“Our exhausted (first) world: a plea for 21st-century existential philosophy”

Philosopher Sheridan Hough writing about the enervated hedonism of many of her students (by their own admission, “just zoning out on a Barcalounger with a grilled cheese”):

[L]et me tell you that this is a phenomenon I’ve observed over the years, on a number of North American campuses, and it continues to astonish me. They are exhausted. These children of first world everything, every material good and privilege that humans have wrought, fashioned and fought for over millennia, are simply tired of the whole thing.

ln this case, everything leads to nothing(ness):

We might observe that the students in the existential ‘check-out’ line are in a different condition from this redoubtable, yet empty, human being [without a self]: they aren’t even aroused by the prospect of taking up the gleaming mantles of propriety and esteem—those letters after the name! The corner office and the elaborate business card. Oh, they will do all of it, of course, but the point of their activity, any of it, except for indolent repose, has gone missing: their subjective condition is not fully functioning.

The work of becoming a subject lies unclaimed.

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