It is derived from the two Greek words: Phenomenology is indeed a reasoned inquiry which discovers the inherent essences of appearances. But what is an appearance? The answer to this question leads to one of the major themes of phenomenology:
Back to Top Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice. It is the view that humans define their own meaning in life, and try to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe.
It focuses on the question of human existence, and the feeling that there is no purpose or explanation at the core of existence. It holds that, as there is no God or any other transcendent force, the only way to counter this nothingness and hence to find meaning in life is by embracing existence.
Thus, Existentialism believes that individuals are entirely free and must take personal responsibility for themselves although with this responsibility comes angst, a profound anguish or dread.
It therefore emphasizes action, freedom and decision as fundamental, and holds that the only way to rise above the essentially absurd condition of humanity which is characterized by suffering and inevitable death is by exercising our personal freedom and choice a complete rejection of Determinism.
Often, Existentialism as a movement is used to describe those who refuse to belong to any school of thought, repudiating of the adequacy of any body of beliefs or systems, claiming them to be superficial, academic and remote from life.
Although it has much in common with NihilismExistentialism is more a reaction against traditional philosophies, such as RationalismEmpiricism and Positivismthat seek to discover an ultimate order and universal meaning in metaphysical principles or in the structure of the observed world.
It asserts that people actually make decisions based on what has meaning to them, rather than what is rational.
In the s and s, French existentialists such as Jean-Paul SartreAlbert Camus -and Simone de Beauvoir - wrote scholarly and fictional works that popularized existential themes, such as dread, boredom, alienation, the absurd, freedom, commitment and nothingness.
Existence, then, is prior to essence essence is the meaning that may be ascribed to lifecontrary to traditional philosophical views dating back to the ancient Greeks.
As Sartre put it: Only afterward will he be something, and he himself will have made what he will be. Sartre saw rationality as a form of "bad faith", an attempt by the self to impose structure on a fundamentally irrational and random world of phenomena "the other".
This bad faith hinders us from finding meaning in freedom, and confines us within everyday experience. Kierkegaard also stressed that individuals must choose their own way without the aid of universal, objective standards.
Friedrich Nietzsche further contended that the individual must decide which situations are to count as moral situations. Human beings are therefore subjects in an indifferent, ambiguous and absurd universe, in which meaning is not provided by the natural order, but rather can be created however provisionally and unstable by human actions and interpretations.
Existentialism can be atheistictheological or theistic or agnostic. Some Existentialists, like Nietzscheproclaimed that "God is dead" and that the concept of God is obsolete.
Others, like Kierkegaardwere intensely religious, even if they did not feel able to justify it. The important factor for Existentialists is the freedom of choice to believe or not to believe.
History of Existentialism Back to Top Existentialist-type themes appear in early Buddhist and Christian writings including those of St. In the 17th Century, Blaise Pascal suggested that, without a God, life would be meaningless, boring and miserable, much as later Existentialists believed, although, unlike them, Pascal saw this as a reason for the existence of a God.
His near-contemporary, John Lockeadvocated individual autonomy and self-determination, but in the positive pursuit of Liberalism and Individualism rather than in response to an Existentialist experience.
It can be argued that Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Arthur Schopenhauer were also important influences on the development of Existentialism, because the philosophies of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were written in response or in opposition to them.
However, unlike Pascalthey considered the role of making free choices on fundamental values and beliefs to be essential in the attempt to change the nature and identity of the chooser. Martin Heidegger was an important early philosopher in the movement, particularly his influential work "Being and Time", although he himself vehemently denied being an existentialist in the Sartrean sense.
His discussion of ontology is rooted in an analysis of the mode of existence of individual human beings, and his analysis of authenticity and anxiety in modern culture make him very much an Existentialist in the usual modern usage.
Annotated existential therapies reading list. This is a selective, and inevitably subjective, annotated list of key readings on existential therapeutic comprehensive and coherent account of key themes and debates within existentialism. If you only University Press. Articulate comparison of Buber's and Levinas's thought in relation to. The Great Books minor requires a minimum of 18 hours of courses, with the provision that no more than 6 hours may be taken in a single department. Course divided by themes representing disciplines or modes of thought. Comprehensive analysis of the history, philosophies, cases, and controls associated with freedom of expression. Introduction on Sartre vs Camus: War & Philosophy: An historical background existentialism is a much more than a fashionable philosophy, it is a lifestyle and a place: Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Paris area). Sartre’s existentialism designed first as a philosophy of freedom and responsibility: we are what we do, not beings whose fate.
Existentialism came of age in the midth Century, largely through the scholarly and fictional works of the French existentialists, Jean-Paul SartreAlbert Camus - and Simone de Beauvoir - Maurice Merleau-Ponty - is another influential and often overlooked French Existentialist of the period.
Sartre is perhaps the most well-known, as well as one of the few to have actually accepted being called an "existentialist". In "The Myth of Sisyphus"Albert Camus uses the analogy of the Greek myth of Sisyphus who is condemned for eternity to roll a rock up a hill, only to have it roll to the bottom again each time to exemplify the pointlessness of existence, but shows that Sisyphus ultimately finds meaning and purpose in his task, simply by continually applying himself to it.
Simone de Beauvoir, an important existentialist who spent much of her life alongside Sartrewrote about feminist and existential ethics in her works, including "The Second Sex" and "The Ethics of Ambiguity" Although Sartre is considered by most to be the pre-eminent Existentialist, and by many to be an important and innovative philosopher in his own right, others are much less impressed by his contributions.
Heidegger himself thought that Sartre had merely taken his own work and regressed it back to the subject-object orientated philosophy of Descartes and Husserlwhich is exactly what Heidegger had been trying to free philosophy from. Logical Positivistssuch as A. Ayer and Rudolf Carnap -claim that existentialists frequently become confused over the verb "to be" which is meaningless if used without a predicate and by the word "nothing" which is the negation of existence and therefore cannot be assumed to refer to something.
Marxistsespecially in post-War France, found Existentialism to run counter to their emphasis on the solidarity of human beings and their theory of economic determinism.
Christian critics complain that Existentialism portrays humanity in the worst possible light, overlooking the dignity and grace that comes from being made in the image of God. Also, according to Christian critics, Existentialists are unable to account for the moral dimension of human life, and have no basis for an ethical theory if they deny that humans are bound by the commands of God.
In more general terms, the common use of pseudonymous characters in existentialist writing can make it seem like the authors are unwilling to own their insights, and are confusing philosophy with literature.Annotated existential therapies reading list.
This is a selective, and inevitably subjective, annotated list of key readings on existential therapeutic comprehensive and coherent account of key themes and debates within existentialism.
If you only University Press. Articulate comparison of Buber's and Levinas's thought in relation to.
Jul 24, · This is the first principle of existentialism.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre from Existentialism Is a Humanism Jean-Paul Sartre was a French philosopher, novelist, playwright, and critic.
He was a leading intellectual of the 20th century and the leading proponent of srmvision.com: Existentialism in the broader sense is a 20th century philosophy that is centered upon the analysis of existence and of the way humans find themselves existing in the world.
The notion is that humans exist first and then each individual spends a lifetime changing their essence or nature. A Comprehensive Analysis of the Existentialism in Comparison to a Freedom Thought PAGES 1. WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: freedom, comprehensive analysis.
Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. Exactly what I needed. Murakami as an Existential Writer - Existentialism is a 20th century philosophy and school of literature that holds that life is meaningless and chaotic, and any abstract theories about it are useless.
The book is an introduction to existentialism but also a subtle critique of Sartre’s position on freedom, and a partial extension of existentialism towards the social. Although de Beauvoir will echo Merleau-Ponty’s criticism regarding the essential interrelation of the subjects, nevertheless she will leave unstressed the importance that the.