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Questions tagged [existentialism]

A loose title covering : the individual, the experience of choice, and the absence of rational understanding of the universe with a consequent dread or sense of absurdity in human life.

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What are some philosophical works that explore constructing meaning in life from an agnostic or atheist view?

I've been deeply suicidal for years, but it's gotten worse recently. I grew up Mormon, and last year I realized I couldn't believe in it anymore. I just couldn't; it would take too long to explain. I ...
Emily Savage's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

The phenomenon of Négatité

I am a novice to JP Sartre's philosophy of existentialism and I came across the notion that in Being and Nothingness,The Origin of Negation where he claims that "nothingness is at the origin of ...
O.A.'s user avatar
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3 answers
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On freedom in Sartre's existentialism

I am reading "Existenstialism is a humanism", the text of the famous conference by Sartre in which he explains his own version of existentialism. I think is full of logical inconsistencies, but maybe ...
luca a.'s user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
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Sartre on essence

Yesterday my professor said something that seemed rather strange. Roughly, it was According to Sartre, humans are the only beings that don't have an essence. Now I haven't read Sartre, and I'm not ...
Canyon's user avatar
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42 votes
15 answers
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How come nihilism is so popular today?

I've been trying to attack this question (or more precisely, come up with an answer to that fact) for some time now, but after a while of research I'm suddenly not so sure of the reason the situation ...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
6k views

Does Sartre imitate Kant in moral philosophy?

This is not originally my question but someone deleted their question while I was typing an answer to it. Consequently, I'm reposting the question and then my answer -- n.b., I've changed the title ...
virmaior's user avatar
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12 votes
5 answers
3k views

What is an existentialist?

When watching this speech by the Atari founder, he says (at 09:19): If you're a true existentialist [...] you want to have an interesting life. Thus, if someone says he or she is an existentialist,...
Michael's user avatar
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10 answers
4k views

What's the reason to live in this life?

I'm scared of life too much. What will happen after this life ends? Even in this life, what is happening? Are we just some animals who have higher consciousness and are interacting with each other? ...
Srijan's user avatar
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3 answers
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Existentialism and the absensce of free will

One of the most famous doctrines of existentialism formulated by Jean Paul Sartre is that we are absolutely free. Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible ...
Ben's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
254 views

Interpretation of an existentialist quotation by Camus

In *The Plague*, Rieux, the main character of Albert Camus's novel in Chapter 15 says: I've seen too much of hospitals to relish any idea of collective punishment. What does he mean by this? How ...
newbie's user avatar
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1 answer
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What sort of thought is nihilism?

The basic question for nihilism (as I understand) is "Why do I exist?" As they try to deny it. I was wondering that this is not a well defined concept. The argument is as follows, I exist ...
theseeker's user avatar
42 votes
14 answers
11k views

Is faith necessary for man to survive / why is existentialism valued if it is unsubstantiated?

I'd like to point out that I have basically no knowledgeable background in philosophy, but this question has been troubling me as of late, and I need an informed take on this. I was watching a video ...
sangstar's user avatar
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15 votes
6 answers
729 views

Do Kierkegaard's non-pseudonymous writings enable one to understand Kierkegaard's philosophy much?

As I read them, Kierkegaard's writings can be split into two groups: the mostly philosophical psuedonymous, and more theological non-pseudonymous works. I have read primarily the pseudonymous works (...
Tom Morris's user avatar
15 votes
12 answers
10k views

Rationality of Suicide?

I came across a story about a kid who committed suicide after carefully calculating the benefits of life and deciding it was not worth living. I am wondering if any philosopher has considered the ...
Sushi's user avatar
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14 votes
10 answers
3k views

What are some philosophical arguments for accepting absurdity?

In absurdist philosophy, the Absurd arises out of the fundamental disharmony between the individual's search for meaning and the meaninglessness of the universe. As beings looking for meaning in a ...
John's user avatar
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11 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why does Camus consider an absurd life better than suicide?

Source: pp 200-201, A Little History of Philosophy (2011 ed; not 2012 Reprint ed.) by Nigel Warburton PhD in Philosophy. A novice, I am still easing into philosophy with introductions and do not feel ...
user avatar
8 votes
10 answers
2k views

Can existence be justified as ‘better’ than non-existence?

I’m relatively new to philosophy. Been doing some soul-searching, and asked myself ‘is good empirically better than evil’. Found a thread on here, where people pointed out that science cannot really ...
Reefkeeper27's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

what are the differences of existentialism to epicurianism?

Although not an expert, I do see many similarities on both these currents' focus on man himself, aboloshing all idols and taking control of his fate. Are there any real differences between these two ...
p.a.'s user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
10k views

Truth is subjectivity

What does Kierkegaard mean when he says " Truth is subjectivity " in his book - Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments. Since "Subjectivity refers to how someone's judgment is ...
shrey's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
544 views

What are some book suggestions for further reading about Camus and the absurd, after reading the Stranger and Myth of Sisyphus?

I read The Stranger a long time ago, but I'm sure I missed a lot. More recently I've read a bit of Kierkegaard and now I'm making my way through The Myth of Sisyphus (and am more inclined to agree ...
BurnsBA's user avatar
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1 answer
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Does existentialism presuppose the supernatural?

When it comes to debates about the existence of an "all powerful all knowing god" believers and non-believers alike often times both agree that the existence of that god can't be scientifically or ...
Josh Miller's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
20k views

What is the difference between existentialism, nihilism and absurdism?

I do not have any formal training in these subjects or any of philosophy, for that matter. So, forgive me for my naive question. As I understand it, all of these take the view that "existence ...
Agnishom Chattopadhyay's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
789 views

Refuting nihilism - why pursue happiness if it can be stripped from us by accidental events at any time?

I was encouraged to start a new question thread pertaining to a question that sprung out from this one. According to one of the users's answers: The delusion of the joys of life that had ...
sangstar's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
351 views

Existentialism in relation to Roberto Unger's Beyond Nihilism

Roberto Mangabeira Unger's series of talks Beyond Nihilism sorts historical religions and other -isms (democracy, liberalism, socialism, romantizism etc.) eloquently into three orientations, namely ...
Drux's user avatar
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3 votes
5 answers
728 views

What is existence for existentialists?

As my current work leaded me to analyse existence from the systemic point of view, I've decided it's time to read Sartre and about existentialism, which I've long time postponed. So I've started with ...
RodolfoAP's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
381 views

What is the core argument for anti-natalism in this paper by Jiwon Hwang?

I stumbled upon this paper written by Jiwoon Hwang. It's about why it is better to cease existing. He uses David Benatar's assymetry to come to a pro-mortalist conclusion; but unlike Harman, he ...
Rayyan khan's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
288 views

Does anyone consider Being a primitive, unanalyzable, term?

Does anyone say that Being is a primitive, unanalyzable, term? That probably would make Being and Time the greatest work of nonsense of all time. I certainly feel able to imagine that Being is ...
user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is existentialism philosophy?

I believe that philosophy is defined by its method, which is based on logical analysis. It is not merely any discipline that investigates the world's conditions and the meaning of life. To be a ...
Jeremy Hadfield's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
218 views

“That melancholy convention cannot be persuasive.” What does this quote mean (from the Myth of Sisyphus)?

For context, this is the paragraph: I come at last to death and to the attitude we have toward it. On this point, everything has been said and it is only proper to avoid pathos. Yet one will never be ...
Newniz Leibton's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
533 views

What is Merleau-Ponty's "perceptual faith"?

What is Merleau-Ponty's "perceptual faith"? Can it be summarized in a series of propositions, or is it less amenable to systematization than that?
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1 vote
2 answers
296 views

A newbie's highly thought-upon plan for starting philosophy [closed]

How's it going guys, I hope you're all having a great time! Greetings, to all the great minds here! I would really appreciate your help with my entrance to the infinite world of philosophy. First, I ...
History Of Tea's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

what lies beyond absurdity?

What should I read to break out of the endless loop that brings me back to the absurdity of (my?) perceived reality? (I'm not talking on a human scale but on an endless time scale) If the question has ...
val's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
211 views

Is conscious thought ever necessary?

I have noticed that every time I end up "sitting down" and "thinking" about something as if it's some sort of exercise to plan out, I end up just repeating thoughts in my head or ...
user avatar
1 vote
7 answers
203 views

Did Descartes make assumptions in his "I think therefore I exist"?

Didn't Descartes assume the act of doubting, before "proving" that "I think therefore I exist". Its possible to "feel uncertain about feeling uncertain" i.e. doubt the ...
Fraser Pye's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Who were the famous moral nihilists (philosophers) of 20th and 19th century?

If existential nihilism claims nothing has meaning does it also take moral values in to account?
Pallab Behari Chaklanabis's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
963 views

How can free will be reconciled with materialism? [closed]

I know that my mind is a network of neurons, where some personality resides, with emotional responses, and motivation. I know that love and friendship and fear and many other phenomena stem from ...
Ronald Railgun's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
289 views

Does any "nihilist" philosopher nevertheless place value on synthesizing nihility [closed]

Theodor Adorno opens his treatise on negative dialectics with the statement that "[it] is a phrase that flouts tradition. As early as Plato, dialectics meant to achieve something positive by means ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
451 views

Please help with suggestions for existential or philosophical inspired team names? [closed]

I imagine that this question will be frowned upon, but it's a bit of fun and hopefully, we can have some fun with this. I am doing the Mongol Rally in 2023 in a red Suzuki Alto and need to come up ...
Cairan Van Rooyen's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
255 views

Why care for anything in life? [closed]

Great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in his Thus spoke Zarathustra told us a man should become an ‘ overman ‘ or ‘ ubermensch ‘i.e. someone who believes in the nihilism of the universe (Believing ...
S.M.T's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Is plastic surgery cheating evolution or genetics? [closed]

In the West and modern society, is plastic surgery objectively cheating genetic destiny? Say a man is not too attractive -- average looking -- and does not manage many sexual partners, if any at all. ...
Sey Charl's user avatar