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 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doxa that the generation of ‘poststructuralist’ philosophers broke decisively with existentialism and rendered it out of date, a mere historical curiosity.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)
Existentialism is a concern about the foundation of meaning, morals, and purpose. Existentialisms arise when some foundation for these elements of being is under assault. In the past, first-wave existentialism concerned the increasingly apparent inability of religion, and religious tradition, to provide such a foundation, as typified in the writings of Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, and Nietzsche. Second-wave existentialism, personified philosophically by Sartre, Camus, and de Beauvoir, developed in response to the inability of an overly optimistic Enlightenment vision of (...) reason and the common good to provide such a foundation. There is a third-wave existentialism, a new existentialism, developing in response to advances in the neurosciences that threaten the last vestiges of an immaterial soul or self. With the increasing explanatory and therapeutic power of neuroscience, the mind no longer stands apart from the world to serve as a foundation of meaning. This produces foundational anxiety. This collection of new essays explores the anxiety caused by this third-wave existentialism and some responses to it. It brings together some of the world’s leading philosophers, neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, and legal scholars to tackle our neuroexistentialist predicament and explore what the mind sciences can tell us about morality, love, emotion, autonomy, consciousness, selfhood, free will, moral responsibility, law, the nature of criminal punishment, meaning in life, and purpose. (shrink)
Webber argues for a new interpretation of Sartrean existentialism. On this reading, Sartre is arguing that each person’s character consists in the projects they choose to pursue and that we are all already aware of this but prefer not to face it. Careful consideration of his existentialist writings shows this to be the unifying theme of his theories of consciousness, freedom, the self, bad faith, personal relationships, existential psychoanalysis, and the possibility of authenticity. Developing this account affords many insights (...) into various aspects of his philosophy, not least concerning the origins, structure, and effects of bad faith and the resulting ethic of authenticity. This discussion makes clear the contributions that Sartre’s work can make to current debates over the objectivity of ethics and the psychology of agency, character, and selfhood. Written in an accessible style and illustrated with reference to Sartre’s fiction, this book should appeal to general readers and students as well as to specialists. (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)
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.
What are we to make of works of art whose apparent point is to convince us of the meaninglessness and absurdity of human existence? I examine, in this paper, the attempt of Albert Camus to provide philosophical justification of art in the face of the supposed fact of absurdity and note its failure as such with specific reference to Sartre’s criticism. Despite other superficial similarities, I contrast Camus’s concept of the absurd with that of his ‘existentialist’ colleagues, including Sartre, and (...) suggest that the latter concept is more philosophically viable. I conclude that existential phenomenology consequently provides a more promising philosophical justification for artistic creation in the light of the more viable conception of absurdity. (shrink)
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)
In this review, I will focus on how William Irwin’s The Free Market Existentialist manages to take a broad definition of existentialism and narrow it into dogma. Such narrowing limits the appeal of this book and causes an interesting discussion to fall short of its promised goal: a demonstration that libertarianism is compatible, and perhaps a natural fit, with existentialism.
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 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)
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)
Following Robert C. Solomon’s Living with Nietzsche, I defend an interpretation of Nietzsche’s views about freedom that are in line with the existentialist notion of self-creation. Given Nietzsche’s emphasis on the limitations on human freedom, his critique of the notion of causa sui (self-creation out of nothing), and his critique of morality for relying on the assumption that we have free will, it may be surprising that he could be taken seriously as an existentialist—existentialism characteristically takes freedom and self-creation (...) to be central to the human condition. Nietzsche does not endorse a radical notion of freedom; he is rather emphatically critical of any such notion. However, I argue that he does have room for a certain kind of freedom and self-creation that supports Solomon’s characterization of him as an existentialist. (shrink)
The variety of existentialist thought show existentialism to be a flexible denotation, one that can be shared by believers and atheists alike. When approaching such a loosely defined term as “existentialism” a few questions arise. What are the boundaries for inclusion or exclusion? Are there more authentic forms of existentialism than others? The former question is usually dealt with by showing the history of existentialism—from Kierkegaard to Nietzsche, Heidegger to Sartre—along with noting some common strands amongst (...) their writings . The latter question is much harder to deal with. It asks for a value judgement as to which kind of existentialism is more authentic than others. It relates to the former because the person answering such a question has to have an idea of what existentialism ought to look like, but it goes beyond it by asking a deliberately evaluative question. This article is going to take both questions into account by examining the concepts and content of existentialist authors, their strengths and weaknesses, and is going to explain why I think atheistic existentialism is more authentic than religious existentialism. (shrink)
Written collaboratively by two undergraduate students and one professor, this article explores what it would mean to teach existentialism “existentially.” We conducted a survey of how Existentialism is currently taught in universities across North America, concluding that, while existentialism courses tend to resemble other undergraduate philosophy courses, existentialist texts challenge us to rethink conventional teaching practices. Looking to thinkers like Kierkegaard, Beauvoir and Arendt for insights into the nature of pedagogy, as well as recent work by Gert (...) Biesta, we lay out the four qualities that we propose characterize “existentialist” teaching practices: an emphasis on teaching over learning and on the “how” over the what; the cultivation of newness as well as capacities for resistance. Reflecting on the significance of existentialism for classroom dynamics, we conclude by examining the tensions between existentialist commitments to freedom and prevailing trends in higher education. This essay raises questions about the emancipatory potential of existentialist philosophies, especially in the context of undergraduate classrooms. (shrink)
Despite their differences in origin, the three influential schools of twentieth-century continental cultural criticism--the Frankfurt School, existentialism, and poststructuralism--have long been treated as an ensemble and with critical hesitancy. Examining these schools as responses to the apparent collapse of Western civilization in the twentieth-century and as formidable intellectual challenges to the cultural legacies of the Enlightenment, this book provides a productive base for criticism and broadens our understanding of their histories and reception.
Philosophers continue to be sceptical about the possibility of constructing an existentialist ethical theory. This article explores two of the main reasons for this scepticism and draws on Jean-Paul Sartre's "Existentialism and Humanism" to suggest that there is a way around them.
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)
Existentialism exerts a continuing fascination on students of philosophy and general readers. As a philosophical phenomenon, though, it is often poorly understood, as a form of radical subjectivism that turns its back on reason and argumentation and possesses all the liabilities of philosophical idealism but without any idealistic conceptual clarity. In this volume of original essays, the first to be devoted exclusively to existentialism in over forty years, a team of distinguished commentators discuss the ideas of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, (...) Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Beauvoir and show how their focus on existence provides a compelling perspective on contemporary issues in moral psychology and philosophy of mind, language and history. A further sequence of chapters examines the influence of existential ideas beyond philosophy, in literature, religion, politics and psychiatry. The volume offers a rich and comprehensive assessment of the continuing vitality of existentialism as a philosophical movement and a cultural phenomenon. (shrink)
This essay charts the author’s philosophical journey from schoolboy enthusiasms for Sartre, Plato, and Buddhism to the equally intercultural themes of his writings over the last few decades. It tells of his disillusion with the dominant style of philosophy in 1960s Oxford and of the liberating effect of working for three years in the USA. The author relates the revival of his interest in Existentialism and how his reading of Heidegger led to an increasing appreciation of Asian traditions of (...) thought. The essay explains why it is important for philosophers to be acquainted with non-western traditions. This importance is illustrated by the ways in which the author draws upon various world philosophies in his recent writings on, for example, mystery, our relationship to nature, and the significance of beauty. (shrink)
A tongue-in-cheek send-up of certain aspects of existentialism written by a well-known logician and philosopher who had a serious affair with existentialism in his youth. It was never submitted for publication and is finally being made available here posthumously with the permission of Helen Eberle. To the best of my recollection it was written some time in the mid/late 1980s. -- Gary H. Merrill.
In July 1940, Simone de Beauvoir began a routine of going to the Bibliothèque Nationale most days from 2.00 to 5.00 p.m. to read G. W. F. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Hitler's armies had invaded and occupied Paris earlier, on June 14, 1940. She was teaching philosophy classes at a girls' lycée and living in her grandmother's empty apartment. Her close companion, Jean-Paul Sartre, who had been a soldier in a meteorological unit of the French Army, had been captured and (...) was now being held in a German prisoner-of-war camp. Beauvoir was relieved to receive a note from him sent on July 2 saying he was being well treated, but life in Paris was dismal. Food was scarce, and the German troops were grim reminders of Parisians' lack of political freedom. Her reading routine helped soothe the dread, isolation, and alienation she felt. Beauvoir had always been a very earnest student. She had passed the demanding aggregation exam in philosophy at the young age of twenty-one. To supplement her knowledge of classical philosophical texts, she learned German and read texts in phenomenology. In 1935 she had read Edmund Husserl's The Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness “without too much difficulty.” She also read Heidegger and translated long passages into French for Sartre. Back when she was in college, her prodigious work habits had earned her a special nickname among her friends: Castor, or the beaver. Poring over a difficult philosophical text in a foreign language for three hours a day might seem a strange way to get through such times, but with her it made sense. (shrink)
Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. The fourteen original essays in this volume focus on the phenomenological and existentialist writings of the first major phase of his published career, arguing with scholarly precision for their continuing importance to philosophical debate. Aspects of Sartre’s philosophy under discussion in this volume include: consciousness and self-consciousness imagination and aesthetic experience emotions and other feelings embodiment selfhood and the Other freedom, bad faith, and authenticity literary fiction as (...) philosophical writing _Reading Sartre: on Phenomenology and Existentialism_ is an indispensable resource for understanding the nature and importance of Sartre’s philosophy. It is essential reading for students of phenomenology, existentialism, ethics, or aesthetics, and for anyone interested in the roots of contemporary thought in twentieth century philosophy. (shrink)
Maurice Friedman's masterly anthology still stands apart decades after its original publication. It has become established as a classic - the most comprehensive collection of existentialist writing ever assembled. This edition includes a special preface by Professor Friedman surveying the developments in the field since this monumental work was first published and commenting on its relevance for present intellectual trends. The short selections from important existentialist writers and their forerunners elucidate the critical issues that exist among existentialists. The topics include (...) phenomenology and ontology, the existential subject, intersubjectivity, religion, and psychotherapy. (shrink)
This book is a discussion of Heidegger's, Sartre's and Marcel's rejection of Cartesian epistemology, the scepticism to which it leads and its objectivist conception of human existence. It compares this rejection with Wittgenstein's rejection of these conceptions of man, his relation to the knowledge of what belongs to the world in which he lives. It concentrates on the existentialist critiques of consciousness as a substance and of the self as such a substance, of each person's body as something external to (...) which he is causally related, and of others as at best indirectly accessible to us. It discusses Sartre's positive views on these questions and the way he falls into a form of solipsism himself. It then considers Sartre's rejection of determinism and his conception of freedom as our capacity for choice. In a concluding chapter the book sketches a non-objectivist account of the self, its development, its 'bad faith', its capacity to emerge from it, and its knowledge of itself, free from the objections considered earlier. It then considers some new objections directed at its own account. Contents: Man in the World; Man's Way of Being: Existential Dualism; The Personal Dimension: Emotions and Value Judgements; Sartre and our Identity as Individuals; Mind and Body: Rejection of Cartesian Dualism; Sartre on the Self and the Other: Rejection of Cartesian Solipsism; Human Separateness and the Possibility of Communion: Marcel's Rejection of Sartrean Solipsism; Sartre: Freedom as Something to which Man is Condemned; Self, Self-Knowledge and Self-Change: A Non-Objectivist View and its Defense. (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.
I defend a neo-Kantian view wherein we are capable of being completely autonomous and impartial and argue that this ability can ground normativity. As this view includes an existentialist conception of the self, I defend radical choice, a primary component of that conception, against arguments many take to be definitive. I call the ability to use radical choice “existentialist voluntarism” and bring it into a current debate in normative philosophy, arguing that it allows that we can be distanced from all (...) ends at once so as to be completely impartial. Finally, I indicate how this can be the source of normativity as it provides a purely impartial reason for being rational. (shrink)
Many philosophers embrace both evolution and existentialism as though these two views provide a mutually supportive foundation for atheism. The story goes that evolution tells us life is meaningless while existentialism tells us what to do about it. In this paper, I aim to debunk this story. I begin by explaining the existentialist quest for the meaning of life. Then I explain why it is inconsistent with the principles of evolution. In the end, I argue that the quest (...) for the meaning of life should be abandoned. It is a misleading project that science renders unnecessary. Looked at in this light, existentialism appears as a stripped down version of religion, vainly clinging to dramatic fantasies about human life. Evolution has had a deep and valuable impact upon philosophy. It will not have completed its work, however, until it stamps out existentialism and its atavistic angst once and for all. (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)
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)
The debate in relation to the soul suffers nowadays from a great lack of clarity. At least part of this cloudiness stems from a confusion among three different viewpoints that are not always reconcilable or mutually intelligible: the scientific point of view (natural sciences and empirical psychology), the therapeutic point of view (especially psychoanalysis) and the philosophical point of view. The goal of this paper is to blow away a little this cloudiness, and to introduce into the discussion a view (...) that has not yet received its proper place in it: existentialism. The scientific approach investigates the soul as if it were an object in the world, a fact. This approach gives priority to objective observations over subjective ones, and steps in the direction of materialization of the soul (the soul becomes the mind and the mind becomes the brain). Transcendental philosophy and psychological therapies explain the relation between the subject and its objects, and by this reveal the subjective dimension of our reality as the ground not only for our objective knowledge but for our ethical life as well. Existentialism, I suggest, makes a further and important step in this direction by focusing on individualistic aspects of human existence, which science could not know and general theories of the subject do not see. (shrink)
Professor Grossman’s introduction to the revolutionary work of Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre studies the ideas of their predecessors too, explaining in detail Descartes’s conception of the mind, Brentano’s theory of intentionality, and Kierkegaard’s emphasis on dread, while tracing the debate over existence and essence as far back as Aquinas and Aristotle. For a full understanding of the existentialists and phenomenologists, we must also understand the problems that they were trying to solve. This book, originally published in 1984, presents clearly how (...) the main concerns of phenomenology and existentialism grew out of tradition. (shrink)
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)
Africa has always been viewed as a land of the world’s greatest potential. It has been described ad nauseam as a land of abundant natural and human resources, the cradle of civilization and the bastion of man’s natural spirituality. In spite of this apparent superlative richness, the present African condition is also well documented as a paradox. If Africa is this resource rich, why is it so backward and economically poor? In line with the existentialist notion of solicitude and care, (...) this paper argues for a case of global ‘Samaritanism’, that is, an unsolicited care for the other that is nonetheless morally obligatory by virtue of a shared world and common existence. Drawing insight from the submission of Peter Singer, this paper posits that, if we have the capacity to intervene and prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought morally to do it. This paper’s contribution to existing knowledge rests on the extension of Singer’s principle of ‘Samaritanism’ to include solicitude and actionable intervention on life-threatening human conditions of whatever kind. Key words : Africa, Cultural Menaces, Singer, Samaritanism, Existentialism, Fursorge. (shrink)
Jean-Paul Sartre is often seen as the quintessential public intellectual, but this was not always the case. Until the mid-1940s he was not so well-known, even in France. Then suddenly, in a very short period of time, Sartre became an intellectual celebrity. How can we explain this remarkable transformation? The Existentialist Moment retraces Sartre s career and provides a compelling new explanation of his meteoric rise to fame. Baert takes the reader back to the confusing and traumatic period of the (...) Second World War and its immediate aftermath and shows how the unique political and intellectual landscape in France at this time helped to propel Sartre and existentialist philosophy to the fore. The book also explores why, from the early 1960s onwards, in France and elsewhere, the interest in Sartre and existentialism eventually waned. The Existentialist Moment ends with a bold new theory for the study of intellectuals and a provocative challenge to the widespread belief that the public intellectual is a species now on the brink of extinction. (shrink)
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.
Existentialism has come to be identified as a critical, reactionary way of thinking, celebrating the individual, freedom, embodiment, and the limits of rationality and systematic theorizing. For the most part this assessment is true of the early and, by now, “classical” works of existentialism, those that first burst upon the philosophical and cultural scene. Circulating Being centers on the later works of several well-known French existentialists (Camus, Marcel, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty) to trace out the development of their existential thinking (...) about language, communicative life, ethics, and politics. This development “from embodiment to incorporation” carries existentialism beyond identification with the mere reactionary and reveals how, while prefiguring postmodernism in important ways, the existential thinkers dealt with here reveal themselves to be reconstructive of the Western tradition. This is apparent in the growing appreciation of difference in their late works along with a reluctance to surrender the ideal of unity, and in their reappropriation of truth and justice while repudiating a totalizing metaphysics. (shrink)
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.
This volume develops and defends critical realism whilst engaging critically with existentialist philosophy in a number of ways. The work of existentialist thinkers as diverse as Kierkegarrd, R.D. Laing, Heideggar and Sartre is discussed at length and Andrew Collier argues that there is much to be learnt from their work, especially in Heidegger's critique of the technological view of the world. However the book concludes with a defence of objectivity against the various forms of subjectivism advanced by the existentialists.
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.