It is through transcendence—or what the existentialists also refer to as my “projects”—that the world is revealed, takes on meaning; but such projects are themselves factic or “situated”—not the product of some antecedently constituted “person” or intelligible character but embedded in a world that is decidedly not my representation. Because my projects are who I am in the mode of engaged agency (and not like plans that I merely represent to myself in reflective deliberation), the world in a certain sense reveals to me who I am.

Just a quote from the SEP at random. I'm a little confused about the last sentence, as it may seem to exclude "reflective deliberation" from the process of forming a project, which seems wrong. I would hope 'merely' here means not just, rather than to belittle reflection, which I'd imagine is a component of good decision making, if not authenticity.

Anyway, my question is, given the above, does anyone suggest that the very idea of forming projects, with or without a reflective genesis, is confused, that in doing so we are doomed to less life?

  • Do you mean do any existentialists reject existential transcendence or do you mean does anyone at all reject this idea?
    – virmaior
    Aug 9, 2018 at 0:55
  • It means that the engaged agency is contrasted with theorizing, the usual mode of "reflective deliberation" detached from existence and practice. I am not sure what "the very idea of forming projects" means, but existentialism was in part a reaction against 19th century philosophies like transcendental and absolute idealism, which were seen as rarefied and lifeless from too much speculation and "reflection".
    – Conifold
    Aug 9, 2018 at 4:35
  • I'm unable to understand the extract or the question. But don't worry about this. It may be because it emerges from existentialism, an idea I've never been able to define let alone grasp.
    – user20253
    Aug 9, 2018 at 15:23
  • The citation correctly stresses that the very choice or decision making that changes our project from one to another and which reveals us the world - is non-reflective. It is so, project is not a plan or representation, it is pre-cogital.
    – ttnphns
    Aug 15, 2018 at 1:32


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.