EXPLAIN HOW SARTRE CONCEIVES CHOICE TO CREATE AN ESSENCE FOR HUMAN BEINGS. WHAT DOES HE MEAN BY EXISTENTIAL ANGUISH, DESPAIR AND RESIGNATION? HOW ARE THESE POSITIVE AND EVEN OPTIMISTIC NOTIONS FOR HIM?

Possible Paper Topics:

– Explain how Sartre conceives choice to create an essence for human beings. What does he mean by existential anguish, despair and resignation? How are these positive and even optimistic notions for him? Finally, what part does the recognition of other people play in the essence I create for myself? Is it necessary for my project to become the kind of being I intend to be? For Sartre, how are we free?

– How would you characterize the dangers of modern technology? For Heidegger, how can we understand human beings as a “standing-reserve?” Do you agree that human beings can be viewed as a resource in the same way that we view coal or petroleum as such? Do you agree with Heidegger’s conception of the “enframing” as a basic element of human consciousness?

– Do you find Nietzsche’s argument in the Genealogy that ethical systems are created to serve the interests of particular classes of people convincing? Do dominant and subordinate groups seek to impose their own morality? Explain how this happens. Is Nietzsche correct, in your opinion, in condemning feelings like resentment, asceticism and guilt?

– Describe Foucault’s argument that sexual repression is not a historical fact, but rather a modern creation imposed retroactively on the past. What does he say took place instead of repression? What were the most important moments within the history he tells? Are we moderns as liberated sexually as we would like to think?

-Explain why and how public execution was such an important part of the sovereign spectacle of power? What were the different moments of public execution? In what way(s) was this a battle between the prisoner and the sovereign? How did public executions become discredited as a form of effective punishment?

– For Baudrillard how are consumer projects coded and what is choice for him? How are consumer desires created and what part do they play in exciting choice? What are consumption values and how are they transferred from the object of consumption to the consumer? How do I create an identity for others through my consumption choices and is this identity stable?
The term paper will be assessed using the following rubric:

* To demonstrate and to examine the background and literary context of classical philosophical notions

*To demonstrate the capability to employ arguments that are well-constructed, well- focused, and that all fit together to create a cohesive philosophical discussion.

*To articulate clearly reflective positions on some of the core concerns of Western philosophy.

*To demonstrate excellent writing style, characterized by a variety of sentence structures and the use of proper English grammar; to employ applicable philosophical terms precisely and in their proper context; and to spell them correctly.

 

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