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Existentialism

Existentialism

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Existentialism

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  1. Existentialism

  2. Definition: • Philosophical movement that deals with human freedom • Requires individuals to posit their own subjective values

  3. Proposition1: Existence before Essence • i.e. an individual exists (physically) before his or her life has value or meaning (substance) • Each of us have a unique identity • We all have unique experiences • A person is the sum total of his actions in life • You are what you are at any given moment

  4. Proposition 2: Meaning is created by human beings actions and interpretations i.e. The individual is in control of the universe

  5. Proposition 3: Freedom • You are solely responsible for what you become • Only you can create an image of yourself

  6. Proposition 4: Man’s Encounter with Nothingness • We realize that external abstractions are worth nothing • We only have our own personal freedom • Man is alienated and estranged from others

  7. Existentialism Throughout History • Buddhism • Socrates • The Bible • John Locke: individualist politics • Individual autonomy • Self-Deterination

  8. 20th Century Existentialism:Fear and Trembling • Began after WWII: Old order of the world challenged • Atom Bomb: Man can be totally annihilated • Paranoia • Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, Heidegger • Popularity from Jean-Paul Sarte and Simone de Beauvoir

  9. Sartean Existentialism • Existence Precedes Essence • The individual constructs his or her identity • Values are subjective • The Preceperi: Watching one’s being or insight • Bad faith: people lie to themselves which negates their being • Being for others • Responsibility for choices • Condemned to be free

  10. Notable Works: • The Stranger • Myth of Sisyphus: Greek myth demonstrates the futility of existence • Futility of this existence, but Sisyphus ultimately finds meaning in this task

  11. Other Existential Beliefs: • The existentialist starts with experience first • Only when man fulfills himself he exists • Our state of existence is full of dread and anxiety • Choice is always possible, you must always choose • Each man is isolated with his own freedom • Man is absurd: Generates the Theater of the Absurd

  12. The Theater of the Absurd • Waiting for Godot • Plots deviated from normal episodic structure, and became circular • Meaningless plots, repetitive or nonsensical dialogue and dramatic non-sequiturs

  13. The question is: Do I exist?