Existentialism and Contemporary Philosophy Final Exam Study Sheet



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Existentialism and Contemporary Philosophy

Final Exam Study Sheet

Exam time: December 8 (Thursday), 8-10:00am.
Short Answer Section. The following is a list of most of the key terms and concepts we have covered. This is to help you in preparing for the short answer section of the exam. There will be 12 short answer questions, of which you are to answer 10 (4 points each).
Absurd Genealogy/archaeology

Problem of suicide confinement

Playing games productivity/efficiency (value)

Judgment (part 2 of Stranger) normalization

Priest as half-dead observation-examination-judgment

Myth of Sisyphus discipline

Anti-science transcendental field

Confessional singularities/events

Regimes of truth a life

Problematizing history passwords

Society of control

Essay Question. Two of the following three will be on the final. You are to write an essay on one of the two (60 points):




  1. Camus’ thought and writings were greatly influenced by Nietzsche. Pick two themes (you can do more) where you find Camus’ thought to be most similar to Nietzsche’s. Be sure to give specific detail and examples from the texts of Nietzsche and Camus. After having shown where you believe Nietzsche and Camus are most similar, discuss what you take to be the greatest differences between them, again drawing from examples from the texts.




  1. A central claim of Foucault’s is that traditional understandings of power simply view it as the power to limit, or as the power to say no, whereas the power that is most effective in supporting and maintaining social and cultural institutions is the power that constitutes our desires; a positive power rather than a negative power. Drawing on the readings, our classroom discussions, and your own insights and examples, elaborate what Foucault means.




  1. Deleuze’s form of philosophy is what he calls transcendental empiricism. By extending Sartre’s critique of the idea of the subject, Deleuze attempts to account for the emergence of the subject/object distinction. Key to this process is the notion of process/individuation where singularities/events come to be drawn into a systemic relation with one another (think of the example of an infant becoming an individual, or Dickens’ character). Discuss Deleuze’s arguments and bring in other examples to clarify, in your own words, what you take to be the main thrust of Deleuze’s philosophy.


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