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10 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Friedrich Nietzsche
(who)
- German Philosopher
- Brillant iconoclast
- Rejected Christianity
- Prof. of classical languages
- Wrote in provacative and poetic styles
- Attracted growing attn. in the early 20th century
- German radicals found his ferocious assault inspiring on pre-1914 imperial Germany
- Subsequent generations have discovered new Nietzsches and his influence remains enormous today
Friedrich Nietzsche
(what he did)
- Wrote that the West had overemphasized rationality and stifled the passion and animal instict that drive human activity and true creativity
- Questioned all values
- Christianity embodied "slave morality"
- God is Dead
- Pillars of conventional morality were outworn social and psychological constructs whose influence was suffocating self-realization and excellence
- The West was in decline, false values had triumphed
- Only hope was to accept the meaninglessness of human existenence,then make that a source of self-defined personal integrity and liberation
Henri Bergson
- French Philosophy Professor
- Convinced many young people that immediate experience and intuition were as important as rational and scientific thinking for understanding reality
George Sorel
- French Socialist
- Also believed in the limits of rational thinking
- Characterized Marxian socialism as an inspiring but unprovable religion rather than a rational scientific truth
- rejected democracy
- The masses of the new socialist society would have to be tightly controlled by a small revolutionary elite
WWI revolt against established certainties in philosophy (2 directions)
1) English speaking countries main development was the acceptance of logical empiricism (or logical positivism)
2) Continental countries primary development of philosophy was existentialism
Logical Empiricism
-Truly revolutionary
- Rejected most of the concerns of traditional philosophy as nonsense and hot air
- began w/ Austrian Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein
- Remained dominent in England and US to this day
Ludwig Wittgenstein
- Austrian Philosopher
- wrate an essay on Logical Philosophy "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus in 1922
- Philosophy is only the logical clarification of thoughts, therefore, is the study of language which expresses thoughts
- God, Freedom, Morality are literally senseless, great waste of time
- They can neither be tested (scientific) or demonstrated (mathematics)
Existentialism
- These thinkers were in a courageous search for moral values in a world of terror and uncertainty
- Most in the 20th century were atheists
- Inspired by Nietzsche, did not believe a supreme being had established humanity's fundamental nature and given life its meaning
-epitomized the modern intellectual crisis - the shattering of beliefs in God, reason and progress
- Human beings must act
- Human beings can overcome life's absurdity
- In France after WWII, it came of age
Existentialism (2 of 2)
- Terrible conditions of the war reinforced this view and approach to life
- Men and women had to more than ever define themselves by their actions
- They had to choose whether to resist Hitler or accept and even abet tyranny
- The writings of Satre and Albert Camus lead the French existentialism and became enormously influential
- Sartre and his colleagues offered a powerful answer to profound moral issues and the contemporary crisis
Jean-Paul Sartre
- French Existentialist
- Believed that human beings exist, they show up and appear on scene. Only after they show up to they seek to define themselves