There have been countless philosophers who have attempted to create ways that humanity can overcome the threat of existential nihilism and the loss of objective meaning. Two of the most influential philosophers who have attempted to do this are Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre. This paper analyzes both of their philosophical solutions to the problem of nihilism, comparing and contrasting. While similar in many respects, Nietzsche and Sartre differ on several key aspects: they approach nihilism slightly differently, they have different views about ethics and subjectivity, and Nietzsche is a determinist while Sartre advocates a radical free will. When comparing their solutions, Sartre has the superior solution because his ethical view is less problematic in terms of subjectivity and allows for a foundation for an ethical consideration for others, and because Nietzsche’s determinism ultimately contradicts much of his message about the creation of beauty and embracing life.
Semester/Year of Award
Dr. Matthew C Pianalto
Department of Philosophy and Religion
Open Access Thesis
Philosophy and Religion
Hassall, Daniel J., "Finding Meaning in the Lack Thereof: An Analysis of Nietzsche's and Sartre's Responses to the Problem of Existential Nihilism" (2017). Honors Theses. 493.