Philosophies of Existentialism

EXISTENTIALISM 4

Philosophiesof Existentialism

Existentialism

Existentialismis a philosophythat underlines individualexistence,freedom,andchoice.Itis theperceptionthathumanbeingsdelineatetheir meaningin lifeandstriveto makerationalchoicesdespite thefactthattheyexistin an irrationalworld(Solomon,2001). Itscenterof attentionis thequestionrelatingto humanexistence,andthenotionthatthere is noexplanationorpurposeat thebaseof existence.Existentialists holdthatsince there is noGod oranyothermagnificentandawe-inspiringforce,theonlywayto counter thisnothingnessandthisprocessfindmeaningin life,is by embracingexistence(Solomon,2001). Thistheorywith Friedrich Nietzsche andKierkegaardSaren butwaspopularizedin the20th centuryby SartreJean-Paul andCamus Albert andotherscholarswhocreatedscholarlyworkto exemplifyit(Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2010).

Accordingly,existentialism considersthatindividualsare completelyfreeandmust takepersonalresponsibilityforthemselves, evenifthisresponsibilitycomeswith profounddreadandanguish.Thereforethistheoryembracesaction,freedomanddecisionas thebasicpreceptsthat support it, andclingto theprinciplethattheonlymeansthrough which humanscan riseabove theincongruousconditionof humanity,which is typifiedby anguishandinevitabledemise,is by exercisingour personalfreewill andchoice(Solomon,2001).

Thenotionof existentialism cameabout whena movementthat didnot wantto belongto anyschoolof thought,andindividualswhovehemently repudiatedtheadequacyof hithertobodyof beliefsandtheories,which theyclaimedwereonlyacademic,superficialandremotefrom lifestarted to rise (Solomon,2001).Itwasa reactionagainst ancientphilosophicaltheoriessuchas positivism, rationalistsandempiricismthat tryto findthedefinitiveorderandcommonmeaningin metaphysicaltheoriesofthe observedworld.Existentialism assertsthatindividualsmakedecisionspeggedon whathas meaningto them at a giventimeratherthan whatis rational.

References

Solomon,R. C. (2001). Fromrationalism to existentialism: The existentialists and theirnineteenth-century backgrounds.Lanham, Md: Rowman &amp Littlefield Publishers.

StanfordEncyclopedia of Philosophy. (2010, Octomber 11). Existentialism.Retrieved February 15, 2015, from Stanford Encyclopedia ofPhilosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism/

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