An analysis of the meaning of life in the works of the key thinkers in modern existentialism

Is it not a pitiable prudence, shrewdness, faintheartedness, it has found, which sits in high places and cravenly makes men believe they have accomplished the greatest things and insidiously withholds them from attempting to do even the lesser things.

As a philosophical inquiry that introduced a new norm, authenticity, for understanding what it means to be human—a norm tied to a distinctive, post-Cartesian concept of the self as practical, embodied, being-in-the-world—existentialism has continued to play an important role in contemporary thought in both the continental and analytic traditions.

This is through an objectification of the other. This does not mean that one simply finds oneself at a particular moment in history, conceived as a linear series of events. Unless people recognize and cultivate their common humanity, instead of narcissistically nursing exclusionary identities and cultures, the increasingly stressed planet is likely to face a grim future.

In such a situation the individual is forced back upon himself. Rather, conscious acts are spontaneous, and since all pre-reflective consciousness is transparent to itself, the agent is fully responsible for them and a fortiori for his ego.

It is what it is not and is not what it is Sartre And with this collapse of my practical immersion in roles and projects, I also lose the basic sense of who I am that is provided by these roles.

This theme is brought out most clearly by Heidegger: Thus commenced a gradual return to Christianity. Whatever I desire to do, other people or external events may thwart.


At the end of the war Sartre emerged as a world famous writer, and as the best known representative of what became then known as Existentialism. Authenticity If the picture which emerges from Sartre's examination of human relationships seems rather hopeless, it is because bad faith is omnipresent and inescapable.

Abraham has no objective reason to think that the command he hears comes from God; indeed, based on the content of the command he has every reason, as Kant pointed out in Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone, to think that it cannot come from God. But existence cannot be detached and indifferent: What this means can perhaps be brought out by considering moral evaluations.

Logical Positivistssuch as A. Employing similar insights in reflection on the situations of ethnic and economic oppression, Sartre sought a way to derive political imperatives in the face of the groundlessness of moral values entailed by his view of the ideality of values.

As a result, the traditional Cartesian view that self-consciousness is the consciousness the ego has of itself no longer holds, since the ego is not given but created by consciousness. From this point of view, the substantive histories adopted by existential thinkers as different as Heidegger and Sartre should perhaps be read less as scientific accounts, defensible in third-person terms, than as articulations of the historical situation from the perspective of what that situation is taken to demand, given the engaged commitment of their authors.

Sartre examines many existing approaches to the problem of other minds. Nietzsche did not mean that God had once been alive, but rather that the belief in God was no longer a tenable position in the late nineteenth century.

This 'I' is the correlate of the unity that I impose upon the pre-reflective states of consciousness through my reflection upon them. A huge subject broken down into manageable chunks Random Quote of the Day: For the interests of this class, philosophical existentialism may be roughly divided into irreligious and religious existentialism.

Thus each individual man is the realization of a certain conception which dwells in the divine understanding. Another example of this structure of desire BN, is that of love.

On the Meaning of Life. In so doing, he will come to understand more about the original choice which his whole life represents, and thus about the values that are thereby projected.

In he published his most important philosophical treatise, the voluminous Being and Nothingness. Nigel Warburton lectures at the Open University and has written Philosophy: Had Hitler been an existentialist he could have declared that his choices had been made in a world without pre-existing values and that they were not just binding on him but on the whole of humanity for the entire epoch.

If we accept the principle, then existentialist ethics escapes the criticism. Let us first clarify Sartre's notion of project. This very broad definition will be clarified by discussing seven key themes that existentialist thinkers address.


Those philosophers considered existentialists are mostly from the continent of Europe, and date from the 19 th and 20 th centuries. Modern existentialism reproduced such ideas and combined them in more or less coherent ways.

Human existence is, for all the forms of existentialism, the projection of the future on. Existential Psychotherapy Articles.

Jean Paul Sartre: Existentialism

Help! I Want Real Answers to My Existential Questions; Why Are We Here? Can Therapy Help Me Understand the Meaning of Life? Existentialism came of age in the midth Century, largely through the scholarly and fictional works of the French existentialists, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus ( - ) and Simone de Beauvoir ( - ), all of whose works popularized existential themes, such as dread, boredom, alienation, the absurd, freedom, commitment and nothingness.

The message of Existentialism, unlike that of many more obscure and academic philosophical movements, is about as simple as can be.

It is that every one of us, as an individual, is responsibleandmdash;responsible for what we do and responsible for whom we are. If you want to enrich your own understanding of this philosophical movement, the thinkers it brought together, and the. 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 Sartre, Albert Camus ( - ) and .

An analysis of the meaning of life in the works of the key thinkers in modern existentialism
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Existentialism - By Movement / School - The Basics of Philosophy