Foundation of Education Existentialism Essay

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Existentialism (The Ethics of Human Existence) • Soren Kierkegaard is recognized as the Father of Existentialism • Popularized and formalized by Jean-Paul Sartre • A reaction to the depersonalization, dehumanization and loss of the uniqueness of the individual during the Industrial Revolution. • Philosophically, it is a reaction to the systematic philosophy of Absolute Idealism. • “The expression of an intensely examined individual life, not as the construction of a monolithic system.” George Wilhelm Hegel Characteristics in general: Subjectivism – the importance of the “personal” values Freedom - the value of self-determination against scientific determination Phenomenology- As a method, a preference on description over definition. As an attitude, an insistence of the concrete lived experience. Two Basic Camps of Existentialist Philosophers: Atheistic: Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger Theistic: Soren Kierkegaard, Gabriel marcel, Martin Buber The Ethical Teachings of Kierkegaard from his book Either/Or - 1843 • For S. Kierkegaard: The fundamental problems of life he contended, defy rational, objective explanation; the highest truth is subjective. Systematic philosophy not only imposes a false perspective on human existence but that it also, by explaining life in terms of logical necessity, becomes a means of avoiding choice and responsibility. Individuals, he believed, create their own natures through their choices, which must be made in the absence of universal, objective standards. The validity of a choice can only be determined subjectively. • The call for “authentic existence” against “inauthentic existence”, actor vs. spectator, personal values vs. mass values - “being alive” is to go against the current,

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