Graduation Year

2017

Date of Submission

12-2017

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Philosophy

Second Department

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

James Kreines

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2017 Andrew N. Sheets

Abstract

In the 1840s, Søren Kierkegaard argued that the creation of impersonal media through the newspaper would level down human possibilities by turning every action into a spectacle for publicity. Nearly 200 years later, with smartphones whipped out to capture the most meaningful and trivial events as soon as they begin, we can ask the question—was Kierkegaard right to be worried?

This essay will construct a Kierkegaardian analytic argument that our society has been leveled derived from Kierkegaard’s views as expressed in his philosophical analysis of leveling and the present age contained in Two Ages: A Literary Review. After arguing that our society is leveled, I will give an account of how leveling has developed and briefly explain Kierkegaard’s solution to leveling. Lastly, I will extrapolate Kierkegaard’s views of the press to the Internet and argue that the Internet presents new technological developments that force him to hold contradictory views on impersonal media.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff. It is not available for interlibrary loan. Please send a request for access through Contact Us.

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