Pick one of the philosophers that we have discussed this unit. Which one is your favorite? Why?
My favorite philosopher of the era is Soren Kierkegaard, because I think he had the most realistic view of society. His works largely focused on the individual and the importance of personal choice and commitment, suggesting that each person shapes their own lives and gives meaning to their lives themselves. He recognized individuality instead of lumping everyone together into the working class or bourgeoisie. As an Atheist, I also appreciate his idea that life can have meaning without the Church. Furthermore, he emphasizes the importance of human reality over abstract thinking, which I think it a much more reasonable philosophy because most the majority of people are not thinking about abstract philosophies or reading about them or discussing them. Most people just live their day to day lives and they don’t really care about an Ubermensch or the proletariat uprising. His ideas were the most realistic and applicable to everyday life and the human experience.Kristen
I would say my favorite is Friedrich Nietzsche, not because of his ideas which I fundamentally disagree with but because of what he represents and his comparison to my favorite era in history. In the same area of Russian only 100 or 200 years before the ideas he has about morality, about how it is an artificial construct of man would have never even existed. This is the land that the Renaissance and Reformation forget, that for the majority of history Europe forgot. In fact, serfdom, the ancient feudal tradition, was only abolished 11 years before The Birth of Tragedy and ONLY 24 years before Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Russia was tired to its feudal roots only a decade before the rise of Nietzsche, only a decade, so what could that decade have meant? The amount of change fueling Russian history around this time is absolutely unfathomable, and that is why I like Nietzsche. I think he represents a change in history that is unsurpassed by the majority of philosophers; I think he shows what he believes. He advocates for a rejection and destruction of everything traditional, and that is exactly what must have happened in those 11 years in order for this philosophy to exist. His ideas are so highly controversial that I can’t even put my opinion to them, that I don’t even want to, but I LOVE what he represents, what he shows, what he means to this era, what he means to history. (RORY)
I’m going to go with Sigmund Freud on this one (he might not technically be a philosopher but we talked about him the same day so it counts). I say this because I think his work with how the brain functions especially dreams is super fascinating. Freud came up with the whole idea of the unconscious and how it relates to the conscious, to reality. Freud’s ideas were taboo to say the least at his time as they combined sexuality with the study of the brain questioning all that was thought to be true of the brain prior. Like any other figure made famous by history, Freud was willing to push the boundaries of Victorian values in this case and this resulted in an entire new field of study and an entire new view that affected daily life. Again the teenager in me appreciates Freud even more because of his anti-establishment mentality, his criticism of the Victorian society and even immature flaunting of these controversial ideas. -Becca
I picked Stefan Zweig as the philosopher that I liked the most. Learning about him was interesting to me because Mr. Zweig emphasized that happiness occurred from being true to yourself and not conforming to the social norms of your era. His book The World of Yesterday talks about the traditions and customs that restrict our lives and distort what we as individual people feel is true happiness. His argument is that we need to be educated enough and patient enough to realize that living a life different from everyone else is a good thing and that we shouldn’t feel suffocated by society’s confounds if you want to live a healthy, prosperous, and meaningful life. - Chuka
I agree with Becca - I'm going to use Freud even though technically he's not a philosopher. He's technically a thinker, though, so that works, right? I appreciate how he made psychoanalysis mainstream and how his ideas encouraged society to examine itself. He was willing to work against the social norms of the time in order to help those with psychosis and he talked about sexuality in a time when sexuality was the ultimate taboo. Freud's respect for and honest study of the mind is inspiring to me, as someone who is a bit of a psychology dweeb, and I think that he completely revolutionized society's view of itself. People now began to think about their roles within society even more…they questioned. Freud embodies the ideas of this era and validated psychoanalysis. - Leora