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Encyclopedia > Existentialism
The philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche are considered fundamental to the existentialist movement, though neither used the term "existentialism". They predated existentialism by a century. The philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche are considered fundamental to the existentialist movement, though neither used the term "existentialism". They predated existentialism by a century.
The philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche are considered fundamental to the existentialist movement, though neither used the term "existentialism". They predated existentialism by a century.

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives, as opposed to deities or authorities creating it for them. It emerged as a movement in twentieth-century literature and philosophy, though it had forerunners in earlier centuries. Existentialism generally postulates that the absence of a transcendent force (such as God) means that the individual is entirely free, and, therefore, ultimately responsible. It is up to humans to create an ethos of personal responsibility outside any branded belief system. In existentialist views, personal articulation of being is the only way to rise above humanity's absurd condition of much suffering and inevitable death. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Nietzsche. ... Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (IPA: , but usually Anglicized as ;  ) 5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a prolific 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a nineteenth-century German philologist and philosopher. ... A philosophical movement is either the appearance or increased popularity of a specific school of philosophy, or a fairly broad but identifiable sea-change in philosophical thought on a particular subject. ... Ethos (ἦθος) (plurals: ethe, ethea) is a Greek word originally meaning the place of living that can be translated into English in different ways. ...


Existentialism is a reaction against traditional philosophies, such as rationalism and empiricism, that seek to discover an ultimate order in metaphysical principles or in the structure of the observed world, and thereby seek to discover universal meaning. Existentialism originated with the nineteenth-century philosophers Soren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche. It became prevalent in Continental philosophy, and literary writers such as Fyodor Dostoevsky also contributed to the movement. In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification (Lacey 286). ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... Søren Kierkegaard Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813 - November 11, 1855), a 19th century Danish philosopher, has achieved general recognition as the first existentialist philosopher, though some new research shows this may be a more difficult connection than previously thought. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a nineteenth-century German philologist and philosopher. ... Continental philosophy is a term used in philosophy to designate one of two major traditions of modern Western philosophy. ... Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, pronounced , sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, Dostoievsky, or Dostoevski  ) (November 11 [O.S. October 30] 1821–February 9 [O.S. January 28] 1881) was a Russian novelist and writer of fiction whose works, including Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, have had a profound and lasting effect...


In the 1940s and 1950s, French existentialists such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert 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".[1] Walter Kaufmann described existentialism as "The refusal to belong to any school of thought, the repudiation of the adequacy of any body of beliefs whatever, and especially of systems, and a marked dissatisfaction with traditional philosophy as superficial, academic, and remote from life".[2] Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980), normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre (pronounced: ), was a French existentialist philosopher and pioneer, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. ... For other uses, see Camus. ... La Beauvoir redirects here; also see: Beauvoir (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Angst (disambiguation). ... Boring and Bored redirect here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Absurdism is a philosophy stating that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the universe will ultimately fail (and, hence, are absurd) because no such meaning exists, at least in relation to humanity. ... Look up freedom in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the mathematics of nothing, see zero. ... Walter Arnold Kaufmann (July 1, 1921 - September 4, 1980) was a 20th-century Jewish German philosopher, scholar, and poet. ...


Although there are some common tendencies amongst "existentialist" thinkers, there are major differences and disagreements among them; not all of them accept the validity of the term[citation needed].

Contents

Major concepts

A focus on existence

Existentialism tends to focus on the question of human existence — the feeling that there is no purpose, indeed nothing, at the core of existence. Finding a way to counter this nothingness, by embracing existence, is the fundamental theme of existentialism, and the root of the philosophy's name. Given that someone who believes in reality might be called a "realist", and someone who believes in a deity might be called a "theist", therefore someone who believes fundamentally only in existence, and seeks to find meaning in his or her life solely by embracing existence, is an existentialist.


Existence precedes consciousness

Existentialism differentiates itself from the modern Western rationalist tradition of philosophers such as Descartes in rejecting the idea that the most certain and primary reality is consciousness. Descartes argues in his Meditations on First Philosophy that humans can be certain of their consciousness (which is therefore the only truth ("Cogito ergo sum")), even though humans can doubt almost all aspects of reality as illusions. René Descartes René Descartes (IPA: , March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Cartesius, worked as a philosopher and mathematician. ... The title page of the Meditations Meditations on First Philosophy (subtitled In which the existence of God and the real distinction of mind and body, are demonstrated) is a philosophical treatise written by René Descartes first published in Latin in 1641 . ... René Descartes (1596–1650) Cogito, ergo sum (Latin: I think, therefore I am) or Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (Latin: I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am) is a philosophical statement used by René Descartes, which became a foundational element of Western philosophy. ...


In opposition, existentialism asserts that a human finds oneself already in a world and prior context that the human cannot think away. In other words, the ultimate and unquestionable reality is not consciousness but existence ("being in the world", in the words of Heidegger). (This asserted precedence of existence vis-a-vis consciousness is a radicalization of the notion of intentionality that comes from Brentano and Husserl and that asserts that all consciousness is always a consciousness of something.) Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) (IPA ) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... Intentionality, originally a concept from scholastic philosophy, was reintroduced in contemporary philosophy by the philosopher and psychologist Franz Brentano in his work Psychologie vom Empirischen Standpunkte. ... There are some famous people named Brentano or von Brentano: Bernard von Brentano, novelist Clemens Brentano, poet and novelist, brother of Bettina von Arnim (b. ... Edmund Husserl Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (April 8, 1859 - April 26, 1938), philosopher, was born into a Jewish family in Prossnitz, Moravia (Prostejov, Czech Republic), Empire of Austria-Hungary. ...


Existence precedes essence

A central proposition of existentialism is that humans define their own meaning in life. Such a view might be phrased technically by philosophers as existence precedes essence; i.e. a human's existence precedes and is more fundamental than the essence or meaning that may be ascribed to the life. In philosophy, “existence precedes essence”, at the most basic level of understanding, is based on the idea of existence without essence. ... For the philosophical movement, see Existentialism. ... For other uses, see Essence (disambiguation). ...


An older view was that essence precedes existence, so that "being human" might bind a person to such phrase's a priori definitions and connotations, and determining such meanings was seen as a central project of philosophy. This older view was widely accepted from ancient Greek philosophy to Hegel's philosophy, which would focus on questions like "what is a human being?" or "what is the human essence?", and use the answer to seek to derive how human beings should behave. A priori is originally a Latin phrase meaning from the former or from what comes before. However, several different uses of the term have developed in English: A priori (law) - adj. ... Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ...


Something like such two views -- ancient Greek and existential -- is also perceived in Islamic and Arabic thought. "Essence precedes existence" might be seen in Avicenna[3] and Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi.[4] As a reaction, the newer, converse idea of "existence precedes essence" can be found implicitly in the works of Averroes[3] and Mulla Sadra.[5] Early Muslim philosophy is considered influential in the rise of modern philosophy. ... (Persian: ابن سينا) (c. ... Shahab al-Din Yahya as-Suhrawardi (from the Arabicشهاب الدين يحيى سهروردى, also known as Sohrevardi) (born 1153 in North-West-Iran; died 1191 in Aleppo) was a persian philosopher and Sufi, founder of School of Illumination, one of the most important islamic doctrine in Philosophy. ... Ibn Rushd, known as Averroes (1126 – December 10, 1198), was an Andalusian-Arab philosopher and physician, a master of philosophy and Islamic law, mathematics, and medicine. ... ملاصدرا or Mulla Sadra (aka Molla Sadra or Mollasadra) also called Sadr Ad-Din Ash- Shirazi (c. ...


Existence preceding essence is seen in Kierkegaard's Repetition, where his literary character Young Man laments: Søren Kierkegaard Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813 - November 11, 1855), a 19th century Danish philosopher, has achieved general recognition as the first existentialist philosopher, though some new research shows this may be a more difficult connection than previously thought. ... Repetition (Danish:Gjentagelsen) is a book by the 19th century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and published on October 16, 1843 under the pseudonym Constantin Constantius. ...

How did I get into the world? Why was I not asked about it and why was I not informed of the rules and regulations but just thrust into the ranks as if I had been bought by a peddling shanghaier of human beings? How did I get involved in this big enterprise called actuality? Why should I be involved? Isn't it a matter of choice? And if I am compelled to be involved, where is the manager—I have something to say about this. Is there no manager? To whom shall I make my complaint?[6]

Heidegger coined the term "thrownness" (also used by Sartre) to describe this idea that human beings are "thrown" into existence without having chosen it. Existentialists consider being thrown into existence as prior to, and the horizon or context of, any other thoughts or ideas that humans have or definitions of themselves that they create. Thrownness is a concept by Heidegger used to describe the interactions with our surroundings in the everyday life, that causes us to act upon instincts, immediate reactions to other peoples language and actions, flow with the situation, immediate interpretations etc. ... Jean Paul Sartre Jean-Paul Sartre (June 21, 1905–April 15, 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, dramatist, novelist and critic. ...


Sartre, in Essays in Existentialism, further highlights this consciousness of being thrown into existence in the following fashion: "If man, as the existentialist conceives him, is indefinable, it is because at first he is nothing. Only afterward will he be something, and he himself will have made what he will be."


Reason as a problematic defense against anxiety

Emphasizing action, freedom, and decision as fundamental, existentialists oppose themselves to rationalism and positivism. That is, they argue against definitions of human beings as primarily rational. Rather, existentialists look at where people find meaning. Existentialism asserts that people actually make decisions based on what has meaning to them rather than what is rational. In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification (Lacey 286). ... Positivism is a philosophy developed by Auguste Comte in the beginning of the 19th century, which stated that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge. ...


The rejection of reason as the source of meaning is a common theme of existentialist thought, as is the focus on the feelings of anxiety and dread that we feel in the face of our own radical freedom and our awareness of death. Kierkegaard saw rationality as a mechanism humans use to counter their existential anxiety, their fear of being in the world. "If I can believe that I am rational and everyone else is rational then I have nothing to fear and no reason to feel anxious about being free." Anxiety is a physiological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral components (Seligman, Walker & Rosenhan, 2001). ... For other uses, see Angst (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Freedom. ... For other uses, see Death (disambiguation), Dead (disambiguation), or Death (band). ... For other uses, see Angst (disambiguation). ...


Like Kierkegaard, Sartre saw problems with rationality, calling it a form of "bad faith", an attempt by the self to impose structure on a world of phenomena — "the other" — that is fundamentally irrational and random. According to Sartre, rationality and other forms of bad faith hinder us from finding meaning in freedom. To try to suppress our feelings of anxiety and dread, we confine ourselves within everyday experience, Sartre asserts, thereby relinquishing our freedom and acquiescing to being possessed in one form or another by "the look" of "the other".


In a similar vein, Camus believed that society and religion falsely teach humans that "the other" has order and structure.[7] For Camus, when an individual's "consciousness", longing for order, collides with "the other's" lack of order, a third element is born: "absurdity".


The absurd

It then follows that existentialism tends to view human beings as subjects in an indifferent, objective, often ambiguous, and "absurd" universe, in which meaning is not provided by the natural order, but rather can be created, however provisionally and unstably, by human beings' actions and interpretations. Absurdism is a philosophy stating that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the universe will ultimately fail (and, hence, are absurd) because no such meaning exists, at least in relation to humanity. ...


During the literary modernist movement in the 1900s, authors began describing dystopian societies and surreal and absurd situations in a parallel universe, a trend that paralleled the existentialist movement. In Franz Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis, a man awakes to the realization that he has turned into a creature known only as a "vermin". This story, which is certainly "absurd" and surreal, is one of many modernist literary works that influenced and were influenced by existentialist philosophy. Kafka redirects here. ... The Metamorphosis (German: ) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915, and arguably the most famous of his works along with the longer works The Trial and The Castle. ...


Arguably, the most extensive existentialist study of "the absurd" was done by Albert Camus in his classic essay The Myth of Sisyphus. With a concluding analogy with the Greek mythology character, Sisyphus, he explains that the absurd is born out of the confrontation between human need and want for logic and order and the reality of an illogical and random world. He explains thus that absurdity contains in itself man’s rationality. Sisyphus by Titian, 1549 The Myth of Sisyphus is a philosophical essay by Albert Camus. ... For the genus of dung beetle, see Sisyphus (beetle). ...


Perspectives on God

Some existentialists accept Nietzsche's proclamation that "God is dead"; they believe that the concept of God is obsolete. For the novel, see God is Dead (novel). ...


Some existentialists, like Kierkegaard, conceive the fundamental existentialist question as man's relationship to God.


Theological existentialism, as advocated by philosophers and theologians (including Paul Tillich, Gabriel Marcel, and Martin Buber), shares tenets and themes that are central to atheistic existentialism. Just as atheistic existentialists can freely choose not to believe in God, theistic existentialists can freely choose to believe in God and, despite doubt, have faith that God exists. Belief in God is a personal choice made on the basis of a passion, faith, an observation, or experience. Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. ... Gabriel Honoré Marcel (December 7, 1889 Paris – October 8, 1973 Paris) was a French philosopher, a leading Christian existentialist, and the author of about 30 plays. ... Martin Buber (8 February 1878 – 13 June 1965) was an Austrian-Israeli-Jewish philosopher, translator, and educator, whose work centered on theistic ideals of religious consciousness, interpersonal relations, and community. ... For other uses, see Faith (disambiguation). ...


A further type of existentialist is agnostic existentialists, who make no claim to know whether or not there is a "greater picture"; rather, they simply assert that the greatest truth is that which the individual chooses to act upon. They feel that to know the greater picture, whether there is one or not, is impossible, or impossible so far, or of little value. Like the Christian existentialists, the agnostic believes existence is subjective. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Sartrean existentialism

Some of the features associated with the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre include: Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980), normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre (pronounced: ), was a French existentialist philosopher and pioneer, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. ...

Existence precedes essence 
See earlier.
Values are subjective 
Sartre accepts the premise that an individual's "facticity" (i.e. the properties of an object or person as traditionally conceived and experienced), or a component, is valuable because the individual chooses to value it. But Sartre denies that there are any objective standards on which to base values. (However, this should not be confused with post-modernism.) Sartre clearly believed that systems of consciousness followed clear and solid rules.
Bad faith 
See earlier.
The Gaze 
Sartre believed that beings possess the power to look at themselves and at another or an object, which is to use one's mind to look at the person in static. This concept of "looking" and the power to look are referred to as The Gaze. This destroys an object's subjectivity. The thing becomes a "thing in itself" (see Noumenon) or a non-subjective object. Sartre stated that this form of consciousness was used quite often in inter-personal relationships. People place meaning onto what other people think of them rather than what they think of themselves. This process of radically re-aligning this meaning from The Gaze onto one's own being is what leads to periods of so-called "existential angst".[citation needed]
Being for others 
Sartre believed that a person "A" who cannot embrace their freedom to confront existential absurdity and define their life seeks in effect to be "looked at", that is, to be made an object of another's subjectivity. This creates a clash of freedoms whereby person A's being or sense of identity is controlled by person B's thoughts about A.
Responsibility for choices 
The individual is condemned to be responsible for his free choices, regardless of the consequences, because the choices belonged to that individual alone.
Specialized vocabulary 

Being in-itself is an object that is not free and cannot change its essence. In philosophy, “existence precedes essence”, at the most basic level of understanding, is based on the idea of existence without essence. ... Facticity (French: facticité, German: faktizität) is the contingent conditions of an individual human life. ... Postmodernism is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. ... Jean Paul Sartre Bad faith (from French, mauvaise foi) is a philosophical concept first coined by existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre to describe the phenomenon wherein one denies ones total freedom, instead choosing to behave as an inert object. ... The noumenon (plural: noumena) classically refers to an object of human inquiry, understanding or cognition. ...


Being for-itself is free; it does not need to be what it is and can change. Consciousness is usually considered being for-itself.


Non-positional consciousness is being merely conscious of one's surroundings.


Positional consciousness puts consciousness into relation of one's surroundings and entails an explicit awareness of being conscious of one's surroundings.


Identity is constructed by this explicit awareness of consciousness.


Historical background

The Søren Kierkegaard Statue in Copenhagen.
The Søren Kierkegaard Statue in Copenhagen.

ImageMetadata File history File links Søren-Kirkegaard-Statue. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Søren-Kirkegaard-Statue. ...

Generally

Existential themes have been hinted at throughout history. Examples include the Buddha's teachings, the Bible in the Book of Ecclesiastes and the Book of Job, Saint Augustine in his Confessions, Saint Thomas Aquinas' writings, and Mulla Sadra's writings. Individualist political theories, such as those advanced by John Locke, advocated individual autonomy and self-determination rather than state rule over the individual. This kind of political philosophy, although not existential per se, provided a welcoming climate for existentialism. Standing Buddha, ancient region of Gandhara, northern Pakistan, 1st century CE. Gautama Buddha was a South Asian spiritual leader who lived between approximately 563 BCE and 483 BCE. Born Siddhartha Gautama in Sanskrit, a name meaning descendant of Gotama whose aims are achieved/who is efficacious in achieving aims, he... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... Ecclesiastes, Qohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ... The Book of Job (איוב) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. ... St. ... Confessions is the name of a series of thirteen autobiographical books by St. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P.(also Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino; c. ... ملاصدرا or Mulla Sadra (aka Molla Sadra or Mollasadra) also called Sadr Ad-Din Ash- Shirazi (c. ... For other persons named John Locke, see John Locke (disambiguation). ...


In 1670, Blaise Pascal's unfinished notes were published under the title of Pensées ("Thoughts"). He described many fundamental themes common to what would be known as existentialism two and three centuries later. Pascal argued that without a God, life would be meaningless and miserable. People would only be able to create obstacles and overcome them in an attempt to escape boredom. These token-victories would ultimately become meaningless, since people would eventually die. This was good enough reason not to choose to become an atheist, according to Pascal. Blaise Pascal (pronounced ), (June 20 [[1624 // ]] – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. ... The Pensées (literally, thoughts) represented an apology for the Christian religion by Blaise Pascal, the renowned 17th century philosopher and mathematician. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... For information about the band, see Atheist (band). ...


Existentialism, in its currently recognizable 20th century form, was inspired by Søren Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky and the German philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, Edmund Husserl, and Martin Heidegger. It became popular in the mid-20th century through the works of the French writer-philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, whose versions of it were set out in a popular form in Sartre's 1946 Existentialism is a Humanism and Beauvoir's The Ethics of Ambiguity. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (IPA: , but usually Anglicized as ;  ) 5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a prolific 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. ... Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, pronounced , sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, Dostoievsky, or Dostoevski  ) (November 11 [O.S. October 30] 1821–February 9 [O.S. January 28] 1881) was a Russian novelist and writer of fiction whose works, including Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, have had a profound and lasting effect... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a nineteenth-century German philologist and philosopher. ... Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (April 8, 1859 – April 26, 1938) was a German philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology. ... Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) (IPA ) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980), normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre (pronounced: ), was a French existentialist philosopher and pioneer, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. ... La Beauvoir redirects here; also see: Beauvoir (disambiguation). ... Existentialism is a Humanism (Lexistentialisme est un humanisme) is a 1946 philosophical work by Jean-Paul Sartre. ... The Ethics of Ambiguity (French title: Pour une morale de lambiguïté) is Simone de Beauvoirs second major essay, nearly twice as long as her first, Pyrrhus and Cineas. ...


Gabriel Marcel pursued theological versions of existentialism, most notably Christian existentialism. Other theological existentialists include Paul Tillich, Rudolf Bultmann, Miguel de Unamuno, Thomas Hora and Martin Buber. Moreover, one-time Marxist Nikolai Berdyaev developed a philosophy of Christian existentialism in his native Russia, and later in France, in the decades preceding World War II. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Arthur Schopenhauer are also important influences on the development of existentialism (although not precursors), because the philosophies of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were written in response or opposition to Hegel and Schopenhauer, respectively. Gabriel Honoré Marcel (December 7, 1889 Paris – October 8, 1973 Paris) was a French philosopher, a leading Christian existentialist, and the author of about 30 plays. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. ... Rudolf Karl Bultmann (August 20, 1884 - July 30, 1976) was a German theologian of Lutheran background, who was for three decades professor of New Testament studies at the University of Marburg. ... Don Miguel de Unamuno Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo (September 29, 1864–December 31, 1936) was an essayist, novelist, poet, playwright and philosopher from Spain. ... Thomas Hora (January 25, 1914 - October 30, 1995) is considered the founder of the discipline of metapsychiatry, an attempt to integrate principles from metaphysics, spirituality, and psychology. ... Martin Buber (8 February 1878 – 13 June 1965) was an Austrian-Israeli-Jewish philosopher, translator, and educator, whose work centered on theistic ideals of religious consciousness, interpersonal relations, and community. ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... Nikolai Berdyaev Nikolai Alexandrovich Berdyaev (Николай Александрович Бердяев) (March 18 [O.S. March 6] 1874 – March 24, 1948) was a Russian-Ukrainian religious and political philosopher. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (IPA: ) (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher and, with Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, one of the representatives of German idealism. ... Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788 – September 21, 1860) was a German philosopher best known for his work The World as Will and Representation. ...


Kierkegaard and Nietzsche

The first philosophers considered fundamental to the existentialist movement were Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche, though neither used the term "existentialism" and it is unclear whether they would have supported the existentialism of the 20th century. Their focus was on human experience, rather than the objective truths of math and science that are too detached or observational to truly get at human experience. Like Pascal, they were interested in people's concealment of the meaninglessness of life and the use of diversion to escape from boredom. But Pascal did not consider the role of making free choices, particularly regarding fundamental values and beliefs: such choices change the nature and identity of the chooser, in the view of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.[8][9] Kierkegaard's knight of faith and Nietzsche's Übermensch are examples of those who define the nature of their own existence. Great individuals invent their own values and create the very terms under which they excel. Many philosophers believe that Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) knew little of the 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855). ... Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (IPA: , but usually Anglicized as ;  ) 5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a prolific 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a nineteenth-century German philologist and philosopher. ... The knight of faith is an individual who has placed complete faith in himself and in God. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ...


Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were also precursors to other intellectual movements, including postmodernism, nihilism, and various strands of psychology. Postmodernism is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. ... This article is about the philosophical position. ... Psychological science redirects here. ...


Heidegger and the German existentialists

One of the first German existentialists was Karl Jaspers, who recognized the importance of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and attempted to build an "Existenz" philosophy around the two. Heidegger, who was influenced by Jaspers and the phenomenologist Edmund Husserl, wrote his most influential work Being and Time which postulates Dasein (dah-zine), translated as, all at once, "being here", "being there", and "being-in-the-world"—a being that is constituted by its temporality, illuminates and interprets the meaning of being in time. Dasein is sometimes considered the human subject, but Heidegger denied the Cartesian dualism of subject-object/mind-body. [paragraph needs citations and clarifications] Existential phenomenology is a method of psychological observation based on the works of Martin Heidegger,Jean-Paul Sartre and W. Van Dusen. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Martin Heidegger Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) was a German philosopher. ... Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (April 8, 1859 – April 26, 1938) was a German philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology. ... // Being and Time (German Sein und Zeit, 1927) is the most important work of German philosopher Martin Heidegger. ... Cartesian means of or relating to the French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes. ...


Although existentialists view Heidegger to be an important philosopher in the movement, he vehemently denied being an existentialist in the Sartrean sense, in his "Letter on Humanism".


Sartre, Camus, and the French existentialists

Jean-Paul Sartre is perhaps the most well-known existentialist and is one of the few to have accepted being called an "existentialist". Sartre developed his version of existentialist philosophy under the influence of Husserl and Heidegger. Being and Nothingness is perhaps his most important work about existentialism. Sartre was also talented in his ability to espouse his ideas in different media, including philosophical essays, lectures, novels, plays, and the theater. No Exit and Nausea are two of his celebrated works. In the 1960s, he attempted to reconcile existentialism and Marxism in his work Critique of Dialectical Reason. Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980), normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre (pronounced: ), was a French existentialist philosopher and pioneer, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. ... Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology (1943) is a philosophical treatise by Jean-Paul Sartre that is regarded as the beginning of the growth of existentialism in the 20th century. ... For other uses, see No Exit (disambiguation). ... La Nausée is a novel by Existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre, written in 1938 while he was a college professor. ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... Critique of Dialectical Reason, originally Critique de la raison dialectique (1960), was one of Sartres major works that loosely tried to reconcile Marxism and Existentialism. ...


Albert Camus was a friend of Sartre, until their falling-out, and wrote several works with existential themes including The Rebel, The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus, and Summer in Algiers. Camus, like many others, rejected the existentialist label, and considered his works to be concerned with man facing the absurd. In The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus uses the analogy of the Greek myth to demonstrate the futility of existence. In the myth, Sisyphus is condemned for eternity to roll a rock up a hill, but when he reaches the summit, the rock will roll to the bottom again. Camus believes that this existence is pointless but that Sisyphus ultimately finds meaning and purpose in his task, simply by continually applying himself to it. For other uses, see Camus. ... Jean Paul Sartre Jean-Paul Sartre (June 21, 1905–April 15, 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, dramatist, novelist and critic. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The Stranger, or The Outsider, (from the French L’Étranger, 1942) is a novel by Albert Camus. ... Sisyphus by Titian, 1549 The Myth of Sisyphus is a philosophical essay by Albert Camus. ... For the genus of dung beetle, see Sisyphus (beetle). ...


Critic Martin Esslin in his book Theatre of the Absurd pointed out how many contemporary playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Jean Genet, and Arthur Adamov wove into their plays the existential belief that man is an absurd creature loose in a universe empty of real meaning. Esslin noted that many of these playwrights demonstrated the philosophy better than did the plays by Sartre and Camus. Though most of such playwrights, subsequently labeled "Absurdist" (based on Esslin's book), denied affiliations with existentialism and were often staunchly anti-philosophical (for example Ionesco often claimed he identified more with 'Pataphysics or with Surrealism than with existentialism), the playwrights are often linked to existentialism based on Esslin's observation.[10] Martin Julius Esslin (born Julius Pereszlenyi on June 6, 1918–died February 24, 2002) was a Hungarian born English playwright and critic best known for coining the term the theatre of the absurd in his work of that name (1962). ... Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish dramatist, novelist and poet. ... Eugène Ionesco (Romanian spelling: Eugen Ionescu) (November 26, 1912 - March 28, 1994) was one of the foremost playwrights of the theater of the absurd. ... Jean Genet (French IPA: ) (December 19, 1910) – April 15, 1986), was a prominent, controversial French writer and later political activist. ... Arthur Adamov (1908 - 1970) was a playwright, one of the foremost exponents of the Theatre of the Absurd. ... Pataphysics, a term coined by the French writer Alfred Jarry, is a philosophy dedicated to studying what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics. ... Max Ernst. ...


Simone de Beauvoir, an important existentialist who spent much of her life alongside Sartre, wrote about feminist and existential ethics in her works, including The Second Sex and The Ethics of Ambiguity. Although often overlooked due to her relationship with Sartre, de Beauvoir integrated existentialism with other forms of thinking such as feminism, unheard of at the time, resulting in alienation from fellow writers such as Camus. La Beauvoir redirects here; also see: Beauvoir (disambiguation). ... The Second Sex (French: Le Deuxième Sexe, 1949) is the best known work of Simone de Beauvoir and a seminal text in twentieth-century feminism. ... The Ethics of Ambiguity (French title: Pour une morale de lambiguïté) is Simone de Beauvoirs second major essay, nearly twice as long as her first, Pyrrhus and Cineas. ...


Frantz Fanon, a Martiniquan-born critic of colonialism, has been considered an important existentialist.[11] Frantz Fanon (July 20, 1925 – December 6, 1961) was an author from Martinique, essayist, psychoanalyst, and revolutionary. ... It has been suggested that Benign colonialism be merged into this article or section. ...


Maurice Merleau-Ponty, an often overlooked existentialist, was for a time a companion of Sartre. His understanding of Husserl's phenomenology was far greater than that of Merleau-Ponty's fellow existentialists. It has been said that his work, Humanism and Terror, greatly influenced Sartre. However, in later years they were to disagree irreparably, dividing many existentialists such as de Beauvoir, who sided with Sartre. Michel Foucault would also be considered an existentialist through his use of history to reveal the constant alterations of created meaning, thus proving history's failure to produce a cohesive version of reality. Maurice Merleau-Ponty (March 14, 1908 – May 4, 1961) was a French phenomenologist philosopher, strongly influenced by Edmund Husserl. ... Edmund Husserl Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (April 8, 1859 - April 26, 1938), philosopher, was born into a Jewish family in Prossnitz, Moravia (Prostejov, Czech Republic), Empire of Austria-Hungary. ... This article is about the philosophical movement. ... Michel Foucault (pronounced ) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher, historian and sociologist. ...


Dostoyevsky, Kafka, and the literary existentialists

Many writers who are not usually considered philosophers have also had a major influence on existentialism. Among them, Czech author Franz Kafka and Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky are most prominent. Kafka created often surreal and alienated characters who struggle with hopelessness and absurdity, notably in his most famous novella, The Metamorphosis, or in his master novel, The Trial. Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground details the story of a man who is unable to fit into society and unhappy with the identities he creates for himself. Kafka redirects here. ... Fyodor Dostoevsky. ... The Metamorphosis (German: ) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915, and arguably the most famous of his works along with the longer works The Trial and The Castle. ... This article is about the novel by Kafka. ... This article is about the short novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. ...


Many of Dostoyevsky's novels, such as Crime and Punishment, covered issues pertinent to existential philosophy while offering storylines divergent from secular existentialism: for example in Crime and Punishment one sees the protagonist, Raskolnikov, experience existential crises and move toward a worldview similar to Christian Existentialism, which Dostoyevsky had come to advocate. For other uses, see Crime and Punishment (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


In the 20th century, existentialism experienced a resurgence in popular art forms. In fiction, Hermann Hesse's 1928 novel Steppenwolf, based on an idea in Kierkegaard's Either/Or (1843),[specify] sold well in the West. Jack Kerouac and the Beat poets adopted existentialist themes. "Arthouse" films began quoting and alluding to existentialist thought and thinkers. Hermann Hesse (pronounced ) (2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. ... For other uses, see Steppenwolf. ... Jack Kerouac (pronounced ) (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist, writer, poet, and artist. ... The term beat generation was introduced by Jack Kerouac in approximately 1948 to describe his social circle to the novelist John Clellon Holmes (who published an early novel about the beat generation, titled Go, in 1952, along with a manifesto of sorts in the New York Times Magazine: This is...


Existentialist novelists were generally seen as a mid-1950s phenomenon that continued until the mid- to late 1970s. Most of the major writers were either French or from French African colonies. Small circles of other Europeans were seen as literary precursors by the existentialists, but literary history increasingly has questioned the accuracy of this perception.


Criticism

Herbert Marcuse criticized existentialism, especially in Sartre's Being and Nothingness, for projecting some features of living in a modern, oppressive society, such as anxiety and meaninglessness, onto the nature of existence itself: "Insofar as Existentialism is a philosophical doctrine, it remains an idealistic doctrine: it hypothesizes specific historical conditions of human existence into ontological and metaphysical characteristics. Existentialism thus becomes part of the very ideology which it attacks, and its radicalism is illusory".[12] Sartre had already responded to some points of the Marxist criticisms of existentialism in his popular lecture Existentialism is a humanism,[13] held in 1946. Herbert Marcuse (July 19, 1898 – July 29, 1979) was a German-born philosopher, sociologist and a member of the Frankfurt School. ... Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology (1943) is a philosophical treatise by Jean-Paul Sartre that is regarded as the beginning of the growth of existentialism in the 20th century. ...


Theodor Adorno, in his Jargon of Authenticity, criticized Heidegger's philosophy, with special attention to Heidegger's use of language, as a mystifying ideology of advanced industrial society and its power structure[citation needed]. Max Horkheimer (front left), Theodor Adorno (front right), and Jürgen Habermas in the background, right, in 1965 at Heidelberg. ...


Heidegger criticized Sartre's existentialism, in Heidegger's Letter on Humanism:

Existentialism says [that] existence precedes essence. In this statement he [Sartre] is taking existentia and essentia according to their metaphysical meaning, which from Plato’s time on has said that essentia precedes existentia. Sartre reverses this statement. But the reversal of a metaphysical statement remains a metaphysical statement. With it he stays with metaphysics in oblivion of the truth of Being.

Roger Scruton claimed, in his book From Descartes to Wittgenstein, that both Heidegger's concept of inauthenticity and Sartre's concept of bad faith were self-inconsistent; both deny any universal moral creed, yet speak of these concepts as if everyone is bound to abide by them. In chapter 18, he writes, "In what sense Sartre is able to 'recommend' the authenticity which consists in the purely self-made morality is unclear. He does recommend it, but, by his own argument, his recommendation can have no objective force." Roger Vernon Scruton (born 27 February 1944) is a British philosopher. ... This page deals with authenticity in philosophy. ... Jean Paul Sartre Jean-Paul Sartre held the position that human beings always have the capability to make rational, conscious decisions. ...


Logical positivists, such as Carnap and Ayer, claim that existentialists frequently become confused over the verb "to be" in their analyses of "being".[14] The verb is prefixed to a predicate and to use the word without any predicate is meaningless. Another claimed source of confusion in the existentialist metaphysical literature is that existentialists try to understand the meaning of the word "nothing" (the negation of existence) by assuming that it must refer to something. Borrowing Kant's argument[15] against the ontological argument for the existence of God, the logical positivists argue that existence is not a property[citation needed]. Logical positivism (later referred to as logical empiricism) holds that philosophy should aspire to the same sort of rigor as science. ... Rudolf Carnap (May 18, 1891 - September 14, 1970) was a German philosopher. ... Ayer redirects here. ... In traditional grammar, a predicate is one of the two main parts of a sentence (the other being the subject, which the predicate modifies). ... Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as one of Europes most influential thinkers and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment. ... An ontological argument for the existence of God is one that attempts the method of a priori proof, which utilizes intuition and reason alone. ...


Influence outside philosophy

Cultural movement and influence

The term existentialism was first adopted as a self-reference in the 1940s and 1950s by Jean-Paul Sartre, and the widespread use of literature as a means of disseminating their ideas by Sartre and his associates (notably novelist Albert Camus) meant existentialism "was as much a literary phenomenon as a philosophical one."[1] Among existentialist writers were Parisians Jean Genet, André Gide, André Malraux, and playwright Samuel Beckett, the Norwegian Knut Hamsun, and the Romanian friends Eugene Ionesco and Emil Cioran. Prominent artists such as the Abstract Expressionists Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, and Willem de Kooning have been understood in existentialist terms, as have filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard and Ingmar Bergman.[1] Individual films such as the 1952 western High Noon and Fight Club (1999) have also been cited as existentialist.[16][17] Jean Genet (French IPA: ) (December 19, 1910) – April 15, 1986), was a prominent, controversial French writer and later political activist. ... Gide redirects here. ... André Malraux, French author, adventurer, and statesman André Malraux (November 3, 1901 – November 23, 1976) was a French author, adventurer and statesman, and a dominant figure in French politics and culture. ... Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish dramatist, novelist and poet. ... Knut Hamsun (31 years old) in 1890 Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 – February 19, 1952) was a leading Norwegian author and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 1920. ... Eugène Ionesco (Romanian spelling: Eugen Ionescu) (November 26, 1912 - March 28, 1994) was one of the foremost playwrights of the theater of the absurd. ... Emil Cioran Emil Cioran (April 8, 1911 – June 20, 1995) was a Romanian philosopher and essayist. ... Jackson Pollock, No. ... Controversy swirls over the alleged sale of No. ... Vostanik Manoog Adoyan, (better known as Arshile Gorky) (April 15, 1904 – July 21, 1948) was an Armenian painter who had a seminal influence on Abstract Expressionism. ... Willem de Koonings Woman V (1952-53), National Gallery of Australia Willem de Kooning (April 24, 1904 – March 19, 1997) was an abstract expressionist painter, born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. ... The film director, on the right, gives last minute direction to the cast and crew, whilst filming a costume drama on location in London. ... Jean-Luc Godard (French IPA: ) (born 3 December 1930) is a French filmmaker and one of the most influential members of the Nouvelle Vague, or French New Wave. Born to Franco-Swiss parents in Paris, he was educated in Nyon, Switzerland, later studying at the Lycée Rohmer, and the...   (IPA: in Swedish; usually IPA: in English) (July 14, 1918 – July 30, 2007) was a Swedish film, stage, and opera director. ... High Noon is a 1952 western film which tells the story of a town marshal who is forced to face a gang of killers by himself. ... Fight Club is a 1999 feature film adaptation of the 1996 novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, adapted by Jim Uhls and directed by David Fincher. ...


Literature

Since 1970, much cultural activity in art, cinema, and literature contains postmodernist and existential elements. Books such as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) (now republished as Blade Runner) by Philip K. Dick, Toilet: The Novel by Michael Szymczyk and Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk all distort the line between reality and appearance while simultaneously espousing strong existential themes. Ideas from such thinkers as Dostoyevsky, Foucault, Kafka, Nietzsche, Herbert Marcuse, Gilles Deleuze, and Eduard von Hartmann permeate the works of artists such as Chuck Palahniuk, Michael Szymczyk, David Lynch, Crispin Glover, and Charles Bukowski, and one often finds in their works a delicate balance between distastefulness and beauty. Postmodernism is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. ... Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) is a science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the 1982 film. ... Fight Club[1] (1996) is the first published novel by American author Chuck Palahniuk. ... Charles Michael Chuck Palahniuk (pronounced )[1] (born February 21, 1962) is an American satirical novelist and freelance journalist of Ukrainian ancestry born in Pasco, Washington. ... Michel Foucault (pronounced ) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher, historian and sociologist. ... Kafka redirects here. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a nineteenth-century German philologist and philosopher. ... Herbert Marcuse (July 19, 1898 – July 29, 1979) was a German-born philosopher, sociologist and a member of the Frankfurt School. ... Gilles Deleuze (IPA: ), (January 18, 1925 – November 4, 1995) was a French philosopher of the late 20th century. ... ...


Theatre

The play Huis Clos was written by Sartre. Existentialist themes have also influenced the Theatre of the Absurd, notably Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, and Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. For other uses, see No Exit (disambiguation). ... The Theatre of the Absurd, or Theater of the Absurd (French: Le Théâtre de lAbsurde) is a designation for particular plays written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, as well as to the style of theatre which has evolved from... Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish dramatist, novelist and poet. ... Waiting for Godot is a play by Samuel Beckett, in which the characters wait for a man (Godot) who never arrives. ... Sir Tom Stoppard, OM, CBE (born as Tomáš Straussler on July 3, 1937)[1] is an Academy Award winning British playwright of more than 24 plays. ... This article is about the play. ...


Theology

Existentialism has had a significant influence on theology, notably on postmodern Christianity and on theologians and religious thinkers such as Nikolai Berdyaev, Karl Barth, Paul Tillich, and John Macquarrie. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Postmodern Christianity is an understanding of Christianity that is closely associated with the body of writings known as postmodern philosophy. ... Nikolai Berdyaev Nikolai Alexandrovich Berdyaev (Николай Александрович Бердяев) (March 18 [O.S. March 6] 1874 – March 24, 1948) was a Russian-Ukrainian religious and political philosopher. ... Karl Barth Karl Barth (May 10, 1886 – December 10, 1968) (pronounced bart) a Swiss Reformed theologian, was one of the most influential Christian thinkers of the 20th century. ... Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ...


Psychology

Main article: Existential therapy

Many of the theories of Sigmund Freud, whom Sartre refuted systematically, were influenced by Nietzsche. Some have supposed that Thanatos and Eros were closely related to Dionysian and Apollonian aspects of Nietzschean philosophy. One of the major offshoots of existentialism as a philosophy is existential psychology. Sometimes termed the Third Force Psychology[attribution needed], this branch of psychology was initiated by Viktor Frankl, who had studied with Freud and Jung as a young man[citation needed]. Then early in his career he was sent to a Nazi concentration camp where he survived from 1941 through 1945. Existential psychotherapy is partly based on the existential belief that human beings are alone in the world. ... Sigmund Freud (IPA: ), born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939), was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. ... Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... In Greek mythology, Thanatos (in Ancient Greek, θάνατος – Death) was the Daimon personification of Death and Mortality. ... Eros ( érōs) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. ... The Birth of Tragedy (Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik, 1872) is a 19th Century work of philosophy by Friedrich Nietzsche. ... Viktor Emil Frankl, M.D., Ph. ... Sigmund Freud (IPA: ), born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939), was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. ... Jung redirects here. ...


In the camps he mentally re-wrote his first book whose manuscript had been confiscated at the time of his arrest. He called his theory Logotherapy and the book was Man's Search for Meaning. Speaking at a seminar in Anaheim, California in the early 1990s, Frankl stated that in the camps he would, at times, pretend to himself that he was actually in the future, remembering his experiences and noting how he was able to survive them. His years of suffering took him to the conclusion that even in the worst imaginable circumstances, life can be assigned a worthwhile meaning. This conclusion was the heart of Frankl's psychological orientation. Logotherapy asserts that all human beings have a will to find meaning, and not finding it can cause serious behavioural problems. The therapy helps patients handle the responsibility of choices and handle unavoidable suffering by helping them decide to give life meaning. Developed by neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, Logotherapy is considered the third Viennese school of psychotherapy after Freuds psychoanalysis and Adlers individual psychology. ... Viktor Frankls 1946 book Mans Search for Meaning chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describes his psychotherapeutic method of finding a reason to live. ...


An early contributor to existential psychology was Rollo May, who was influenced by Kierkegaard. One of the most prolific writers on techniques and theory of existential psychology in the USA is Irvin D. Yalom. The person who has contributed most to the development of a European version of existential psychotherapy is the British-based Emmy van Deurzen. Rollo May (April 21, 1909, Ada, Ohio - October 22, 1994, Tiburon, California) was the best known American existential psychologist, authoring the influential book Love and Will in 1969. ... Søren Kierkegaard Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813 - November 11, 1855), a 19th century Danish philosopher, has achieved general recognition as the first existentialist philosopher, though some new research shows this may be a more difficult connection than previously thought. ... Image:Yalom. ... Emmy van Deurzen is one of the foremost existential therapists in the United Kingdom. ...


With complete freedom to decide, and complete responsibility for the outcome of decisions, comes anxiety (angst). Anxiety's importance in existentialism makes it a popular topic in psychotherapy. Therapists often use existential philosophy to explain the patient's anxiety. Psychotherapists using an existential approach believe that a patient can harness his anxiety and use it constructively. Instead of suppressing anxiety, patients are advised to use it as grounds for change. By embracing anxiety as inevitable, a person can use it to achieve his or her full potential in life. Humanistic psychology also had major impetus from existential psychology and shares many of the fundamental tenets. Psychotherapy is an interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... Humanistic psychology is a school of psychology that emerged in the 1950s in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis. ...


Terror management theory is a developing area of study within the academic study of psychology. It looks at what researchers claim to be the implicit emotional reactions of people that occur when they are confronted with the knowledge they will eventually die. Terror management theory (TMT) is a developing area of study within the academic study of psychology. ...


See also

Absurdism is a philosophy stating that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the universe will ultimately fail (and, hence, are absurd) because no such meaning exists, at least in relation to humanity. ... The term despair, when used by existentialists, refers to the fact that all the choices we make are based on uncertain information and an incomplete understanding of the world. ... Existential Humanism is a concept that can be understood in several different ways. ... Existential psychotherapy is partly based on the existential belief that human beings are alone in the world. ... The word existentiell was first used by Martin Heidegger. ... // Woody Allen Michelangelo Antonioni Ingmar Bergman Robert Bresson David Cronenberg Jean-Luc Godard Michel Gondry Werner Herzog Jim Jarmusch Richard Linklater Alain Robbe-Grillet Harold Ramis Éric Rohmer David O. Russell Andrei Tarkovsky François Truffaut Tom Tykwer Luchino Visconti Joss Whedon Edward Albee Paul Auster John Barth Georges Bataille... Lightness is a philosophical concept most closely associated with continental philosophy and existentialism, which is used in ontology. ... Not to be confused with the Ultimate Question or Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. ... Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) (IPA ) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... Jean-Luc Nancy. ... Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe (born 1940) is a contemporary French philosopher, literary critic, and translator. ... Hans-Jürgen Syberberg (December 8, 1935 - ) is one of the most controversial directors of New German Cinema. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Steven Crowell entry at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy by 2004-08-23
  2. ^ Kaufmann, Walter - Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre, 1975, 12.
  3. ^ a b Irwin, Jones (Autumn 2002), "Averroes' Reason: A Medieval Tale of Christianity and Islam", The Philosopher LXXXX (2)
  4. ^ (Razavi 1997, p. 129)
  5. ^ (Razavi 1997, p. 130)
  6. ^ Kierkegaard, Søren. Repetition in Kierkegaard's Writings, vol. 6, Princeton University Press, 1983
  7. ^ Camus, Albert. "An Absurd Reasoning"
  8. ^ Luper, Steven. "Existing". Mayfield Publishing, 2000, p.4–5
  9. ^ Ibid, p. 11
  10. ^ Kernan, Alvin B. The Modern American Theater: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1967.
  11. ^ Macey, David. Franz Fanon: a Biography. New York City: Picador, USA. p. 129-130.
  12. ^ Marcuse, Herbert. "Sartre's Existentialism". Printed in Studies in Critical Philosophy. Translated by Joris De Bres. London: NLB, 1972. p. 161
  13. ^ Text at marxists.org
  14. ^ Carnap, Rudolf, Uberwindung der Metaphysik durch logische Analyse der Spache [Overcoming Metaphysics by the Logical Analysis of Speech], Erkenntnis (1932), p. 219-241. Carnap's critique of Heidegger's "What is Metaphysics".
  15. ^ Kant, Critique of Pure Reason A:595-602. B:623-627
  16. ^ Kavadlo, Jesse (2005). "The Fiction of Self-destruction: Chuck Palahniuk, Closet Moralist" (PDF). Stirrings Still, the International Journal of Existential Literature. Retrieved on 2007-05-10.
  17. ^ The Western Narrative, University of San Diego

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (hereafter SEP) is a free online encyclopedia of philosophy run and maintained by Stanford University. ... Prentice Hall is a leading educational publisher. ... Picador is an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, a publisher owned by Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. ... PDF is an abbreviation with several meanings: Portable Document Format Post-doctoral fellowship Probability density function There also is an electronic design automation company named PDF Solutions. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 130th day of the year (131st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Razavi, Mehdi Amin (1997), Suhrawardi and the School of Illumination, Routledge, ISBN 0700704124

Routledge is an imprint for books in the humanities part of the Taylor & Francis Group, which also has Brunner-Routledge, RoutledgeCurzon and RoutledgeFalmer divisions. ...

Further reading

  • Appignanesi, Richard; and Oscar Zarate (2001). Introducing Existentialism. Cambridge, UK: Icon. ISBN 1-84046-266-3. 
  • Cooper, David E. (1999). Existentialism: A Reconstruction, 2nd ed., Oxford, UK: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-21322-8. 
  • Luper, Steven (ed.) (2000). Existing: An Introduction to Existential Thought. Mountain View, Calif.: Mayfield. ISBN 0-7674-0587-0. 
  • Marino, Gordon (ed.) (2004). Basic Writings of Existentialism. New York: Modern Library. ISBN 0-375-75989-1. 
  • Szymczyk, Michael (2004). Toilet: The Novel. Bloomington: Authorhouse (USA). ISBN 978-1418423865. 
  • Solomon, Robert C. (ed.) (2005). Existentialism, 2nd ed., New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-517463-1. 
  • Appignanesi, Richard (2006). Introducing Existentialism, 3nd ed., Thriplow, Cambridge: Icon Books (UK), Totem Books (USA). ISBN 1-84046-717-7. 
  • Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness. 

Oscar Zarate is an Argentine comic book artist and illustrator. ... Robert C. Solomon (September 14, 1942 – January 2, 2007) was a distinguished professor and scholar of continental philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. ...

External links

Introductions
Journals and articles
  • The Logic of Existential Meaning by Mathew Toll
  • Stirrings Still: The International Journal of Existential Literature
Existential psychotherapy
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Hindu philosophy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Philosophy seated between the seven liberal arts – Picture from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad von Landsberg (12th century) Medieval philosophy is the philosophy of Europe and the Middle East in the era now known as medieval or the Middle Ages, the period roughly extending from the fall of the Roman... It is proposed that this article be deleted, because of the following concern: Filled with OR and completely unsourced. ... Early Muslim philosophy is considered influential in the rise of modern philosophy. ... Jewish philosophy refers to the conjunction between serious study of philosophy and Jewish theology. ... 17th-century philosophy in the West is generally regarded as seeing the start of modern philosophy, and the shaking off of the mediæval approach, especially scholasticism. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Philosophy is a broad field of knowledge in which the definition of knowledge itself is one of the subjects investigated. ... This page aims to list articles on Wikipedia that are related to philosophy, beginning with the letters A through C. This is so that those interested in the subject can monitor changes to the pages by clicking on Related changes in the sidebar. ... The alphabetical list of p is so large it had to be broken up into several pages. ... Philosophies: particular schools of thought, styles of philosophy, or descriptions of philosophical ideas attributed to a particular group or culture - listed in alphabetical order. ... This is a list of topics relating to philosophy that end in -ism. ... A philosophical movement is either the appearance or increased popularity of a specific school of philosophy, or a fairly broad but identifiable sea-change in philosophical thought on a particular subject. ... This is a list of philosophical lists. ... Aesthetics is commonly perceived as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. ... Ethics is the branch of axiology – one of the four major branches of philosophy, alongside metaphysics, epistemology, and logic – which attempts to understand the nature of morality; to define that which is right from that which is wrong. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) According to Plato, knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief. ... Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος logos; meaning word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle) is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... Philosophy of action is chiefly concerned with human action, intending to distinguish between activity and passivity, voluntary, intentional, culpable and involuntary actions, and related question. ... The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed. ... The philosophy of information (PI) is a new area of research, which studies conceptual issues arising at the intersection of computer science, information technology, and philosophy. ... Philosophy of history or historiosophy is an area of philosophy concerning the eventual significance, if any, of human history. ... Philosophical anthropology is the philosophical discipline that seeks to unify the several empirical investigations and phenomenological explorations of human nature in an effort to understand human beings as both creatures of their environment and creators of their own values. ... Philosophy of Humor is a branch of philosophy that is concerned with the philosophical study of humor. ... Philosophy of law is a branch of philosophy and jurisprudence which studies basic questions about law and legal systems, such as what is the law?, what are the criteria for legal validity?, what is the relationship between law and morality?, and many other similar questions. ... Philosophy and literature is the literary treatment of philosophers and philosophical themes. ... // Philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics. ... A phrenological mapping of the brain. ... Some of the questions relating to the philosophy of music are: What, exactly is music (what are the necessary and sufficient conditions for it)? What is the relationship between music and emotion? Peter Kivy, Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, in particular, sets out to argue how music, which is... Metaphilosophy (from Greek meta + philosophy) is the study of the subject and matter, methods and aims of philosophy. ... Philosophy of physics is the study of the fundamental, philosophical questions underlying modern physics, the study of matter and energy and how they interact. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Political philosophy is the study of fundamental questions about the state, government, politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why (or even if) they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what... Philosophy of psychology typically refers to a set of issues at the theoretical foundations of modern psychology. ... Philosophy of science is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of science, especially in the natural sciences and social sciences. ... Philosophy of social science is the scholarly elucidation and debate of accounts of the nature of the social sciences, their relations to each other, and their relations to the natural sciences (see natural science). ... The Philosophy of technology is a philosophical field dedicated to studying the nature of technology and its social effects. ... The Philosophy of war examines war beyond the typical questions of weaponry and strategy, inquiring into the meaning and etiology of war, what war means for humanity and human nature as well as the ethics of war. ... Analytic philosophy (sometimes, analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century. ... Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Averroism is the term applied to either of two philosophical trends among scholastics in the late 13th century, the first of which was based on the Arab philosopher Averroës or Ibn Rushd interpretations of Aristotle and the resolution of various conflicts between the writings of Aristotle and the Muslim... Continental philosophy is a term used in philosophy to designate one of two major traditions of modern Western philosophy. ... Critical theory, in sociology and philosophy, is shorthand for critical theory of society or critical social theory, a label used by the Frankfurt School, i. ... This article is about the current understanding of the word cynicism. ... Deconstruction is a term in contemporary philosophy, literary criticism, and the social sciences, denoting a process by which the texts and languages of Western philosophy (in particular) appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions and absences they reveal within themselves. ... Deontological ethics or deontology (Greek: δέον (deon) meaning obligation or duty) is an approach to ethics that focuses on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those actions. ... According to many followers of the theories of Karl Marx (or Marxists), dialectical materialism is the philosophical basis of Marxism. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ... Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus (c. ... Hegelianism is a philosophy developed by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel which can be summed up by a favorite motto by Hegel, the rational alone is real, which means that all reality is capable of being expressed in rational categories. ... Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. ... Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities—particularly rationality. ... This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedias quality standards. ... One of major longstanding schools of Islamic philosophy, حكمت اشراق or kihmat-al-Ishraq or Illuminationist Philosophy has been created and developed by Suhrawardi, famous Persian Philosopher. ... Kant redirects here. ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... Logical positivism grew from the discussions of Moritz Schlicks Vienna Circle and Hans Reichenbachs Berlin Circle in the 1920s and 1930s. ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... In philosophy, materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions; that matter is the only substance. ... For other uses, see Monist (disambiguation). ... Mutazilah (Arabic المعتزلة al-mu`tazilah) is a theological school of thought within Islam. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, founded by Plotinus and based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists. ... The New Philosophers (French nouveaux philosophes) were a group of French philosophers (for example, André Glucksmann and Bernard Henri-Lévy) who appeared in the early 1970s, as critics of the previously-fashionable philosophers (roughly speaking, the post-structuralists). ... This article is about the philosophical position. ... This article is about the philosophy of Ayn Rand. ... This article is about ontology in philosophy. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the philosophical movement. ... Platonic idealism is the theory that the substantive reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. ... Positivism is a philosophy that states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from positive affirmation of theories through strict scientific method. ... Postmodern philosophy is an eclectic and elusive movement characterized by its criticism of Western philosophy. ... Post-structuralism is a body of work that followed in the wake of structuralism, and sought to understand the Western world as a network of structures, as in structuralism, but in which such structures are ordered primarily by local, shifting differences (as in deconstruction) rather than grand binary oppositions and... Pragmatism is a philosophic school that originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Sanders Peirce, who first stated the pragmatic maxim. ... The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ... Philosophical quietists want to release us from the deep perplexity that philosophical contemplation often causes. ... In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification (Lacey 286). ... Contemporary philosophical realism, also referred to as metaphysical realism, is the belief in a reality that is completely ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc. ... For the physics theory with a similar name, see Theory of Relativity. ... Scholasticism comes from the Latin word scholasticus, which means that [which] belongs to the school, and is the school of philosophy taught by the academics (or schoolmen) of medieval universities circa 1100–1500. ... Philosophical scepticism (UK spelling, scepticism) is both a philosophical school of thought and a method that crosses disciplines and cultures. ... Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy, founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early third century BC. It proved to be a popular and durable philosophy, with a following throughout Greece and the Roman Empire from its founding until all the schools of philosophy were ordered closed... Structuralism as a term refers to various theories across the humanities, social sciences and economics many of which share the assumption that structural relationships between concepts vary between different cultures/languages and that these relationships can be usefully exposed and explored. ... حكمت متعاليه Transcendent theosophy or al-hikmat al-muta’liyah, the doctrine and philosophy that has been developed and perfected by Persian Philosopher Mulla Sadra, is one of tow main disciplines of Islamic Philosophy which is very live & active even today. ... This article discusses utilitarian ethical theory. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

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Existentialism - MSN Encarta (448 words)
Existentialism, philosophical movement or tendency, emphasizing individual existence, freedom, and choice, that influenced many diverse writers in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Because of the diversity of positions associated with existentialism, the term is impossible to define precisely.
The 19th-century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, who was the first writer to call himself existential, reacted against this tradition by insisting that the highest good for the individual is to find his or her own unique vocation.
Existentialism is a Humanism, Jean-Paul Sarte 1946 (9123 words)
Atheistic existentialism, of which I am a representative, declares with greater consistency that if God does not exist there is at least one being whose existence comes before its essence, a being which exists before it can be defined by any conception of it.
Existentialism is nothing else but an attempt to draw the full conclusions from a consistently atheistic position.
Existentialism is not atheist in the sense that it would exhaust itself in demonstrations of the non-existence of God.
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