesting and the boring?
- How does the Aesthetic contrast with the Ethical life whose categories of good and evil involve choice and commitment?
- Why do both of the Aesthetic & Ethical fall short of Faith in the Religious and fail to overcome the despair of being oneself?
- Describe in detail the different types of despair including Infinitude, Finitude, and Defiance.
- Why is Faith a leap & what is the dilemma & ambiguity in becoming ourselves for Kierkegaard?
- How can faith resolve the conflict of becoming ourselves by being transparently grounded in the power that established it?
- Explain how Nietzsche’s criticism of philosophy and its errors have culminated in the distinction between the apparent and true worlds?
- How is the Death of God symptomatic of the Collapse of this distinction between the apparent & true world?
- How has it impacted western morality with the rise of nihilism?
- What is Nietzsche’s assessment of the history of Master/Slave Morality?
- How has resentment (revenge) and pity given rise to a new form of valuation & an inversion of natural values?
- Characterize Nietzsche’s view of the Overman, his new assessment of the body, will to power, and amor fati.
- In what way is the Overman an answer to the value of life & how we become who we are?
Comparing Kierkegaard & Nietzsche
- What do you see as the main similarities and differences in the existential thought of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche?
- Concerning their critique of modernity and its religious center (what has gone wrong)? Is the crisis metaphysical?
- What would each say about the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious?
- Contrast their views on ethics, religion, and the significance of the individual over against the various systems of thought.
- How are we to become ourselves? Be selective and present clear comparisons and contrasts of their views.