Existentialism is a philosophy of life that focuses on the individual as the ultimate source of morality. There are two main versions of the philosophy – a Christian version and an atheist one. Both share one basic principle: the individual is the sole source of morality. There is no god or other force that can influence an individual’s moral decisions. Moreover, the concept is surprisingly appealing to many people.
Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the greatest philosophers of the modern era. His writings on the subject of human life and decision-making are considered one of the most influential works of modern philosophy. He criticized the prevailing ideas of morality, believing that there is no absolute truth about right or wrong. The existentialist view emphasizes the sanctity of the human spirit, and the meaning of life and death.
Nietzsche explained the importance of moral beliefs in terms of psycho-physical facts. Nietzsche asserted that “moral judgments are nothing but signs of our bodies.” Moral judgments are, in turn, only images of the physiological processes that determine our behavior. These processes determine what we think, feel, and do. Nietzsche’s philosophy has influenced a number of modern thinkers, including Jaspers, Heidegger, and Sartre.
The existentialism philosophy of Nietzsche emphasizes the connection between the human and the world. Nietzsche believed that we are all connected, and that our will to power would allow us to overcome our own limits and become a better human. Nietzsche also named this person the “superman,” a man stronger than the rest of us, free of the constraints of other people’s ideas of right and wrong.
This metaphysical view of reality, also known as moral anti-realism, is incompatible with a realist cosmology. Nietzsche views human experience in such a way that no objective facts about right and wrong can be known. However, Nietzsche’s critique of morality also involves a realism that has nothing to do with reality. Nietzsche’s existentialism philosophy is the most influential philosophical movement since the Enlightenment.
There are numerous controversies surrounding Nietzsche’s existentialism. While some claim that he was a political thinker, this claim lacks textual evidence. Nietzsche himself claimed to be the bringer of glad tidings. His claim is not political, but he does criticize the state and society. This is a common misinterpretation of Nietzsche’s philosophy.
Heidegger’s existentialism philosophical view seeks an opening to the world that is unencumbered by our humanistic arrogance. As a result, the existentialism philosophy of Heidegger is in tune with radical and deep ecologists. Furthermore, Heidegger’s philosophy of being is in tune with the philosophies of non-Western cultures. In addition, Heidegger’s existentialism philosophy is grounded in the notion that ‘human’ beings are not self-conscious.
Dasein’s existence is characterized by a set of interactions with its environment: falling/discourse, projection (past) and engagement (present). The three ecstases of temporality are co-realized by the present and past, which Heidegger argues cannot be later than the present. Because Dasein is always a hybrid of the historical, future, and present, Heidegger rejects the idea that there is any distinction between past and future.
While the individual experience is unique and infinite, there is no single authentic Dasein. Rather, the authentic Dasein is an endless stream of transformations, and there is no limit to its nature. Heidegger’s existentialism philosophy also claims that the nature of being is the same as existence. But unlike other existentialists, Heidegger rejects the notion that existence has an end, and claims that existence is infinitely complex.
The existentialism philosophy of Heidegger focuses on the role of consciousness. For example, Heidegger claims that “the calling of conscience” interrupts the fascination Dasein has for entities. In this way, it summons Dasein back to its authentic self, which is an openness and an opening towards Being. Heidegger’s conception of conscience is akin to Buddhist philosophy, and therefore corresponds to Buddhism.
While Heidegger’s existentialism may seem idealistic, the concept of freedom is not. It is not possible to achieve freedom without being self-conscious and self-making. Self-consciousness is the foundation of a free life. However, the search for the freedom that is beyond the reach of our material world is a difficult one. But in the end, the freedom we seek is not free.
In his writings, Sartre argued that the essential meaning of existentialism lies in our condition of subjectivity. Specifically, Sartre clarified three concepts: anguish, abandonment, and despair. Each of these terms has its own definition and is discussed in greater detail below. By examining these concepts in the context of the philosophy of existence, Sartre aims to show how important they are.
The first part of Sartre’s book is titled “The Immortal Man.” In this work, Sartre argues that the human subject is a “project” – a continuous undertaking that projects into the future. In other words, the human subject is responsible for his or her actions, as well as for all men. In addition to this, people express their values through their actions, such as choosing something over another. By choosing something over another, a person affirms the value of what they consider to be good. Ultimately, this human “good” is the same for everyone, regardless of the circumstances.
The second part of Sartre’s work, L’Idiot de la famille, is a massive study of Gustave Flaubert’s family and childhood. It was his attempt to reconcile Marx’s concepts of history with Sigmund Freud’s illuminations of the human mind. In this book, Sartre also confronts public misconceptions about existentialism. The philosophy is meant to help people acknowledge the fundamental facts of life and avoid bad faith.
Freedom is central to Sartre’s system. His political works mainly focus on this issue. During his lifetime, his conception of freedom changed significantly. Although many scholars debate whether there is continuity between his early and late views of freedom, scholars have largely agreed that his views of freedom changed after World War II. In Being and Nothingness, for example, Sartre argued that human freedom depends on our ability to transcend the material world.
Albert Camus’s philosophy of existence is rooted in his book The Rebel, which became one of his most popular books. While he earned a reputation as a moralist, his philosophy did end up involving him in a conflict with fellow French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who was one of the leading intellectual voices of the anti-Communist and pro-Communist left. In his book, Camus argues that we can only be happy when we live fully in the present.
Albert Camus’ philosophy of existence deals with a variety of themes and issues. For example, the logical nature of history is questioned, as is the use of violence, as long as the cause is morally justifiable. Camus also advocates a philosophy of limits, which emphasizes living in the present and taking risks. While Camus is grappling with violence, he emphasizes that it is neither necessary nor desirable to commit violence.
In his book, the philosopher sets up two opposing attitudes in the human psyche. The first is that of religion-based fears. He believes that the soul is immortal, but this belief is based on illusion. Therefore, he rejects God as the ultimate meaning of life. In the end, there can be no ultimate meaning without a human being or a psychopathic imbecile. As a result, religiously-inclined individuals can be apathetic, solitary, or self-centered.
Camus argues that existentialists are mistaken in their approach to life, and that there is no such thing as “the nothing.” As a result, he sees no meaning in life. The world is indifferent, but we create meaning in our actions and interpretations. There are also existentialists who consider existentialism to be theological, with Nietzsche declaring that God is dead, and Kierkegaard intensely religious. The freedom to believe is also a key aspect of Existentialism.
During his lifetime, Camus wrote a number of short stories and essays that are not strictly philosophical. His first philosophical work, Nuptials, was published in 1938. It describes an individual’s experience of nature and bliss as he embraces its sheer physicality. Camus was also a political activist, organizing the Algerian Communist Party in the mid-1930s and a member of the Algiers branch of the French Communist Party. In addition, he was a crusading journalist, working for the Algiers republicain newspaper.