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Are Existentialist Narratives Possible?

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003870/00001

Material Information

Title: Are Existentialist Narratives Possible?
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Williams, Evan
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2007
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Philosophy
Existentialism
Identity
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: In this essay, I examine the relationships between some of existentialism's fundamental ideas, the problems interior to these relationships, and how one might solve these problems. Through the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and primarily Jean-Paul Sartre, I show that these problems arise because existentialism's emphasis on freedom leads to a rejection of personal identity, while their concept of responsibility demands some conception of personal identity to be coherent. The existentialists reject personal identity because they see it as a misunderstanding of oneself that results from the structure of reflection. For the existentialists, our true ontological status lies in temporality, which informs Sartre's radical freedom of consciousness, giving us the ontotemporal aspect of our existence. However, such freedom puts us at a distance from Others, our past, our social relationships, and our reflective self-understandings, i.e. from the psycho-social aspect of our existence. Thus, existentialists create an antagonism between these two aspects. This antagonism brings them to the notion that choices are made ex nihilo, but this leads us to wonder how we should take responsibility for past choices and actions. I will argue that without a robust concept of personal identity, existentialism has no coherent answer to this question. I then try to solve this problem with help from theories on narrative identity, namely those of Charles Taylor and Alasdair MacIntyre. I argue that, in cooperation with a concept of narrative identity, a slightly weakened concept of freedom can cohere with the existentialists' concept of responsibility. In this picture, the intertwining of the two aspects of personal identity, the psycho-social and onto-temporal, retains a strong bond between choice and responsibility and is not fatal to an existentialistinspired freedom of choice and action.
Statement of Responsibility: by Evan Williams
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2007
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Flakne, April

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2007 W7
System ID: NCFE003870:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003870/00001

Material Information

Title: Are Existentialist Narratives Possible?
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Williams, Evan
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2007
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Philosophy
Existentialism
Identity
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: In this essay, I examine the relationships between some of existentialism's fundamental ideas, the problems interior to these relationships, and how one might solve these problems. Through the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and primarily Jean-Paul Sartre, I show that these problems arise because existentialism's emphasis on freedom leads to a rejection of personal identity, while their concept of responsibility demands some conception of personal identity to be coherent. The existentialists reject personal identity because they see it as a misunderstanding of oneself that results from the structure of reflection. For the existentialists, our true ontological status lies in temporality, which informs Sartre's radical freedom of consciousness, giving us the ontotemporal aspect of our existence. However, such freedom puts us at a distance from Others, our past, our social relationships, and our reflective self-understandings, i.e. from the psycho-social aspect of our existence. Thus, existentialists create an antagonism between these two aspects. This antagonism brings them to the notion that choices are made ex nihilo, but this leads us to wonder how we should take responsibility for past choices and actions. I will argue that without a robust concept of personal identity, existentialism has no coherent answer to this question. I then try to solve this problem with help from theories on narrative identity, namely those of Charles Taylor and Alasdair MacIntyre. I argue that, in cooperation with a concept of narrative identity, a slightly weakened concept of freedom can cohere with the existentialists' concept of responsibility. In this picture, the intertwining of the two aspects of personal identity, the psycho-social and onto-temporal, retains a strong bond between choice and responsibility and is not fatal to an existentialistinspired freedom of choice and action.
Statement of Responsibility: by Evan Williams
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2007
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Flakne, April

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2007 W7
System ID: NCFE003870:00001

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