Existentialism Essay Examples


Nihilism and Critique
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Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, in his discourse suggests that man is in a state of normlessness. He makes various assertions that lead to him saying that "God is Dead". This essay explains the "Death of God", Nihilism as a concept and the Ubermensch. It furthermore, however, supplies criticism of Nietzsche's views of Nihilism. Consequently, provides a defense of Nietzsche's views against the criticism. Nietzsche introduces the idea of the "Death of God" through the Madman's speech in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. He…...
According to many existentialism rather had a negative impact on
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According to many, existentialism rather had a negative impact on other philosophies and on the psyche of the people because of its highly subjective nature. According to Truman G. Madsen, American academicians studied this philosophy with neglect and distrust. In his words,This distrust is reflected in the ad hominems that recur in discussion: that the origin of the movement is continental catastrophe; that it is a giant psychic and cultural moan: that it is morbid, even pathological; that its writers…...
Are We Nothing but Our Bodies?
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What does it mean being a faithful person? What is it to believe in something? I would say that such questions are interesting to think about and, at the same time, contradictory topics in terms of perception. As philosopher Augustine said, "belief is a volitional consent." We can see that faith is within each of us, and it is under our control. According to Augustine, belief is a mental state that can be true or not, which is assessable for…...
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Up until the 19th century, 'Essentialism' was the standard view of universe where it was thought that everything has an essence including us, humans, where essence can be referred to a collection of properties that identifies what the thing is meant to be, and it give its function before it's there. Hence, this claim fell under the moto "essence precedes existence." For example, for a knife to be one, it must be propertied with a cutting edge and a handle.…...
Existentialism in Hamlet
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Existentialism is a Twentieth-Century philosophical belief which focuses on the idea that existence precedes essence, and the freedom of choice one has. This idea argues that in the process of man's existence, people define themselves and the world within their own thoughts, and wander between choice, freedom, and existential angst. In reading William Shakespeare's, Hamlet, one can observe that although this play predates the coining of Existentialism, it features key characteristics of this philosophical movement. Hamlet experiences heavy spells of existential thought, and…...
Existentialism is Humanism
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Existentialism is a Humanism, to be human is defined by an existence (physical existence) that precedes its essence (true nature). As such, if existence is problematic, and it is towards the development of a full existentialist theory of what it is to be human that Sartre’s work logically evolves. In relation to what will become Being and Nothingness, Sartre’s early works can be seen as providing important preparatory material for an existential account of being human. But the distinctiveness of…...
Comparing Martin Heidegger And Soren Kierkegaard’s Philosophies
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Individuality refers tothe existential philosophy and ideology that views and emphasizes the moral worth of the individual by promoting the importance of an individual’s goals and desires. Individuality (also sometimes called ‘Individualism’) valuesone’s independence and self-reliance. It advocates that the interests of an individual should come before those of the state or one’s social group. It strongly opposesthe external interference upon an individual’s interests from the general society or even established institutions like the government.On the other hand, authenticity refers…...
Albert Camus’ The Plague
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Can God possibly exist in a world full of madness and injustice? Albert Camus and Samuel Beckett address these questions in The Plague and Waiting for Godot. Though their thinking follows the ideals of existentialism, their conclusions are different. Camus did not believe in God, nor did he agree with the vast majority of the historical beliefs of the Christian religion. His stance on Christianity is summed up most simply by his remark that "in its essence, Christianity (and this…...
Your True Self
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Existence precedes and commands Essence. (Jean Paul Sartre) We regarded any situation as raw material for our joint efforts and not as a factor conditioning them: we imagined ourselves to be wholly independent agents. ... We had no external limitations, no overriding authority, no imposed pattern of existence, we created our own links with the world, and freedom was the very essence of our existence. (Simone de Beauvoir, 1963). Many people believe that freedom is something that you are given…...
George Gray
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Have you felt you wanted to get somewhere but are too afraid to do it. In George Gray he is reaching to find meaning in his life but is too afraid to find something. He is too scared that he will be hurt by the outcome or defeated by life in some way that he will not reach out. Now in his poem he is telling how he wants to find the meaning of life by saying he will set…...
Existentialism in The Adulterous Woman
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Intro "Existentialism is the title of a set of philosophies that stresses the presence of the person, the lack of significance and function in life, and the solitude of human presence." (Academic Resources Center Inc. 2007) According to research what I think is: in the philosophy existentialism, its trunk is talked about; there are 2 kind of life model, one is for their own lives without understanding and lack of knowledge offers up the responsibility of the life, and another…...
Dreadful Freedom- an Essay Depicting Andy Dufresne as an Existential Hero
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To be a true existential hero means lots of things. Most of an individuals actions should be in accordance with the strictly defined beliefs of an existentialist. An existential hero is really conscious of the worth and impact of his choices. He is responsible, lonesome, independent, self-reliant and free. Andy Dufresne the protagonist in The Shawshank Redemption written by Stephen King and directed by Frank Darabont displays these necessary existential qualities. The film has a number of existential themes within…...
Existentialism vs. Naturalism in Native Son
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When I was recently suffering from the dreaded sweet tooth syndrome, I hadn’t the slightest clue that the result would lead to a personal and universal philosophical debate worthy of comparison to Richard Wright’s Native Son. I found a bag of Dove milk chocolates in my cupboard, and proceeded to snack mindlessly. If you have ever had a Dove chocolate bar, you may know that the foil wrappers include adorable anecdotes, encouraging you to “take a well-deserved bubble bath”, or…...
An Argument of Existentialism in ‘The Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka
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Argument: A person’s will to live is strongly linked to the opinions of loved ones have of that person. While some persons allow the will of their lives to become influenced to the opinions of their loved ones, others do not forget to factor the ideals of human existentialism. In order to appropriately approach the point brought across, one must factor in the underlying tone of the existentialist values of ‘The Metamorphosis’ as written by Frank Kafka. Although many existentialist…...
Existentialism in Demian and Crime and Punishment
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Existentialism is fairly common in literature, despite being a relatively new school of thought, and both Demian and Crime and Punishment show existentialist traits. This gives each book not just a philosophy, but also a certain feeling and mindset. Existentialism starts that with the idea that existence precedes essence, or purpose. We come into this world without a purpose, and we simply exist. Our task is to find a purpose. The world around us is an alien chaos, a circus…...
An Existentialism View Toward Batman and Naruto
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I. Theory of Existentialism Existentialism is a philosophical movement that posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives, as opposed to deities or authoritites creating it for them. It emerged as a movement in twentieth-century literature and philosophy, though it had forerunners in earlier centuries. Existentialism generally postulates that the absence of a transcendent force (such as God) means that the individual is entirely free, and therefore, ultimately responsible. It is up to humans to create an…...
Existentialism in Camus and Kafka
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Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis and Albert Camus' The Outsider, both feature protagonists in situations out of which arise existentialist values. Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts. In The Metamorphosis the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, realizes his existentialism towards the end of the novella. In contrast, Monsieur Meursault, the protagonist…...
Existentialism and Waking Life
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Existentialism is a type of philosophy that was very trendy in France after World War II as made popular by the quintessential philosopher, John Paul Sartre. A suitable introduction to existential ideology, The Stranger is a novel written by Albert Camus, a novelist and existentialist alike. Films that exhibit existential philosophy are the rotoscoped Waking Life by Richard Linklater and I Heart Huckabees by David O. Russell. The work that best conveys the ideas of existentialism is The Stranger due…...
Influence of Existentialism on Theatre of Absurd
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The term “Theatre of the Absurd” comes from literary critic Martin Esslin’s book The Theatre of the Absurd, published in 1961. In this book, he examined the works of a number of European playwrights of in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. According to him, these playwrights gave dramatic articulation to Albert Camus’s philosophical essay, The Myth of Sisyphus. He named four playwrights as the pioneers of this surge of absurdness in theatre- Samuel Beckett, Arthur Adamov, Eugene Ionesco, and…...
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Existentialism
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What if everything gets one nothing? What if it was true that man has the power to do whatever he pleases, but in the end all of it will mean - for lack of a better term - nothing? This school of thought is called existentialism, which is crucial in Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - an absurdly written response to William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern experience times of enlightenment, humor, and sorrow throughout their journey,…...
Existentialism in Waiting for Godot
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Existentialism is a philosophy that repudiates the idea of religion or any ‘supreme’ being bringing meaning to life, and advocates the idea that individuals are instrumental in finding a purpose to life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility. Hence in Samuel Becket’s existentialist play Waiting For Godot, he puts forth an idea that all of humanity is wasting their lives in inaction- waiting for the salvation of a deity, when that divine being may or may not even exist.…...
Existentialism vs. Phenomenology
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Existentialism vs. Phenomenology and the response to Hegelian Idealism Absolute idealism was a huge part of Western culture but through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the greatest political movement took place. Marxism was this great political movement. The movement had an affect on theology and art. Jean-Paul Sartre, a continental philosopher who lived in the nineteenth century was an existentialist. Some of the main themes of extentialism are: • Traditional and academic philosophy is sterile and remote from the concerns…...
Existentialism vs Essentialism
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"Existentialism":A philosophical theory or approach, that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free & responsible agent, determining their own development through acts of the will. Existentialism * is a philosophical term which posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives. Existentialism asserts that “existence precedes essence,” which is in opposition to the classical doctrine that “essence precedes existence. ” The claim “existence precedes essence” is a rejection of the idea that human nature has…...
Existentialism and Existence Precedes Essence
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Born in 1905, and the writer of many plays, novels and literature , Jean Paul Sartre became a famous philosophical writer on existentialism post world war 2. (wikipedia) He mainly dealt with three areas of study and they were existentialism, Marxism and Anarchism. (Basic Writings) This paper is an attempt to describe Jean Paul Sartre’s existentialist view. It discusses Sartre’s development of existentialism and the idea that destiny depends solely upon the individual choices. (Existentialism –Jean Paul Sartre)The other related…...
Sartrean Existentialism in the Road
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Michael Ross Jeff Bell 1,365 words 21st Century Lit. Sartrean Existentialism In The Road McCarthy tells the story of a nameless father and son struggling to survive in the aftermath of an apocalyptic happening. Religious elements are deeply interwoven with the text and form much of its basic thematic construction. McCarthy writes with a particular focus on existential themes; paying particular attention to the existentialist views of Sartre, Kierkagaard, and Camus and integrating them deeply into his own text. It…...
Existentialism: Definition and Nature
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Existentialism is a philosophical way of thinking that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as free, responsible, and capable of determining their own growth through acts of will. It is what makes us unique and what makes us alike. The existential movement is not a set of doctrines or a philosophical system. It is a cultural movement that arose in 19th century Europe and rose to fame in 1945 after World War II. The movement is primarily concerned with…...
Existentialism in No Exit
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In his play, No Exit, Jean-Paul Sartre examines basic themes of existentialism through three characters. The first subject, Garcin, embraces existentialist ideas somewhat. The second character, Inez, seems to fully understand ideas deemed existential. Estelle is the third person, and does not seem to understand these ideas well, nor does she accept them when they are first presented to her. One similarity amongst the three is that they all at some point seem to accept that they are in Hell…...
Existentialism in the Outsider
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The Outsider, written by Albert Camus, is often denoted as an existentialist novel, first published in 1942. It is an illustration into various elements of thought and these theories’ view on the world. Camus depicts the life of Meursault, an emotionally inept man who with no beliefs or faith in god, is able to kill a man he had never met without any recognizable motive. For this crime, the French born man is deemed a threat to society and is…...
No Exit Existentialism
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Existentialism is the basic requirement of people to take responsibility for their own choices. The concepts that define existentialism portrays the idea that people exist for a reason, and who a person is, what they do, and why they do it will eventually lead into a big role of these acts in their future, either in a good way or a bad way. Sartre points out that people make choices for themselves and they are the only ones that can…...
Existentialism and The Plague
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Jean-Paul Sartre once said, “Man is condemned to be free; because once he is thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. ” Sartre speaks in accordance with the values of Existentialism, which is defined as a philosophical theory that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will. Existentialists like Sartre rejected the existence of a higher power and the over arching influence…...
Existentialism in Literature
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Existentialism in literature is a movement or tendency that emphasizes individual existence, freedom, and choice. While Existentialism was never an organized literary movement, the tenets of this philosophy have influenced many diverse writers around the world and readers can detect existential elements in their fiction. Americans writers like William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck reveal existential elements in their writing. Perhaps the most prominent theme in existentialist writing is that of choice. Humanity's primary distinction, in the view of…...
Existentialism Is a Humanism
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Sartre is trying to defend existentialism against some disapproval to it. The Communist criticized existentialism as an invitation to people to take interest in hopeless world affairs. On the other hand, Christians reproached from the fact that people deny the need of attention in human affairs. People have the will to do anything they want and wish. With the example given, about ignoring the Ten Commandments, we can people deny the value of following the commandments and will only follow…...
Existentialism Essay
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Ever wonder why we have the term “free will” or where it originated? People believe that an individual can discover themselves as a person and choose how to live by the decisions they make; well this is where the word existentialism comes into play. Existentialism has been around since the early nineteenth century with Soren Kierkegaard’s philosophical and theological writings which, in the twentieth century, would be recognized as existentialism. The term was first coined by Gabriel Marcel, the French…...
What is Existentialism?
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The term existentialism has been applied to the human subject in all aspects of the individual. Through the ideas of existentialism, philosophers have looked at the existence of the human being. An existential attitude of the world is one of confusion and belief in a meaningless world. The beliefs of existentialism came about as a complete change from the beliefs of periods like the Romantic period. This philosophical view of life came about in the 19th century. These ideas could…...
Existentialism and Metamorphosis
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Existentialism is defined as a modern philosophical movement stressing the importance of one’s experience and accountability. Its focus is the make on the personal reflections that these make on the individual, who is seen as a free agent in a deterministic and seemingly meaningless universe. Its philosophy is meticulous that, in a nutshell, advocates a diverse arsenal of responses and solutions to the ‘existentialist attitude’; which, essentially, is what an individual feels when confronted by the absurdity of life. Throughout…...
Eugene Ionesco’s
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- Eugene has written 28 plays. His most famous works include The Lesson (1951), The Chairs (1952), and Rhinoceros (1959). -Eugene has been recognized as a leading writer in the Theatre of the Absurd. His plays break theatrical archetypes of plot and sequence; explore mortality, and introduce existential conundrums while utilising over imaginative, unrealistic and out of the blue humor. The line between fiction and reality is consistently blurred as Ionesco depicts meaningless worlds ruled by chance. Was made a…...
I and Thou by Martin Buber
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Present essay participates in crucial examination of basic ideas, observations and ideas, produced by popular Jewish writer and thinker Martin Buber in his book 'I and Thou'. Buber's book is often pointed out as one of the significant impacts in Western philosophical literature of the 20th century. Specifically, the philosophy of dialogue, promoted by Buber resonated with and affected comparable contribution of such theorists and critiques, as Levinas, Bakthtine, existentialist philosopher (Sartre) and others. Based upon the analysis of Buber's…...
King Lear – Existentialism
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The term existentiality was used in the work of philosophers in the 1800s and the 1900s. The concept holds that people should focus on dealing with the present conditions of individual persons while taking into account the individuals’ emotions, responsibilities, actions, and thoughts. This concept is reflected in Shakespeare’s King Lear play. For, example, King Lear knows that it is his responsibility to equally share his kingdom among his three daughters. He however decides to divide his kingdom to his…...
Existentialism, Logotherapy and Health
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Introduction Joyce Travelbee was born in 1926 and is well known for her contribution and work as a nursing theorist. In 1956 earned her degree as a Bachelor in Nursing from Louisiana State University, later in 1959 received the degree of Master in Science at Yale University. During most of her carrier she dealt with psychiatric nursing and also education. Died tragically while trying to obtain her PhD degree in 1973. Key Points of her Theory There are some main…...
Existentialism in Camus’ “The Stranger”
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Existentialism is often defined as a philosophical movement or tendency, emphasizing individual existence, freedom and choice. As a result of the diversity of positions associated with this term it is impossible to define precisely. There are, however, basic themes common in existentialist beliefs. As is evident through the root of the word, exist, there is a stress on definite individual existence and freedom of choice. Developed between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this ideology influenced literature greatly. A prime example…...
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What is Existentialism?

...It is our beliefs on life that portray how we go about living our lives and what we live for. Wok Cited Crowell, Steven. "Existentialsim. " Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2004. 11 Mar 2009 . "Existentialism. " Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation In...
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