Date of Submission
Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© 2017 Andrew N. Sheets
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.
Sheets, Andrew, "Kierkegaard's Nihilistic Leveling and the Internet" (2017). CMC Senior Theses. 1733.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.