_Existentialism: An Introduction_ provides an accessible and scholarly introduction to the core ideas of the existentialist tradition. Kevin Aho draws on a wide range of existentialist thinkers in chapters centering on the key themes of freedom, being-in-the-world, alienation, nihilism, anxiety and authenticity. He also addresses important but often overlooked issues in the canon of existentialism, with discussions devoted to the role of embodiment, the movement’s contribution to ethics, politics, and environmental and comparative philosophies, as well as its influence on (...) contemporary psychiatry and psychotherapy. The enduring relevance of existentialism is shown by applying existentialist ideas to contemporary philosophical discussions of interest to a wide audience. The book covers secular thinkers such as Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, and Beauvoir as well as religious authors, such as Buber, Dostoevsky, Marcel, and Kierkegaard. In this engaging and accessible text Aho shows why existentialism cannot be easily dismissed as a moribund or outdated movement. In the aftermath of 'God’s death', existentialist philosophy engages questions with lasting philosophical significance, questions such as 'Who am I?' and 'How should I live?' By showing how existentialism offers insight into what it means to be human, the author illuminates existentialism’s enduring value. _Existentialism: An Introduction_ provides the ideal introduction for upper level students and anyone interested in knowing more about one of the most vibrant and important areas of philosophy today. (shrink)
Existentialism claims that propositions that directly refer to individuals depend on those individuals for their existence. I argue for two points regarding Existentialism. First, I argue that recent accounts of Existentialism run into difficulties accommodating the possibility of there being a lonely alien electron. This problem is distinct from one of the better-known alien problems—concerning iterated modal properties of aliens—and can’t be solved using a standard response to the iterated case. Second, though the lonely alien electron problem (...) might seem to be reason to reject the sort of Existentialist view at hand, there’s a plausible way to preserve the view: accept the existence of possible worlds that directly refer to individuals that don’t exist in those worlds. Such a solution might seem incompatible with Existentialism, but I show that Existentialists can avoid the incompatibility and should find the resulting view plausible. (shrink)
Comics have great potential to depict an almost infinite range of themes, questions and lives. But what about their ability to express and interpret philosophical concepts? How can we differentiate between the representation of theoretical concepts in and of themselves, and the impact of comics techniques on the legacy of philosophers, their lives and their thought? This book explores the historical and artistic value of representing lives through the medium of bande dessinée (BD), French-language comics. The text analyses three biographical (...) BDs dedicated to the lives of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus as well as a selection of print and online comics that extend the legacy of these philosophers and their historical movement. The work is the first to analyse biographical BD through the lens of Existentialism, offering a new theory of reading biographical comics. The research not only contributes a novel approach to comics but also an enhanced understanding of Existentialism and the Existentialists, including their enduring contemporary relevance. (shrink)
Existentialism concerning singular propositions is the thesis that singular propositions ontologically depend on the individuals they are directly about in such a way that necessarily, those propositions exist only if the individuals they are directly about exist. Haecceitism is the thesis that what non-qualitative facts there are fails to supervene on what purely qualitative facts there are. I argue that existentialism concerning singular propositions entails the denial of haecceitism and that this entailment has interesting implications for debates concerning (...) the philosophy of language, the nature of propositions, and the metaphysics of modality. (shrink)
Existentialism enjoyed great popularity in the 1940s and 1950s, and has probably had a greater impact upon literature than any other kind of philosophy. The common interest which unites Existentialist philosophers is their interest in human freedom. Readers of Existentialist philosophy are being asked, not merely to contemplate the nature of freedom, but to experience freedom, and to practise it. In this survey, Mary Warnock begins by considering the ethical origins of Existentialism, with particular reference to Kierkegaard and (...) Nietzsche, and outlines the importance of a systematic account of man's connection with the world as expounded by Husserl. She discusses at length the common interests and ancestry of Existentialism in the works of Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre, and offers some conclusions about the current nature and future of this committed and practical philosophy. This revised edition includes a postscript reviewing the status of Existentialism in the 1990s, and has a thoroughly updated bibliography. (shrink)
First published in 1990, _Existentialism_ is widely regarded as a classic introductory survey of the topic, and has helped to renew interest in existentialist philosophy. The author places existentialism within the great traditions of philosophy, and argues that it deserves as much attention from analytic philosophers as it has always received on the continent.
This book, first published in 1953, was one of the first written in English that attempted to provide a sympathetic analysis of the new movement of Existentialism. In the attempt to bring out what is of permanent value in what was at the time a study yet to gain academic recognition, it is a valuable work that presents a clear-eyed analysis from the ground up.
Philosophy as a way of life -- Becoming an individual -- Humanism : for and against -- Authenticity -- A chastened individualism? Existentialism and social thought -- Existentialism in the twenty-first century.
Existentialism and Romantic Love investigates the thinking of five existential philosophers (Max Stirner, Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir) to uncover fresh insights about what is wrong with our everyday ideas about romantic loving, why reality often falls short of the ideal, sources of frustrations and disappointments, and possibilities for creating authentically meaningful relationships.
The Existentialist Reader is a comprehensive anthology of classic philosophical writings from eight key existentialist thinkers: Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, de Beauvoir, Jaspers, Marcel, Merleau-Ponty, and Ortega y Gasset. These substantial and carefully selected readings consider the distinctive concerns of existentialism: absurdity, anxiety, alienation, death. A comprehensive introduction by Paul S. MacDonald illuminates the existentialist quest for individual freedom and authentic human experience with insight into the historical and intellectual background of these major figures. The Existentialist Reader is a valuable (...) guide to the provocative theories that shook the philosophical world in the 1930s and continue to profoundly shape the way we think about ourselves. (shrink)
Richard Appignanesi goes on a personal quest of Existentialism in its original state. He begins with Camus' question of suicide: 'Must life have a meaning to be lived?' Is absurdity at the heart of Existentialism? Or is Sartre right: is Existentialism 'the least scandalous, most technically austere' of all teachings? This brilliant Graphic Guide explores Existentialism in a unique comic book-style.
Existentialism, 2/e, offers an exceptional and accessible introduction to the richness and diversity of existentialist thought. Retaining the focus of the highly successful first edition, the second edition provides extensive material on the "big four" existentialists--Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre--while also including selections from twenty-four other authors. Giving readers a sense of the variety of existentialist thought around the world, this edition also adds new readings by such figures as Luis Borges, Viktor Frankl, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Keiji Nishitani, and (...) Rainer Maria Rilke. Existentialism, 2/e, also features: New translations of Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Buber More extensive selections from Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre New selections by Hazel E. Barnes, Miguel de Unamuno, Joseph Heller, Philip Roth, and Colin Wilson The Grand Inquisitor (from Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov) Ideal for undergraduate courses in existentialism and Continental philosophy, Existentialism, 2/e, is fascinating reading for anyone interested in the subject. (shrink)
Existentialist Politics and Political Theory The publication of the Critique of Dialectical Reason in 1960 marked the culmination of Sartre's efforts, begun in his more occasional political writings in what became essentially his journal, Les Temps Modernes, and developed more systematically in his important essay, Search for a Method, to forge links between existentialism and a non-orthodox version of Marxism with a view to developing a new philosophy of politics, society, and history and a new approach to the philosophy (...) of the social sciences. The articles provide a wide-ranging, insightful exploration of Sartre's successes and failures in this domain. (shrink)
This book is a critical appraisal of the distinctive modern school of thought known as French existentialism. It philosophically engages the ideas of the major French existentialists, namely, Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, Marcel, Camus, and, because of his central role in the movement, especially Sartre, in a fresh attempt to elucidate their contributions to contemporary philosophy.
Includes summary but substantial accounts of the thought of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Jaspers, Marcel, Heidegger and Sartre, and a concluding essay that attempts to interpret the whole Existentialist movement.
A lively introduction to this celebrated philosophical tradition. -/- Existentialism pervades modern culture, yet if you ask most people what it means, they won’t be able to tell you. In this lively and topical introduction, Wartenberg reveals a vibrant mode of philosophical inquiry that addresses concerns at the heart of the existence of every human being. Wartenberg uses classic films, novels, and plays to present the ideas of now-legendary Existentialist thinkers from Nietzsche and Camus to Sartre and Heidegger and (...) to explore central concepts, including Freedom, Anxiety, and the Absurd. Special attention is paid to the views of Simone de Beauvoir and Franz Fanon, who use the theories of Existentialism to address gender and colonial oppression. (shrink)
The title of this book may be misleading if it leads one to expect a study of Sartre's writings that primarily stresses Sartre's own interpretation of Marxism. There is certainly an attempt to explain Sartre's existentialist interpretation of Marxism, and to provide a presentation which is as accurate as possible. The title, however, is mean to suggest a question. Is the combination of existentialism and Marxism a valid one from the point of view of Marxism? Is "existentialist Marxism" a (...) real unity or is it a false juxtaposition of antagonistic theories? The title should perhaps be followed by a question mark. And yet if this question is to be answered another question must be asked. What is Marxism? Does it have a definite reality, or is Marxism something that only exists in the eye of the beholder? The aim of this study is to answer both of these sets of questions. (shrink)
"The compiling of a bibliography requires both a thorough knowledge of the subject . . . and the ability to discriminate effectively. Success depends as much on the clear definition of focus as on the evaluation of the texts considered. Orr succeeds on each count, thereby rendering an invaluable service to students and scholars alike. . . . Particularly interesting is the inclusion of works devoted to the interrelatedness of existentialism and the political and social sciences. And extremely helpful (...) are the notations referring the researcher to sections of a work either of particular significance or pertinent to a specific point of view. An excellent introduction emphasizes the movement away from the fundamental (ontological) concerns of existential thought. . . . Orr's effort to resituate the research within the original dimensions of existentialism and phenomenology as exploratory processes, as opposed to intellectual systems, is most commendable."FRENCH REVIEW. (shrink)
An exploration of the relationship between cinema and existentialism, in terms of their mutual ability to describe the human condition, this book combines analyses of topics in the philosophy of film with an exploration of specific existentialist themes expressed in the films of Fellini, Bergman and Woody Allen, among others.
This volume brings together for the first time some of the most helpful and insightful essays on the four most influential and discussed philosophers in the history of existentialism: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre.
Existentialist Ontology and Human Consciousness The majority of the distinguished scholarly articles in this volume focus on Sartre's early philosophical work, which dealt first with imagination and the emotions, then with the critique of Husserl's notion of a transcendental ego, and finally with systematic ontology presented in his best-known book, Being and Nothingness. In addition, since his preoccupation with ontological questions and especially with the meanings of ego, self, and consciousness endured throughout his career, other essays discuss these themes in (...) light of later developments both in Sartre's own thought and in the phenomenological, hermeneutic, and analytic traditions. (shrink)
There are already many excellent books on existentialism. Some of them deal with particular problem or particular existentialist writers. Most of those that deal with existentialism as a whole divide their subject-matter according to authors, presenting chapters on Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, and the rest. Thus I think that there is room for the present book, which attempts a comprehensive examination and evaluation of existentialism, but does so by thematic treatment. That is to say, each chapter deals with (...) a major theme of existentialist philosophy, and these themes are arranged in the order of the existential dialect. Of course, each chapter is illustrated with material from the writings of existentialists, from Kierkegaard to Camus. (shrink)
This chapter challenges the received doxa that the generation of ‘poststructuralist’ philosophers broke decisively with existentialism and rendered it out of date, a mere historical curiosity. Drawing on recent research in the area, it draws some lines of influence, and even argues for some surprising points of commonality, between existentialism and poststructuralism. At least some of the core philosophical ideas of poststructuralists such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze bear more in common with existentialism than (...) is often supposed. Furthermore, it addresses a common resistance to poststructuralism by committed existentialists by showing that poststructuralism does not abandon concern with responsibility and decision, but in fact develops these themes in ways that are proximate to existentialist concerns. Finally, it argues that some of the needs that some prominent contemporary philosophers find lacking in poststructuralism – in particular, the need for subjective agency – are already met in significant ways in existentialism. These three points serve to throw new light on the contemporary relevance of existentialism, and to open up new directions for research. (shrink)
Without proposing anything quite so grandiose as a return to existentialism, in this paper we aim to articulate and minimally defend certain core existentialist insights concerning the first-person perspective, the relationship between theory and practice, and the mode of philosophical presentation conducive to best making those points. We will do this by considering some of the central methodological objections that have been posed around the role of the first-person perspective and “lived experience” in the contemporary literature, before providing some (...) neo-existentialist rejoinders. We will suggest that the dilemma that contemporary philosophy poses to existentialism, vis-à-vis methodology, is that it is: a) committed to lived experience as some sort of given that might be accessed either introspectively or retrospectively (with empirical science posing prima facie obstacles to the veridicality of each); and/or b) it advocates transformative experiences, and the power of philosophy in connection with such experiences, to radically revise our doxastic and inter-connected web of beliefs. In short, the charge is conservatism on the one hand, radicalism on the other. Each of these concerns will be addressed in turn, utilizing ideas from Kierkegaard (as the source for many existentialist themes, methodological concerns, and formal practices) and from the German and French twentieth century versions of existentialism. (shrink)
This book discusses the work of the existential phenomenologists - Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and de Beauvoir - and the final chapter looks at the legacy of existentialism upon the thought of Derrida and other post-structuralist thinkers.
This chapter examines the connections between French existentialism and politics. Fellow travellers like Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and de Beauvoir saw themselves as engaging with two theoretical trajectories that for them dominated the mid-twentieth century intellectual milieu, one of which was ostensibly apolitical (phenomenology), the other of which involved a politicised understanding of philosophy (Marxism). Part of the motivation behind renewing phenomenology as existential phenomenology, as opposed to classical Husserlian phenomenology, was to allow them both to comprehend what was taking place (...) during World War Two and, related to this, to allow them to try to do justice to the Marxian insight that the point is not only to understand the world but also to change it. While there are some serious risks associated with any politicising of philosophy, this chapter highlights some of the central contributions of French existentialist politics, beginning with Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and the manner in which it at least appears to consign politics to an inessential realm, before considering the subsequent illuminations on historical and political matters proffered by his contemporaries, de Beauvoir and Merleau-Ponty. We conclude via consideration of Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason, which perhaps was the culmination of existential Marxism, notwithstanding the subsequent contributions made by both Sartre and de Beauvoir. Central themes to be explored include the role of dialectical thinking in political theory, the failings that existentialists diagnosed at the heart of orthodox liberal and Marxist positions, and the specific contributions that they made in regard to issues to do with responsibility and dirty hands. (shrink)
In this study the author makes a comparison between the two main types of existentialism: the Christian and the non-Christian. Dr. Kingston handles the issues in a fair and honest way, neither concealing his own position nor dealing unfairly with those of whom he is most critical.
A wide range of decision-making models have been offered to assist in making ethical decisions in the workplace. Those that are based on normative moral frameworks typically include elements of traditional moral philosophy such as consequentialist and/or deontological␣ethics. This paper suggests an alternative model drawing on Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialism. Accordingly, the model focuses on making decisions in full awareness of one’s freedom and responsibility. The steps of the model are intended to encourage reflection of one’s projects and one’s situation (...) and the possibility of refusing the expectations of others. A case study involving affirmative action in South Africa is used to demonstrate the workings of the model and a number of strengths and weaknesses are identified. Despite several weaknesses that can be raised regarding existential ethics, the model’s success lies in the way that it reframes ethical dilemmas in terms of individual freedom and responsibility, and in its acceptance and analysis of subjective experiences and personal situations. (shrink)
Late antique Gnosticism and Heidegger’s Existentialism are usually counted among the main theoretical targets of Hans Jonas’s philosophy of life and responsibility, since they are supposed to share the dualistic and nihilistic attitude the philosopher deemed most mistaken and pernicious. In particular, Gnosticism is commonly understood as the exact opposite of what Jonas strove to accomplish in his work. However, I think it is simplistic to relegate Gnosticism to a merely antagonistic role in the development of Jonas’s philosophy. My (...) claim is that Gnosticism, being a non-nihilistic form of dualism, might have been a relevant source of inspiration – although not the only one – for amending the flaws of Heidegger’s Existentialism. By taking a closer look at the essay Gnosticism, Existentialism, and Nihilism, this article aims to clarify the critical and constructive role that Gnosticism might have played in shaping some of the major traits of Jonas’s thought. The first part of this essay deals with Jonas’s ‘gnostic reading’ of Heidegger’s Existentialism and highlights the positive insights drawn from such interpretative strategy. The second part focuses on three main motives in Jonas’s philosophy that may be traced back to the gnostic narrative: value objectivity and vulnerability, human responsibility and involvement in the history of being, and the sense of belonging to a wider dimension capable of providing orientation and meaning to human life. (shrink)
The pieces collected here are written by fifteen philosophers and one poet who have been influenced by Stephen Priest, or develop themes in Priest’s philosophy, or both. They include contributions from the United Kingdom, the USA, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Taiwan and Japan by authors working in range of traditions. Topics covered include philosophical method, the analytical/continental divide, the nature of the mind (or self, or soul), metaphysics, and the meaning of life. The volume also includes responses by Priest and an (...) intellectual biography, describing some of the life-experiences which caused Priest to become interested in philosophy, and to make the transition from existentialism to metaphysics. (shrink)
This chapter explores some of the similarities and differences in the philosophical methods of five philosophers often considered existentialists: Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, de Beauvoir and Marcel. The relationship between existentialism and phenomenological methods, as well as transcendental reasoning in general, is examined.
This book explores what it means to exist in virtual worlds. Chiefly drawing on the philosophical traditions of existentialism, it articulates the idea that — by means of our technical equipment and coordinated practices — human beings disclose contexts or worlds in which they can perceive, feel, act, and think. More specifically, this book discusses how virtual worlds allow human beings to take new perspectives on their values and beliefs, and explore previously unexperienced ways of being. Virtual Existentialism (...) will be useful for scholars working in the fields of philosophy, anthropology, media studies, and digital game studies. (shrink)
I argue that the overt subjugation in the system of American slavery and its subsequent effects offer a case study for an existentialist analysis of freedom, oppression and humor. Concentrating on the writings and experiences of Frederick Douglass and the existentialists Simone De Beauvoir and Lewis Gordon, I investigate how the concepts of “spirit of seriousness”, “mystification”, and an existentialist reading of “double consciousness” for example, can elucidate the forms of explicit and concealed oppression. I then make the case that (...) subversive humor is an effective means to bring to consciousness the inconsistencies and incongruities of the serious oppressors. I also illustrate how humor can act as a bulwark against the rise and persistence of oppression by (non-violently) attacking the absolutist stance on human nature maintained through the use of dominating and “authoritative” language and action. (shrink)
Cybernetic-Existentialism: Freedom, Systems, and Being-for-Others in Contemporary Art and Performance offers a unique discourse and an original aesthetic theory. It argues that fusing perspectives from the philosophy of Existentialism with insights from the 'universal science' of cybernetics provides a new analytical lens and deconstructive methodology to critique art. In this study, Steve Dixon examines how a range of artists' works reveal the ideas of Existentialist philosophers including Kierkegaard, Camus, de Beauvoir and Sartre on freedom, being and nothingness, eternal (...) recurrence, the absurd, and being-for-others. Simultaneously, these artworks are shown to engage in complex explorations of concepts proposed by cyberneticians including Wiener, Shannon, and Bateson on information theory and 'noise', feedback loops, circularity, adaptive ecosystems, autopoiesis, and emergence. Dixon's ground-breaking book demonstrates how fusing insights and knowledge from these two fields can throw new light on pressing issues within contemporary arts and culture, including authenticity, angst and alienation, homeostasis, radical politics, and the human as system. (shrink)
Existentialism and Sociology is the first work to systematically and critically analyze the existential ideas of Jean-Paul Sartre and to demonstrate their importance and connection to central sociological categories found in the theories of Weber, Durkheim, Freud, Mead, and others. Hayim analyzes key existential concepts of negation, temporality, choice, anguish, and bad faith, and carefully situates them in the different relations of self to the otherrelations of indifference and destruction, as well as relations of engagement and pledge. She joins (...) the two orders of beingontology and sociology - and establishes intellectual and ethical continuity between the phenomenology of Being and Nothingness, Sartre's momentous early work and neglected sociological categories in his later works. Critique of Dialectical Reason and Notebooks for an Ethics. Hayim makes accessible to the social scientist a rich repertoire of existential motifs and perspectives on community and group interactions and their inextricable bond to the life practice of the individual. The author contends that the massive language of a "sociology of things" instills in the human actor a feeling of helplessness and gross inferiority vis-a-vis the social world. She offers, in contrast, the existential emphasis on the importance of substituting live human experience for mechanistic processes of explanation and of establishing a language of conscious choice and responsibility in place of the massive language found in orthodox social analysis. The new introductory essay suggests the influence of Sartre on new discourses in sociological and social-psychological theory, especially with reference to our contemporary disaffection with classical notions of emancipation and other "universalized discourses," as well as in reference to current debates on "essentialism" and "self-identity." Hayim's book will interest a wide variety of readers including phenomenologists, sociologists, admirers of Sartre's theories, and students of existential social psychology. (shrink)
Existentialism was one of the leading philosophical movements of the twentieth century. Focusing on its seven leading figures, Sartre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty and Camus, this Very Short Introduction provides a clear account of the key themes of the movement which emphasized individuality, free will, and personal responsibility in the modern world. Drawing in the movement's varied relationships with the arts, humanism, and politics, this book clarifies the philosophy and original meaning of 'existentialism' - which has (...) tended to be obscured by misappropriation. Placing it in its historical context, Thomas Flynn also highlights how existentialism is still relevant to us today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable. (shrink)
Offering a critical examination of Lewis Gordon’s work by international scholars engaging in radical epistemological transformation for social change, this volume explores the importance of radical theory and thinkers to push for projects of change in the area of Black Existentialism.
Have you ever wondered what the phrase “God is dead” means? You’ll find out in _Existentialism For Dummies_, a handy guide to Nietzsche, Sartre, and Kierkegaard’s favorite philosophy. See how existentialist ideas have influenced everything from film and literature to world events and discover whether or not existentialism is still relevant today. You’ll find an introduction to existentialism and understand how it fits into the history of philosophy. This insightful guide will expose you to existentialism’s ideas about (...) the absurdity of life and the ways that existentialism guides politics, solidarity, and respect for others. There’s even a section on religious existentialism. You’ll be able to reviewkey existential themes and writings. Find out how to: Trace the influence of existentialism Distinguish each philosopher’s specific ideas Explain what it means to say that “God is dead” See culture through an existentialist lens Understand the existentialist notion of time, finitude, and death Navigate the absurdity of life Master the art of individuality Complete with lists of the ten greatest existential films, ten great existential aphorisms, and ten common misconceptions about existentialism, _Existentialism_ _For Dummies_ is your one-stop guide to a very influential school of thought. (shrink)
There are two main accounts of what it is for external objects to be presented in visual experience. According to particularism, particular objects are built into the representational contents of experiences. Existentialism is a quite different view. According to existentialism, the representational contents of perceptual experiences are general rather than particular, in the sense that the contents can be fully captured by existentially quantified statements. The present paper is a defense of existentialism. It argues that existentialism (...) is much better equipped than particularism to explain the contents of hallucinations, and it defends existentialism against three objections. (shrink)