Precis Presentation by KA

Thesis: In “The Idea of Death in Existentialism” J Glenn Gray argues, through the use of Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers, that acknowledging death and the finality of human existence is the only way that one can live in truth and give meaning to an otherwise meaningless existence. [Read more…]

Nausea Essay by JP

Embracing Superfluousness: Sartre’s Existential Outlook Nausea

            In Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre, the protagonist Antoine Roquentin frequently experiences physical discomfort while reflecting on certain aspects of his human existence. His discomfort comes in the form of nausea, and is triggered when Antoine reflects on the idea that his existence is unnecessary and ultimately meaningless. He has trouble coming to terms with this fact, but as the novel continues, Antoine becomes progressively accepting of the absurd nature of his existence (he recognizes his meaningless birth and inevitable death). Sartre’s belief in the nothingness that defines existence parallels that of Arthur Schopenhauer, and Schopenhauer’s philosophies at times directly reflect Antoine’s thoughts. Additionally, the existential outlook of Viktor Frankl frequently applies to Antoine’s life, and his ideas explain some of Antoine’s confusion about existence. Through Antoine’s experiences, Sartre conveys the idea that the contingency of human existence is discomforting, yet if one can embrace it, he will become conscious of the freedom he has to define himself. [Read more…]

Insight Paper by AC

Living Idealistically through Pragmatism

Ideally, life would consist of a planned and consistent schedule that does not suffer from the constraints of time. An idealist functions within a softly padded and comfortable boundary of utopian perfection, one that fits the vision they have created beforehand. Therefore, the narrow path the idealist fits themself into may enable a content emotional state; negatively, however, a dejected emotional state may cultivate because their set goals become difficult to come into fruition. The possibility of change, for instance, tests this dichotomy by either disrupting the state of stagnance or the established plan. The idealist then must choose to embody either Apollo, the God of the Sun, who signifies stability and truth, or Dionysus, the God of Earth, who signifies renewal and irrationality. The irrationality of time is then accompanied with precision of time, a process to regularize a constantly fluctuating world. Therefore, creating a predetermined and timed blueprint of the future coincides with the idealist’s vision, yet places them a very unidealistic world. Embodying a union of an idealistic and realistic mindset maintains a happy medium and balance within the human condition because the outcomes of life are ever changing, yet uncontrolled by time. [Read more…]

Insight Paper by AS

We live our lives by our clocks, calendars, and alarms; forever at the whim of the massive machinery of society’s definition and application of time. But time should no longer be viewed from afar as a deeply conceptual being. It must be taken from society’s unyielding grip and shared between the individual and society. The role of time in life is to allow individuals to pursue passions with the pressure of death far over the horizon. However, death should not be viewed this far away and the past and future may have far too much bearing on the present time in contemporary society. Our society transforms  people’s appreciation of time into a constricting and weighty entity. Wielded as an abstract concept, time bears a diminished importance and prevents a reevaluation of its uses by the average person. [Read more…]

Insight Paper by AC

Living Idealistically through Pragmatism

Ideally, life would consist of a planned and consistent schedule that does not suffer from the constraints of time. An idealist functions within a softly padded and comfortable boundary of utopian perfection, one that fits the vision they have created beforehand. Therefore, the narrow path the idealist fits themself into may enable a content emotional state; negatively, however, a dejected emotional state may cultivate because their set goals become difficult to come into fruition. The possibility of change, for instance, tests this dichotomy by either disrupting the state of stagnance or the established plan. The idealist then must choose to embody either Apollo, the God of the Sun, who signifies stability and truth, or Dionysus, the God of Earth, who signifies renewal and irrationality. The irrationality of time is then accompanied with precision of time, a process to regularize a constantly fluctuating world. Therefore, creating a predetermined and timed blueprint of the future coincides with the idealist’s vision, yet places them a very unidealistic world. Embodying a union of an idealistic and realistic mindset maintains a happy medium and balance within the human condition because the outcomes of life are ever changing, yet uncontrolled by time. [Read more…]