Transcendence, Symbolic Immortality and Evil

Human Studies 35 (3):415-428 (2012)
Ernest Becker’s work addresses the implications that arise from being aware of our own mortality. Like Sartre, Becker recognises that human beings have the potential to transcend and look beyond their immediate situation, but his work also confronts the darker aspects of human existence that arise from our self-awareness. The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of Becker’s work and to show the potential of Becker’s theory of evil to inform a number of contemporary debates in the social sciences. Although Becker’s work directly examines why human beings can act so inhumanly towards one another, his theory is not altogether pessimistic. The paper concludes by arguing that Becker’s theory intended to create new possibilities for living in more creative and humane world
Keywords Becker  Death  Evil  Existentialism  Sartre  Self-awareness  Terrorism  Transcendence
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DOI 10.1007/s10746-012-9214-4
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The Denial of Death.Ernest Becker - 1973 - New York: Free Press.

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