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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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Does Camus show that all suicide is an evil?

Does Camus show that all suicide is an evil? What if the the girl in The Fall is about to be captured, repeatedly raped, maimed and tortured? Is it only the insane, or even weak, who would not ...
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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 ...
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Does Nietzsche say, and mean, that all life is unavoidably tragic?

Does Nietzsche say, and mean, that all life is unavoidably tragic? All I know, right now, is that he had a book The Birth of Tragedy, about theater I think. And, I think, that all life is a struggle ...
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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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What were Camus' views on nihilism and existentialism?

I have recently become fairly interested in Camus. I'm not really that familiar with philosophy, but I do know the difference between nihilism and existentialism. I've been wondering what Camus ...
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Could I please request an introduction to philosophy of pessimism?

Everything from essential texts, interpretations of the absurd, eternal return, interpretations of suicide and religion, and it's influence on the arts. And, I know I am asking a lot, but I'd like to ...
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How should one interpret Camus' quote about the "vanity of experience"?

I am writing an essay that requires a section on "experience," and I was looking for a quote to use in my introduction. I found this quote by Camus on BrainyQuote: You cannot create experience. ...
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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 ...
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Writings on meaning within a materialist framework

Most people in 2016 who are paying attention accept the materialist perspective, that is that the scope of the universe is made up of physical phenomena that follow natural laws. For the brunt of ...
Canadian Coder's user avatar
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Absurdists/Nihilists/Existentialists take on as to why there is no intrinsic meaning to life

So, I just got into absurdism (formally-as a "branch" in philosophy, though I had been thinking in similar terms for a longer period now), and currently am reading "The Myth of Sysiphus" by Albert ...
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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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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 ...
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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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Has any philosopher written approvingly of "living each day like it was your last"?

Has any philosopher written approvingly of "living each day like it was your last"? Or even, each thing you do (big or small) like it was the last thing you could?
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Does the notion of absoluteness exist?

Google defines absolute as: "a value or principle which is regarded as universally valid or which may be viewed without relation to other things." My work interests lie in the fields of computer ...
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Recommendations for philosophical texts for a skeptic/determinist/existential nihilist?

I've always toyed with philosophy but never really got into it. I know the basic ideas of the basic schools but never got past the freshman intro course level. However, lately I've been doing some ...
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Movies on philosophy similar to "Waking Life"? [closed]

The movie "Waking Life" is a philosophical masterpiece: a quasi non-narrative psychedelic dreamscape exploring the very nature of both existence and non-existence in unpredecented depth. In ...
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Criticisms on Absurdism

Camus' idea to keep the absurd alive by accepting our innate desire for meaning and even pursuing and yet not giving into hope of ever reaching a meaning to life, what he calls the revolt against the ...
Barinder Singh's user avatar
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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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How does master morality damage the herd?

Does Nietzsche ever suggest that "master morality" is irrevocably damaging to the herd, that it can seduce them? And in what sense would that matter, either for the herd, the individual beast, or ...
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Dasein is or isn't responsible, isn't accountable: so what?

I was looking at this The Origins of Responsibility By François Raffoul It's not immediately clear what it means to be responsible but not accountable. Is it just the very loud claim that Dasein'...
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Is there a philosophy of responsibility in terms of complacency

I was wondering, and I'm especially interested in either contemporary philosophers or critical theorists, if there was a (I assume existentialist) philosophy of complacency. Especially: I am doing ...
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Sartre's use of the word "Transcendence" and its meaning

I have been looking into some resources explaining Husserl's idea of transcendence and they point out that Sartre's idea of transcendence is based on Husserl's. Here are the different aspects/ideas of ...
Barinder Singh's user avatar
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3 answers
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Does human progress ultimately reduce individuals to Nietzsche's last men?

Human progress – technological, scientific, social, etc. – seeks to reduce, and ultimately totally eliminate, the aspects of life we perceive as unpleasant – loss, tragedy, suffering ... However, an ...
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Meaning of Being in 'Being and Nothingness'?

I just started reading Sartre's magnum opus and right on page two he begins to mention that being and appearance dualism is no longer entitled to any "legal status within philosophy". What is the ...
Barinder Singh's user avatar
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4 answers
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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
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What is the difference between essential and existential ontology?

What are the differences between essential ontology and existential ontology? Does existential Ontology start with Heidegger. Is there any definition of both?
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What are "Things" in Letters to a Young Poet?

I know Letters to a Young Poet, a work composed of letters by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, is probably not very canonical but it does address philosophical and existential questions so I hope someone ...
Barinder Singh's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
353 views

What is the sense of thinking in Being & Nothingness?

in Kant's philosophy : the noumenon is inaccessible to humans and the phenomenon exists and accessible to humans (is what we live). Sartre in Being and Nothingness criticizes the Kantian philosophy ...
Angie's user avatar
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What does Nietzsche mean by the intellectual costs that "For" and "Against" incur?

In the preface of Human, All Too Human Nietzsche talks about control over one's For and Against. He mentions this after stating that the free spirit is able to become a master over virtues and uses ...
Barinder Singh's user avatar
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Why is every choice the good choice for Sartre?

Sartre wrote this in 1946 in L’existentialism est un humanisme. Choisir d’être ceci ou cela, c’est affirmer en même temps la valeur de ce que nous choisissons, car nous ne pouvons jamais choisir ...
Dylan Meeus's user avatar
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Is Nietzsche saying here that agnostics admire the unintelligible?

I need help understanding the last two paragraphs of the 25th section, third essay, which is provided below from the free link: http://home.sandiego.edu/~janderso/360/genealogy3.htm Similarly who ...
Barinder Singh's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
873 views

Are old philosophical texts worth reading for ordinary individuals?

There is no doubt that the past philosophical texts have provided very useful ideas and have contributed significantly to society. However, because these books have been around for some time a lot of ...
Barinder Singh's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are some good books about existential philosophy?

I recently have gained a lot of interest in philosophy and have especially taken to Nietzsche's work and ideas. I am reading philosophy to understand on a more personal level to lead a more fulfilled ...
Barinder Singh's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
440 views

How do the moral components of Randian Objectivism differ from Existentialism?

On Existentialism: [Kierkegaard] proposed that each individual—not society or religion—is solely responsible for giving meaning to life and living it passionately and sincerely ("authentically&...
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According to Existentialism, is the statement "I don't have a choice" a choice?

Determinism and Existentialism differ on a person's responsibility. In Determinism we don't have free will, but in Existentialism we can't avoid free will. Even when we try to avoid making a choice, ...
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Sartre - Being and Doing

I don't quite understand the quote, We shall never apprehend ourselves except as a choice in the making. But freedom is simply the fact that this choice is always unconditioned? (Jean Paul Sartre,...
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why "life" bother to exist when its literally just a bunch of atoms and particles? [closed]

There is no meaning to existence. It exists, and it disappears, everything in our perception will one day disappear, the world will end or the human race will end. The “You” means nothing to ...
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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 ...
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Existential authenticity (especially in Sartre) - being frustrated

I suppose that the two things that first spring to mind about Sartre's "authenticity" is Existence precedes essence (a kind of responsibility for what we make of ourselves) Inauthenticity is ...
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2 answers
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Does existentialism rule out the existence of a rational world?

I have no grounding in philosophy, but I have just this minute been reading a few articles about existentialism. I was confused by its apparent rejection of rationalism. I understand that this ...
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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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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 ...
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On Sartres Nothingness and Nausea

The introduction to Sartre's philosophical novel Nausea is by Hayden Carruth and he quotes Jaspers: "The non-rational is found in the opacity of the here and now, … in the actual empirical existence ...
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Existential priority and modality

Since existence is logically or conceptually prior to necessity, it would seem that "necessary existence" is an incoherent assertion. Therefore, what is the status of "necessity" as a modal claim? ...
Nightspore's user avatar
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343 views

In what senses is immortality both possible and desirable? [closed]

It seems that no one can live forever. Is there anything that can rightfully be called "immortality", which is both desirable and a genuine response to the problem of mortality?
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The man who wants to die

This is a phrase I stumbled across in Deleuze work on Nietzsche, but I don't know of where it appears in the latter's work. e.g. the distinction between the last man and the man who wants to die ...
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Nietzsche's third metamorphosis: why is the Übermensch a child in spirit?

Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the spirit becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child... To create new values—that, even the lion cannot yet ...
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3 answers
279 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 ...
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What is the quote on how we cannot not choose (existentialism)?

Okay, so some existentialist philosopher has said that we always choose. Even refraining from choosing is a choice. I think it was Sartre, but I am unable to find the exact quote (if there is one?). ...
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