The inception and history of existentialism

The Importance of Fiction December 15, January 9, In the humanities division, we learn a lot of theories that give an interpretation to the world or various aspects of life.

The inception and history of existentialism

Back to Top Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice. It is the view that humans define their own meaning in life, and try to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe.

It focuses on the question of human existence, and the feeling that there is no purpose or explanation at the core of existence. It holds that, as there is no God or any other transcendent force, the only way to counter this nothingness and hence to find meaning in life is by embracing existence.

Philosophical Existentialism: Thinkers and their Major Works

Thus, Existentialism believes that individuals are entirely free and must take personal responsibility for themselves although with this responsibility comes angst, a profound anguish or dread.

It therefore emphasizes action, freedom and decision as fundamental, and holds that the only way to rise above the essentially absurd condition of humanity which is characterized by suffering and inevitable death is by exercising our personal freedom and choice a complete rejection of Determinism.

Often, Existentialism as a movement is used to describe those who refuse to belong to any school of thought, repudiating of the adequacy of any body of beliefs or systems, claiming them to be superficial, academic and remote from life.

Although it has much in common with NihilismExistentialism is more a reaction against traditional philosophies, such as RationalismEmpiricism and Positivismthat seek to discover an ultimate order and universal meaning in metaphysical principles or in the structure of the observed world.

The inception and history of existentialism asserts that people actually make decisions based on what has meaning to them, rather than what is rational. In the s and s, French existentialists such as Jean-Paul SartreAlbert Camus -and Simone de Beauvoir - wrote scholarly and fictional works that popularized existential themes, such as dread, boredom, alienation, the absurd, freedom, commitment and nothingness.

Existence, then, is prior to essence essence is the meaning that may be ascribed to lifecontrary to traditional philosophical views dating back to the ancient Greeks.

As Sartre put it: Only afterward will he be something, and he himself will have made what he will be. Sartre saw rationality as a form of "bad faith", an attempt by the self to impose structure on a fundamentally irrational and random world of phenomena "the other".

This bad faith hinders us from finding meaning in freedom, and confines us within everyday experience. Kierkegaard also stressed that individuals must choose their own way without the aid of universal, objective standards. Friedrich Nietzsche further contended that the individual must decide which situations are to count as moral situations.

Thus, most Existentialists believe that personal experience and acting on one's own convictions are essential in arriving at the truth, and that the understanding of a situation by someone involved in that situation is superior to that of a detached, objective observer similar to the concept of Subjectivism.

According to Camus, when an individual's longing for order collides with the real world's lack of order, the result is absurdity.

Human beings are therefore subjects in an indifferent, ambiguous and absurd universe, in which meaning is not provided by the natural order, but rather can be created however provisionally and unstable by human actions and interpretations. Existentialism can be atheistictheological or theistic or agnostic.

Some Existentialists, like Nietzscheproclaimed that "God is dead" and that the concept of God is obsolete. Others, like Kierkegaardwere intensely religious, even if they did not feel able to justify it. The important factor for Existentialists is the freedom of choice to believe or not to believe.

History of Existentialism Back to Top Existentialist-type themes appear in early Buddhist and Christian writings including those of St. In the 17th Century, Blaise Pascal suggested that, without a God, life would be meaningless, boring and miserable, much as later Existentialists believed, although, unlike them, Pascal saw this as a reason for the existence of a God.

His near-contemporary, John Lockeadvocated individual autonomy and self-determination, but in the positive pursuit of Liberalism and Individualism rather than in response to an Existentialist experience.

It can be argued that Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Arthur Schopenhauer were also important influences on the development of Existentialism, because the philosophies of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were written in response or in opposition to them. Kierkegaard and Nietzschelike Pascal before them, were interested in people's concealment of the meaninglessness of life and their use of diversion to escape from boredom.

However, unlike Pascalthey considered the role of making free choices on fundamental values and beliefs to be essential in the attempt to change the nature and identity of the chooser.

In Kierkegaard 's case, this results in the "knight of faith", who puts complete faith in himself and in God, as described in his work "Fear and Trembling".

Martin Heidegger was an important early philosopher in the movement, particularly his influential work "Being and Time", although he himself vehemently denied being an existentialist in the Sartrean sense.

His discussion of ontology is rooted in an analysis of the mode of existence of individual human beings, and his analysis of authenticity and anxiety in modern culture make him very much an Existentialist in the usual modern usage.existentialism, or the existentialist movement, is so generally misinterpreted is that its critics seldom take into account the circumstances that surrounded its inception and develop-.

Lacan, Inception, and Existentialism: The Importance of Fiction - Human, All Too Human

Lacan, Inception, and Existentialism: The Importance of Fiction Caleb Zimmerschied December 15, January 9, In the humanities division, we learn a lot of theories that give an interpretation to the world or various aspects of life.

Existentialism, any of various philosophies, most influential in continental Europe from about to the midth century, that have in common an interpretation of human existence in the world that stresses its concreteness and its problematic character.

The inception and history of existentialism

Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice. It is the view that humans define their own meaning in life, and try to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe.

Existentialism is more a trend or tendency that can be found throughout the history of philosophy. Existentialism is hostile towards abstract theories or systems that propose to describe all of the intricacies and difficulties of human life through more-or-less simplistic formulas.

Existentialists. The first main character, obviously, is Dom Cobb (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). His existential moment occurs on the “bottom level” of the dream, where he must finally let go of his dead wife.

Inception - Wikipedia