By Robert G. Olson
Quintessential advisor to at least one of the main influential proposal structures of our century. Stressing the paintings of Heidegger and Sartre, it bargains a cautious and aim exam of the existentialist place and values — freedom of selection, person dignity, own love, artistic attempt — and solutions to the everlasting questions of the human .
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Existentialism
We will, for example, describe democracy as a value, although it also clearly designates a state of affairs. And we will talk of moral goodness as a goal, although it refers also (and perhaps properly only) to the reason why we pursue certain goals. Nietzsche’s own use of these terms is fraught with that ambiguity. His concept of an “ideal,” in particular, displays it most clearly: the concept of an ideal designates a valuable goal. The ambiguity appears not to concern Nietzsche because, when he speaks of “goals,” he typically has in mind not just any goal sanctioned by our values, but goals the achievement of which is a necessary condition of the realization of those values.
Finds no answer” (WP 2; cf. 55). Strictly speaking, we must distinguish a goal from its value: the goal designates the state of affairs that an action or a process is intended to bring about, whereas the value provides the reason why such a state of affairs is worth bringing about. However, in ordinary usage, the terms goal and value tend to designate both the state of affairs intended by an action and the reason for the action. We will, for example, describe democracy as a value, although it also clearly designates a state of affairs.
This is the case, for example, if the argument for nihilism turns out to be only a rationalization of decadence. But we must explain what relation the two conceptions have with one another. Nihilism • 39 On the face of it, nihilism is a philosophical claim. To show that it is, in the final analysis, not a rational position but an “expression of physiological decadence,” Nietzsche must establish two points. First, he must expose the inadequacy of its rational credentials. Second, he must demonstrate that the nihilist’s “error” is not innocent, but that it is the symptom of a certain physiological condition.