Your assignment is to take some basic introductory notes on Nietzsche's ontology, epistemology and axiology, using the document of quotes below as well as any or all of these 8-bit philosophy videos on his ideas:
ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER is the most pessimistic of philosophers. He is the first to openly take the position of NIHILISM, the idea that the universe's existence is random and meaningless. Learn about him from this video about his worldview and this one on his philosophic system.
SOREN KIERKEGAARD is another depressed philosopher uncertain whether life truly has any meaning. But unlike Schopenhauer, he chooses to make a "Leap of Faith" and embrace religion as a cure for his despair. So the difference between Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard involves whether or not to believe there is some higher purpose in the face of the new doubts opened up by Kant's philosophy. Watch this video on Kierkegaard's values, and this on his philosophy.
The term “Modernism” is unavoidable when talking about the transition from 1800s and 1900s. It refers to the radical new outlook that arose in response to the sense of great technological and cultural change that characterized this era. In response to Writers like Fitzgerald and Faulkner exemplified modernism in literature through their intense focus on subjectivity and experiments with story structure. Similarly, Kant’s focus on the individual knowing subject represents the beginning of modernism in philosophy. It opens up the question of how each person’s world is related to the reality “out there,” which leads philosophical inquiry in remarkable new directions. At the same time, it unleashes the frightening idea that reality itself is without meaning, a view called Nihilism. Kant has shown that an outside world exists, but left us to grapple with the possibility that it is without purpose. HEGEL, SCHOPENHAUER, and NIETZSCHE (KNEE-cha) are the key philosophers who respond. We'll begin with Hegel, who rethinks Kant's philosophy by introducing CHANGE into the idea of our mental organization:
(Kant is the white-haired guy; Hegel is the brown-haired on with sideburns. Both are German.)
The key idea in Hegel's philosophy is that understanding is always a process. Kant wants to simply split the individual person as a perceiving subject from the world of things-in-themselves that our mental categories organize into the objects we experience. Hegel says we have to factor in the process by which the subject comes to know and distinguish itself from objects. This means that the individual is part of history, changing over time as they develop greater self-understanding. There is no one universal, unchanging human "operating system," but an evolving consciousness. Hegel's goal is to figure out how knowledge of the Whole, all of reality, is possible for a subject. He wants to get beyond Kant's limitations on possible knowledge and see all as, ultimately, One Mind: