Better Late than Never.

It’s taken me years to get this insight clear, precise, and capable of an adequate defense in a paper.

The basic idea behind an “existential” critique of morality is this: The main point of being a self is to be a self that is passionate (viz., Kierkegaard) or a self that is interesting (viz., Nietzsche). A moral self is not the point of being a person. (And I can’t help but think that Nick Williams linked me to an article that may have made this point.) Finally, reading Susan Wolf’s essay, Moral Saints, also helped to shape up and articulate this insight.

What’s more, for different reasons, both Kierkegaard and Nietzsche need morality–even though both reject its priority of importance in living.  So any critique of existentialism must take into account the good reasons each thinker offers for rejecting the claim that the point of selfhood is to be a moral self.

The task now is to work out these good reasons in a systematic way. What’s more, I need to ground these good reasons in the examples of passionate and interesting persons. (Here I’ll be looking to examples from film and literature.)


About Dan Sorensen

In general, concerned with excellence. In particular: Opinions. Food. Artistic Process. Customer Service. Music. Media. Bullshit.
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