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INTRODUCTION TO EXISTENTIALISM
Transcript of INTRODUCTION TO EXISTENTIALISM
Existentialism is a 20th Century philosophical mode of thinking which is centered on the idea of human freedom & the responsibility to create the essence of oneself. It celebrates human subjectivity i.e. the human personal experience which defines what truth is in the level of how it is lived & chosen by the individual against the notion of an objective abstract truth. It celebrates life amidst ones acknowledgment of its absurdities & usual paradoxes. The message it brings is the utmost freedom on how to become who you are.
Authentic & Inauthentic Existence
Existentialists emphasizes 'personal choice' rather than merely following the crowd which leads you into a victim of life. It strongly opposes group mentality and encourages independence & self-determination; the value of knowing to choose how one could live ones life rather than living life as others chooses it for you, or worse not learning how to choose at all.
Existentialists (mostly from the atheistic standpoint) perceives that mankind is faced with a world devoid of any purpose. Every existing individual is born without reason, prolongs itself, and eventually dies by chance. We continue to search for a meaning in life, but we are haunted with its paradoxes.
further themes ...
Existentialists share the common view that the 'rationality' or the inherent logic of modern science & technology reduces the creative aspect in being human. Moreover, it reduces the individual into a thing i.e. an 'IT' that can be exploited & diminishes human connection in a 'personal encounter'.
Existentialism is categorized into two types: The Theistic stance (affirmation of God's existence) & the Atheistic stance (denial of God)
A 20th Century philosophy that is centered upon the analysis of human existence specifically of individual human beings & regards human existence as not exhaustively describable or understandable in an 'abstract' Idealistic or scientific terms. It stresses the freedom & responsibility of the individual, the irreducible uniqueness of an ethical & religious situation, and usually the isolation & subjective experiences of an individual therein like anxiety, guilt, dread, anguish.
What is Existentialism?
Choice & Responsibility
Personal, Subjectivity, Individuality
No stable human nature
It is about ...
No one owns the name exclusively since existential thinking arises out of ones own personal experience - subjective and situational.
it rejects ...
Fixed/pre-determined human nature
Systematic or Idealistic
Themes of Existentialism
Existentialists invokes the individual for a complete seriousness with being engaged/involved i.e. being an actor rather than a spectator who is plainly a passive observer of life.
Existentialists (whether theist or atheist) share the view that human purpose is not pre-determined before one existed in the world. Being-in-the-world or ones existence comes first before any meaning or purpose is created by the choices that person makes.
[ExiStence precedes EssEnCe]
Intersubjectivity, I-Thou, Community
For existentialists (mostly from the perspective of theistic existentialists), interpersonal relations is an important aspect on how we define ourselves as human. Treating other people as a [subject] & not as an [object] is required to achieve a sense of meaning in this harsh world in order to be a true human being.
Estrangement, Absurdity, Alienation, Forlorness
Dehumanization, Depersonalization, & Objectification
In the advent of scientific & technological advancement in our modern age, it also brought along with it certain forms of (de)Humanization which reduces individuals or a person into a 'thing' or an [object]. It is this that most 20th Century existentialist had witnessed in WWII, such as the Nazi concentration camps. Forms of discrimination and exploitation are examples of depersonalization/objectification. When our human affairs loses its sense of humanity i.e. intersubjective relation, we witness dehumanization occur. When we treat people as means and not as ends, objectification happens.
"Rationality" (reason) is imperfect & unreliable without the guidance of our intuitive faculties. The so-called 'reason' of science does not provide all the answers to life's problems. Something may be 'true' in a scientific sense, but does not guarantee that it can be "meaningful" in an existential sense which could inspire a person to live ones life.
Philip James S. Miñoza
Dept. of Philosophy/Humanities
College of Arts & Sciences/
College of International Relations
The Melancholic Dane
The 3 Stages of Life
Leap of faith (commitment)
Ubermensch (Overman) & the 'Free Spirit'
Life is 'The will to Power' (Enhancement & Development of excellent character)
Slave & Master Morality
The Myth of Sisyphus
Life is an endless struggle (Monotony of life)
Quantity of life or the Quality of life
Physical & Philosophical Suicide
The difference of 'Problem' and 'Mystery'
Maurice Merleau Ponty
Truth is based from 'Embodiment'
Truth or knowledge is not based on 'Consciousness' but rather on the 'body' or 'Embodiment' - our interaction with the world determines what truth is.