• An examination of existential faith in the writtings of Søren Kierkegaard

      Tebbutt, Suzanne K.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2005-05-21)
      This thesis takes seriously the proposition that existentialism is a lived philosophy. While Descartes' proof for the existence of God initially sparked my interest in philosophy, the insights of existentialism have allowed me to appropriate philosophy as a way of life. I apply the insights of Kierkegaard's writings to my spiritual and philosophy development. Philosophy is personal, and Kierkegaard's writings deal with the development of the person in his aesthetic, ethical and religious dimensions. Philosophy is a struggle, and this thesis, reveals the existential struggle of the individual in despair. The thesis argues that authentic faith actually entails faith. The existential believer has this faith whereas the religious believer does not. The subjectively reflective existential believer recognizes that a leap of faith is needed; anything else, is just historical, speculative knowledge. The existential believer or, the Knight of Faith, realizes that a leap of faith is needed to become open in inwardness to receive the condition to understand the paradoxes that faith presents. I will present Kierkegaard's "Analogy of a House" which is in essence, the backbone of his philosophy. I will discuss the challenge of moving from one floor to the next. More specifically, I will discuss the anxiety that is felt in the very moment of the transition from the first floor to the second floor. I will outline eight paradoxes that must me resolved in order for the individual to continue on his journey to the top floor of the house. I will argue that Kierkegaard's example of Abraham as a Knight of Faith is incorrect, that Abraham was in fact not a Knight of Faith. I will also argue that we should find our own exemplars in our own lives by looking for Knight of Faith traits in people we know and then trying to emulate those people. I will also discuss Unamuno's "paradoxical faith" and argue that this kind of faith is a strong alternative to those who find that Kierkegaard's existential faith is not a possibility.
    • Nietzsche's will-to-power ontology : an interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil

      Minuk, Mark.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2008-05-21)
      Abstract: Nietzsche's Will-to-Power Ontology: An Interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil § 36 By: Mark Minuk Will-to-power is the central component of Nietzsche's philosophy, and passage 36 of Beyond Good and Evil is essential to coming to an understanding of it. 1 argue for and defend the thesis that will-to-power constitutes Nietzsche's ontology, and offer a new understanding of what that means. Nietzsche's ontology can be talked about as though it were a traditional substance ontology (i.e., a world made up of forces; a duality of conflicting forces described as 'towards which' and 'away from which'). However, 1 argue that what defines this ontology is an understanding of valuation as ontologically fundamental—^the basis of interpretation, and from which a substance ontology emerges. In the second chapter, I explain Nietzsche's ontology, as reflected in this passage, through a discussion of Heidegger's two ontological categories in Being and Time (readiness-to-hand, and present-at-hand). In a nutshell, it means that the world of our desires and passions (the most basic of which is for power) is ontologically more fundamental than the material world, or any other interpretation, which is to say, the material world emerges out of a world of our desires and passions. In the first chapter, I address the problematic form of the passage reflected in the first sentence. The passage is in a hypothetical style makes no claim to positive knowledge or truth, and, superficially, looks like Schopenhaurian position for the metaphysics of the will, which Nietzsche rejects. 1 argue that the hypothetical form of the passage is a matter of style, namely, the style of a free-spirit for whom the question of truth is reframed as a question of values. In the third and final chapter, 1 address the charge that Nietzsche's interpretation is a conscious anthropomorphic projection. 1 suggest that the charge rests on a distinction (between nature and man) that Nietzsche rejects. I also address the problem of the causality of the will for Nietzsche, by suggesting that an alternative, perspectival form of causality is possible.
    • This infinite, unanimous dissonance : a study in mathematical existentialism through the work of Jean-Paul Sartre and Alain Badiou

      Fraser, Zachary Luke.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2008-05-21)
      This thesis seeks to elucidate a motif common to the work both of Jean-Paul Sartre and Alain Badiou (with special attention being given to Being and Nothingness and Being and Event respectively): the thesis that the subject 's existence precedes and determines its essence. To this end, the author aims to explicate the structural invariances, common to both philosophies, that allow this thesis to take shape. Their explication requires the construction of an overarching conceptual framework within which it may be possible to embed both the phenomenological ontology elaborated in Being and Event and the mathematical ontology outlined in Being and Event. Within this framework, whose axial concept is that of multiplicity, the precedence of essence by existence becomes intelligible in terms of a priority of extensional over intensional determination. A series of familiar existentialist concepts are reconstructed on this basis, such as lack and value, and these are set to work in the task of fleshing out the more or less skeletal theory of the subject presented in Being and Event.