Existentialism Midterm study sheet

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Midterm study sheet

Midterm – October 8, 2012
Short Answer Questions. The following list of terms cover most of the key themes we have gone over. Use this list to help prepare for the short answer section of the exam. On the test there will be 10 short answer questions, of which you are to answer 8 (5 points each):
Truth is a woman woman/women

perspectivism pathos of distance

belief in opposite values necessity of lies/fictions

will to power God is dead

ascending/declining spite

exploitation hierarchy

self-preservation judgment

Platonism for the masses being-for-self/for-others

Self-full-ness love

Self-overcoming norms of society

Essay question. Two of the following three will be on the midterm. You are to write on one of the two (60 points):

  1. An important criteria for Nietzsche throughout his writings is the affirmation of life. If something denies life, or is not life-affirming, Nietzsche will judge it negatively. Discuss at least three important contexts in which this theme is brought up (e.g., religion, politics, self-full-ness, etc.). In these discussions also be sure to give some reasons why someone might adhere to values that Nietzsche identifies as life-denying.

  1. A central concern of Beyond Good and Evil (and something brought up repeatedly in class) was to counter the various forms of soul atomism Nietzsche claimed dominated much of the philosophical tradition (and Christianity). What is the alternative account Nietzsche offers? Elaborate.

  1. In Notes from Underground, Dostoyevsky portrays a character who has, to put it mildly, problems fitting in. Dostoyevsky, however, is not simply interested in describing a sociopathic recluse who cannot get along with others, but rather he finds in the difficulties the underground man had a way of diagnosing a number of problems and issues in society at large. What are some of these problems and issues? Explain and be sure to provide detail.

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