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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Notion of space and time

In Critique of pure reason, Kant mentions the theory of space and time, which is a priori. It will be used in Heidegger's Being and Time. However, In his second meditation, it seems that Descartes ...
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Heidegger's “Dasein” vs. Sartre's “Being for itself”

I must admit, I am relatively new to existentialist philosophy. But I couldn't help notice the similarities between Heidegger's "Dasein" and Satre's "Being-for-itself". I was ...
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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 ...
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What were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was interested in?

I have read most of the books by Albert Camus thoroughly. I know that Camus' theory is absurdity but I want to know his take on morality. I mean, what were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was ...
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What is meant: "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

Does someone have some reliable source what was meant by quote by Søren Kierkegaard in the title? Can you elaborate? Does it mean for example I shouldn't think how to solve some problem, rather say go ...
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What was Beauvoirs example of meaningless freedom involving a harem?

I am looking up sources on Simone de Beauvoir's account of freedom and found this in an old issue of a philosophy magazine: She had argued with him that freedom of any sort was pretty meaningless for ...
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Where to start reading about Existentialism

I've recently picked up reading and want to start learning about philosophy but more particularly existentialism. My first exposure to existentialism and philosophy as a whole was through reading ...
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How to deal with nihilist approaches to live a productive life? [closed]

Right off the bat, I'm a high school science student with no academic background in philosophy, other than mere personal interest. I've read meditations (like everyone else), general articles and have ...
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Are there any philosophers associated with phenomenology and existentialism that argue that death should not matter to an individual?

I have mainly been focussing upon Heidegger in relation to death and the way in which he believes it is of great importance because in order to live authentically one must 'be-towards-death'. surley ...
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Why should Dasein be authentic when one knows that he/she will be responsible for his/her actions when he chooses authenticity over inauthenticity?

Answers except "to know about being yourself" are really appreciated because this is the question itself. What should I strive to know about myself when I am happy with my life right now, ...
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Is my understanding of Ethics in Existentialism correct? I'm trying to get over how Sartre and de Beauvoir tackle the problem of anarchy

Please check my reasoning! Existentialism says that man is what he wills himself to be, and needs to decide his own morality. There is no overarching maxim that can a priori guide his moral judgements,...
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What are some essential quotes or excerpts from Existentialist literature?

I'm working on an english project on Existentialism, and my job is to find and explain quotes from Existentialist literature. I already have a quote from Nausea by Jean-Paul Sarte that I will include ...
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Has Ingmar Bergman's existentialism been studied by philosophers?

The legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman oftentimes is described as incorporating the language of existential philosophy into his films. Common in his work from the late '50s onward are characters who ...
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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 ...
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Can Zizek's big Other be seen as a collective form of “bad faith”?

I refer to this question to define the big Other for Zizek. Couldn't the big Other be seen as what enforces the mauvaise foi (what makes us behave like we have no choice to avoid existential dread), ...
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Do any mainstream philosophers talk about a duty to being to true to yourself?

I'm just wondering who has taken Kant's ideas and still explicates on duties to oneself including the duty of being true to who you are, to be authentic. I know existentialism also considers the ...
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Kierkegaard and Dostoyevsky - Was Dostoyevsky a Christian Existentialist?

Whilst reading the major ideas of Kierkegaard's Christian Existentialism I found that some have placed Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" in the same philosophical tradition. It seems ...
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Theory that we do everything for our own benefit

Are there any popular theories or principles that answer this question: Do all actions proceed from a need to satisfy one's own personal discontent? In the future I want to study theoretical physics. ...
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What is the meaning of this aphorism by Merleau-Ponty

What is the meaning of this aphorism by Merleau-Ponty We are condemned to meaning, and we cannot do or say anything without its acquiring a name in history and is it true?
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I will be dead, but not sooner or later?

Are there properties, rather than the referents of terms, which can only be predicated of one thing? for those who attach metaphysical weight to the distinction between expressing (predicates) and ...
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What is the relationship between positional and non-positional consciousness for Sartre?

I am wondering when one is non-positionally conscious of a feeling, is that feeling facticity or also positional consciousness of an object? In a word is reflection in the presence to self duality ...
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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 ...
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Does Heidegger, or any Heidegderian, say that my “ownmost” has Being?

Does Heidegger, or any Heidegderian, say that my "ownmost" has Being? Obviously, that term often means "death", and I'm guessing Heidegger says death has no Being. But perhaps he ...
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Sartre on morality in “Existentialism is a Humanism”

After reading Existentialism is a Humanism, I am struggling to understand Sartre's stance on morality. If I understand correctly, he believes that no moral rule can be derived from reason, and that ...
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Why didn't Heidegger take other kinds emotion as the deepest and original feeling of Dasein?

As the author of The phenomenological movement, Spiegelberg. H., put it, why should Heidegger take "angst" or "Sorge" as the deepest and original feeling of Dasein (although I myself support it and ...
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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,...
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In what ways are Kierkegaard and Hegel similar?

It is well known that Kierkegaard's philosophy is, in large part, a response to or critique of Hegel's philosophy. How, then, are they similar? Is there any way to reconcile their differences, or to ...
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Why does Sartre say one cannot be anything unless others recognize one as such?

I was reading "Existentialism is a humanism" here. Though most of it is clear, I have trouble understanding how he makes the below claim which comes near the end of the lecture. How do you go from "I ...
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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 ...
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Existentialism and morality

I'm quite confused about Sartre and his relationship to morality. He talks a lot about responsibility. When I think of responsibility, punishment and law come to my mind. But I suppose Sartre's ...
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Is atheism a requirement for a consistent existentialist philosophy?

Søren Kierkegaard is generally considered to be the "father of existentialism". This always bothered me, since to me Sartre and Camus are the defining figures of the movement, and it seems that there ...
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Was Marx an existentialist?

Obviously someone like Marcuse is often lumped under both 'Marxism' and 'existentialism'. What about Marx? I ask myself a lot how there can be any meaning to life when death is inevitable and ...
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If other versions of us existed on alternate worlds, would we be morally responsible for the actions of these alternate versions of us? [closed]

Hypothetically, if the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics were correct, meaning an infinite number of alternate versions of each of us, containing our respective memories and experiences, ...
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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?
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Sartre's “The transcendence of the ego”

In this text there are parts of Kant that Sartre refers to that I don't think I fully understand. What parts of Kant would I have to refer to to understand where Sartre is coming from? He refers to ...
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What was Sartre's thought on good and evil?

If existentialism according to Sartre hold everyone responsible. Why Sartre said "men are condemned to be free"?
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Does anyone talk about freedom from yourself?

The question may seem vague -- what do I mean by "yourself"? I googled it, and there's something by the Indian mystic Osho, and it's the title of a book on the Persian Islamic poet Rumi. But does any ...
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In his book The Fall why does Camus say that it will always be too late to save?

'So tell me, please, what happened to you one evening on the banks of Seine and how you managed never to risk your life. Say the words that for years have not ceased to echo through my nights and that ...
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Do some philosophers believe there is no present, past, and future — and if so how on earth do they?

Nor does 20th (21st) -century physics countenance the idea that there is anything ontologically special about the past, as opposed to the present and the future. In fact, it fails to use these ...
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From Sartre's Being and Nothingness, what is the difference between reflective consciousness and self-reflective consciousness?

I am currently writing a philosophy paper for one of my graduate courses and one of the questions posed is "how can consciousness be pre-reflective, reflective, and self-reflective?" My ...
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Is absurdism dated and what's beyond The Myth of Sisyphus?

In the preface written in 1955 by Albert Camus of my edition of The Myth of Sisyphus it says: After fifteen years I have progressed beyond several of the positions which are set down here; but I ...
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How do I free myself from being enslaved by the randomness of reality without committing suicide? [closed]

I want to state two points first: I do not find suicide as a possible solution for me. The last thing I would do is to kill myself, because I want to live forever. This is a philosophical question, “...
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What was Camus’ opinion of hedonism and determinism?

I’ve read The Myth Of Sisyphus, and it prompted some questions that I’m hoping other readers of Camus might be able to answer: Did Camus see unbridled hedonism as a solution to the nihilism caused by ...
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Does linguistic idealism imply scientific anti-realism, and are any existentialists committed to anti-realism for that reason?

Does linguistic idealism imply scientific anti-realism? By scientific anti-realism I mean the opinion that the unobservable world we study with science is not real, not mind independent. By ...
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What is the main message Kierkegaard is trying to deliver in his suicidal quote?

In his journal Kierkegaard wrote: I have just now come from a party where I was its life and soul; witticisms streamed from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me, but I went away — yes, the dash ...
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What is the significance of The Stranger's lack of grief over his mother's death in Albert Camus' book?

Albert Camus' novel The Stranger begins with Meursault learning of his mother's death. People are put off by his apparent lack of grief. What is the significance? Did Meursault in fact feel grief but ...
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The Sartre Paradox

"According to Sartre, humans are the only beings that dont have an essence." Do't look a little "weird" J.P Sartre, tells that the "Man is comdemned to be free", in case conjuring that, the freedom ...
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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 ...
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Why do some philosophers write literature?

Why do some philosophers write literature? Bataille's main medium of propounding his philosophy was through his literature (though he wrote many notable essays expounding upon his views). One of his ...
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Can someone help me with the meaning of these passages in Sartre's Being and Nothingness on motion?

What do these passages mean, could someone please kindly clarify them. ‘Motion is the pure change of place affecting a this which remains otherwise unaltered as is shown clearly enough by our ...