Existentialism, true to its roots in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, was oriented toward two major themes: Thus, its chief theoretical energies were devoted to ontology and decision.
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 life An analysis of the existenialism a teaching philosophie, contrary 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. Thus, most Existentialists believe that personal experience and acting on one's own convictions are essential in arriving at the truth, and that the understanding of a situation by someone involved in that situation is superior to that of a detached, objective observer similar to the concept of Subjectivism.
According to Camus, when an individual's longing for order collides with the real world's lack of order, the result is absurdity. 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.
Kierkegaard and Nietzschelike Pascal before them, were interested in people's concealment of the meaninglessness of life and their use of diversion to escape from boredom.
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.
In Kierkegaard 's case, this results in the "knight of faith", who puts complete faith in himself and in God, as described in his work "Fear and Trembling".
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. 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.
Some see Maurice Merleau-Ponty - as a better Existentialist philosopher, particular for his incorporation of the body as our way of being in the world, and for his more complete analysis of perception two areas in which Heidegger 's work is often seen as deficient.
Criticisms of Existentialism Back to Top Herbert Marcuse - has criticized Existentialism, especially Sartre 's "Being and Nothingness", for projecting some features of living in a modern oppressive society features such as anxiety and meaninglessness onto the nature of existence itself.
Roger Scruton - has claimed that both Heidegger 's concept of inauthenticity and Sartre 's concept of bad faith are both self-inconsistent, in that they deny any universal moral creed, yet speak of these concepts as if everyone is bound to abide by them.
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.Existentialism – A Definition 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.
A major offshoot of existentialism as a philosophy is existentialist psychology and psychoanalysis, which first crystallized in the work of Otto Rank, Freud's closest associate for 20 years. Without awareness of the writings of Rank, Ludwig Binswanger was influenced by Freud, Edmund Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre.
Existentialism has become for many people an attractive and dynamic force in education. Despite the diversity which may be found among existential writers there are common existential principles which can be identified which have special relevance for those who hope to arrive at a more effective teaching approach through the medium of existentialism.
Existentialism and Education PDF - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. existentialism and education ppt 2 The concept of teaching.
attheheels.com Journal of Humanities and Social Science JHSS. Of existentialism . The European School of existential analysis is dominated by two forms of therapy: Logotherapy, and Daseinsanalysis. Logotherapy was developed by psychiatrist Viktor E.
Frankl. Frankl was heavily influenced by existential philosophy, as well as his own experience in the Nazi concentration camps of World War II. Finally, according to humanistic existentialism, as represented by Abbagnano and Merleau-Ponty, the method of philosophy consists of the analysis and the determination—by employing all available techniques, including those of science—of the structures that constitute existence—i.e., of the relations that connect the individual with other.