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This senior thesis will argue that self love is good. Using Nietzsche’s “Gay Science” and Albert Camus’s “The Myth of Sisyphus” as doctrine that promotes self love, the pros and cons of self love will be discussed. Selected writings from both texts will be used to support this main idea that self love can be misinterpreted by the self and the tension between the self and others, leading to disagreements on whether self love itself bears good consequences. And by good, there is a conflict of interest between the self and the self that lives in a society of multiple selves. For Nietzsche, the aspects of what he defines to be “Gay Science” are themes that are found in practicing self love. Nietzsche talks of selfhood and affirmation of the self and with those ideas, he explores the good and the perceived bad of self love, without actually using the word, “self love” in his book. And for Camus, his absurd heroes are individuals who love themselves. They are outside the bounds of society that forces one to level and box themselves in the expected standards. They are unapologetic characters, who set their own terms and boundaries, thus practicing self love as well. However as previously discussed, the absurd characters that Camus mentions are accused of the very thing that makes them different from the rest, they are criticized for being selfish and not thinking about the consequences of focusing on the self.
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Tsering, Dekyi, "Existentialist Doctrines of Self Love" (2020). Senior Projects Spring 2020. 7.
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