Shai Biderman

Fellowships

Fellowships
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In my academic project I examine the work of two influential thinkers – Friedrich Nietzsche and Franz Kafka. Both are commonly identified with the philosophical current of Existentialism, which deals with questions of personal identity and investigating the basic issues raised by human existence. Kafka presents the protagonist K as an archetypal model of the incomprehensible self, living in an absurd “Kafkaesque” world. Nietzsche, on the other hand, creates the image of Zarathustra, the teacher of the overman, as the self which overcomes the absurdity and affirms life. For Kafka, the question of identity is inexplicable; For Nietzsche, the same question is answered with a process of self-mastery and saying ‘yes’ to life. In both cases, however, the discussion of selfhood and identity is that of an ongoing metamorphosis, which corresponds to questionably-rooted metaphysical dispositions, or their lack of.