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EXISTENTIALISM Is it more important what you intend to be or think you are or is it what you do. In other words, you think of yourself as honest and yet.

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Presentation on theme: "EXISTENTIALISM Is it more important what you intend to be or think you are or is it what you do. In other words, you think of yourself as honest and yet."— Presentation transcript:

1 EXISTENTIALISM Is it more important what you intend to be or think you are or is it what you do. In other words, you think of yourself as honest and yet you cheated/copied on the last homework (and justified it somehow— everyone else does it!—ha!)? Are you the sum of your actions or your intent? If you have bad thoughts about hurting kittens, are you a bad person? Before you thought about who you were, were you you?  I think, therefore, I am. --Rene Descartes  Good intentions pave the road to hell. --Fortune Cookie

2 MEDICAL WARNING: EXISTENTIALISM DEALS WITH INTENSE THEOLOGICAL (“RELIGIOUS STUDY”) AND ONTOLOGICAL (“STUDY OF BEING”) AS WELL AS EPISTEMOLOGICAL (“STUDY OF KNOWLEDGE”) ISSUES. MRS. M. IS NOT ENDORSING EXISTENTIALISM AS BEING ANYTHING MORE THAN MERE THEORY. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR LEARNING THE TENETS OF EXISTENTIALISM; YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOVE THEM OR EVEN LIKE IT ALL THAT MUCH. EXISTENTIALISM CAN BE A WEE BIT DEPRESSING IF VIEWED IN A “LIFE-IS-MEANINGLESS, GLASS-HALF-EMPTY” LIGHT. TAKE HEART!—But hey, a lot of Sci-Fi is exestential.

3 ANDREW WYETH Christina’s World (1948) A complex philosophy emphasizing the absurdity of reality and the human responsibility to make choices and accept consequences!

4 It was during the Second World War, when Europe found itself in a crisis faced with death and destruction, that the existential movement began to flourish, popularized in France in the 1940s…

5 MARK ROTHKO Untitled (1968) Big Ideas of Existentialism Despite encompassing a huge range of philosophical, religious, and political ideologies, the underlying concepts of existentialism are simple…

6 Existence Precedes Essence Cogito ergo sum. Existentialism is the title of the set of philosophical ideals that emphasize the existence of the human being, the lack of meaning and purpose in life, and the solitude of human existence… “Existence precedes essence” implies that the human being has no essence (no essential self). Mrs. M. will translate: you’re here; there’s no reason for why you’re here. You just are. Make your life a good one, deal with it and stop looking for a reason.

7 Absurdism The belief nothing can explain or rationalize human existence. (Hence no devine power put man here.) There is no answer to “Why am I?” Humans exist in a meaningless, irrational universe and any search for order will bring them into direct conflict with this universe.—Basically it will just annoy you.

8 “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” “It was previously a question of finding out whether or not life had to have a meaning to be lived. It now becomes clear, on the contrary, that it will be lived all the better if it has no meaning.”

9 Choice and Commitment Humans have freedom to choose Each individual makes choices that create his or her own nature Because we choose, we must accept risk and responsibility for wherever our commitments take us “A human being is absolutely free and absolutely responsible. Anguish is the result.” –Jean-Paul Sartre

10 MAN RAY Les Larmes (Tears) Dread and Anxiety

11 Dread is a feeling of general apprehension. Kierkegaard interpreted it as God’s way of calling each individual to make a commitment to a personally valid way of life. Anxiety stems from our understanding and recognition of the total freedom of choice that confronts us every moment, and the individual’s confrontation with nothingness.

12 EDVARD MUNCH Night in Saint Cloud (1890) Nothingness and Death

13 Death hangs over all of us. Our awareness of it can bring freedom or anguish. (hence, it will end soon, OR OMG I’m going to die! I am my own existence. Nothing structures my world. (How do you know all the other stuff is even real?) Nothingness and Death

14 All existentialists are concerned with the study of being or ontology. TO REVIEW: An existentialist believes that a person’s life is nothing but the sum of the life he has shaped for himself. At every moment it is always his own free will choosing how to act. He is responsible for his actions, which limit future actions. Thus, he must create a morality in the absence of any known predetermined absolute values. God does not figure into the equation, because even if God does exist, He does not reveal to men the meaning of their lives. Honesty with oneself is the most important value. Every decision must be weighed in light of all the consequences of that action… Life is absurd, but we engage it!—WE HAVE NO CHOICE!

15 Edward Hopper“New York Movie” (1939)

16 Human Subjectivity “I will be what I choose to be…” It is impossible to transcend human subjectivity. “There are no true connections between people…” My emotions are yet another choice I make. I am responsible for them.

17 Subjectivity vs. Objectivity In reason, subjectivity refers to the property of perceptions, arguments, and language as being based in a subject's point of view, and hence influenced in accordance with a particular bias. In reason, subjectivity refers to the property of perceptions, arguments, and language as being based in a subject's point of view, and hence influenced in accordance with a particular bias. “J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield is a good example of a subjective movie, as it is through the eyes of the filmmakers. All we can know is their reality. “J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield is a good example of a subjective movie, as it is through the eyes of the filmmakers. All we can know is their reality. All you can know is YOUR reality. All you can know is YOUR reality.

18 In philosophy, an objective fact means a truth that remains true everywhere, independently of human thought or feelings. For instance, it is true always and everywhere that '2 and 2 make 4'. In philosophy, an objective fact means a truth that remains true everywhere, independently of human thought or feelings. For instance, it is true always and everywhere that '2 and 2 make 4'. A subjective fact is a truth that is only true in certain times, places or people. For instance, 'That painting is good' may be true for someone who likes it, but it is not necessarily true that it is a good painting pure and simple, and remains so always no matter what people think of it. A subjective fact is a truth that is only true in certain times, places or people. For instance, 'That painting is good' may be true for someone who likes it, but it is not necessarily true that it is a good painting pure and simple, and remains so always no matter what people think of it.

19 GEORGIA O’KEEFFE Sky Above White Clouds I (1962) Human existence cannot be captured by reason or objectivity –– it must include passion, emotion and the subjective… Each of us is responsible for everything and to every human being. –Simone de Beauvoir

20 Bad Faith when individuals negate their true nature in an attempt to become a self they are not. when individuals negate their true nature in an attempt to become a self they are not. For example, if you are a clone, and you pretend all your life you are not a clone, it negates your true nature. You are a manufactured human, a copy, and nothing is going to change that. In the words of Popeye, “I am what I am.”

21 Bad Faith When the picture a man has of himself is provided by those who see him, in the distorted image of himself that they give back to him, he has rejected what the philosopher has called reality. He has, moreover, rejected the possibility of projecting himself into his future and existing in the fullest sense. All this means is that if you let others control how you see yourself, because they cannot possibly know what is INSIDE, your reality will become very messed up. You will never be able to be what you really are because someone else has told you.

22 Bad Faith … In social situations we play a part that is not ourselves. If we passively become that part, we are thereby avoiding the important decisions and choices by which personality should be formed. In social situations we play a part that is not ourselves. If we passively become that part, we are thereby avoiding the important decisions and choices by which personality should be formed.

23  One of the most important implications of bad faith is the abolition of traditional ethics and morality.  Because being a moral person requires one to deny authentic impulses and change one's actions based on the will of a person other than oneself, being a moral person is one of the most severe forms of bad faith. –Yet we all do this.

24  The mere appearance of another person causes one to look at him/herself as an object, and see his/her world as it appears to the other. This is not done from a specific location outside oneself, it is non-positional. This is a recognition of the subjectivity in others. subjectivity

25 Sartre describes being alone in a park, at this time, all relations in the park (e.g. the bench is between two trees) are available, accessible and occurring-for him. When another person arrives in the park, there is now a relation between that person and the bench, and this is not entirely available to him. The relation is presented as an object (e.g. man glances at watch), but is really not an object, it cannot be known. It flees from him. The other person is a "drainhole" in the world, they disintegrate the relations of which Sartre was earlier the absolute centre. I know this concept bends your brain, but read it a couple of times.

26 Essence explained Essence– general components that exist before a thing does. Outside of time. Essence– general components that exist before a thing does. Outside of time. EXAMPLE– A carpenter wants to build a bed. He knows the essence (wood frames, legs, etc.) of a bed before the concrete bed exists. It must exist in his mind first. EXAMPLE– A carpenter wants to build a bed. He knows the essence (wood frames, legs, etc.) of a bed before the concrete bed exists. It must exist in his mind first.

27 Consciousness It has no physical properties…isn’t that mystical or spiritual or ‘otherworldly”? It has no physical properties…isn’t that mystical or spiritual or ‘otherworldly”? Isn’t that an “essence”? Doesn’t it perceive the world before we can create it through decisions? Isn’t that an “essence”? Doesn’t it perceive the world before we can create it through decisions? Is situational– exists only in context of others in a particular situation. Isn’t this bad faith? Is situational– exists only in context of others in a particular situation. Isn’t this bad faith?

28 Objects/ human subjects In the world of objects, the essence comes first. In the world of human subjects, it is different. In the world of objects, the essence comes first. In the world of human subjects, it is different. MAN IS THE ONLY BEING THAT HAS INTELLIGENCE TO CONCIEVE OF AN ESSENCE. MAN IS THE ONLY BEING THAT HAS INTELLIGENCE TO CONCIEVE OF AN ESSENCE. He exists (physically) before any consciousness of himself. He exists (physically) before any consciousness of himself. HE CAN ONLY FORM THE ESSENCE OF HIMSELF AFTER HE EXISTS HE CAN ONLY FORM THE ESSENCE OF HIMSELF AFTER HE EXISTS

29 So How Is The Matrix Existential? n The Matrix, we start with a tapped phone call. What can be a more nerve-wracking and paranoid way to begin a movie? Then we meet Trinity. Trinity is a butkicker. But here’s the golden rule of buttkickerery: there’s always a bigger buttkicker. After watching Trinity effortlessly spank a roomful of cops it’s equally impressive to watch her turn tail and run from three guys in black suits. What’s with the guys in the black suits? We don’t know yet, but she escapes to find her quarry. n The Matrix, we start with a tapped phone call. What can be a more nerve-wracking and paranoid way to begin a movie? Then we meet Trinity. Trinity is a butkicker. But here’s the golden rule of buttkickerery: there’s always a bigger buttkicker. After watching Trinity effortlessly spank a roomful of cops it’s equally impressive to watch her turn tail and run from three guys in black suits. What’s with the guys in the black suits? We don’t know yet, but she escapes to find her quarry.

30 That’s an excessively paranoid everyman named Thomas Anderson (yes, he represnets us) who eventually finds out, big shock, that everything he has ever known has been faked including the very world he lives in and his name. A machine has generated everything including sensory experiences and memories to keep people cooperating with a growing malevolence. That’s an excessively paranoid everyman named Thomas Anderson (yes, he represnets us) who eventually finds out, big shock, that everything he has ever known has been faked including the very world he lives in and his name. A machine has generated everything including sensory experiences and memories to keep people cooperating with a growing malevolence.

31 Neo: What is the Matrix? Trinity: The answer is out there, Neo, and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to. Neo: What is the Matrix? Trinity: The answer is out there, Neo, and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to. Neo Trinity Neo Trinity --Two things to remember here—sense of fear and dread, and the search for truth. --Two things to remember here—sense of fear and dread, and the search for truth.

32 The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it. The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it. Isn’t that the way our reality is? Isn’t that the way our reality is? Aren’t there people who fight to protect the system? Aren’t there people who fight to protect the system? This is what the directors wanted the audience to think about. This is what the directors wanted the audience to think about.

33 What is he choosing Honesty –vs-ignorance Honesty –vs-ignorance Truth –vs.-illusion Truth –vs.-illusion Later in the film, a character called, Cypher, decides that he prefers illusion. Later in the film, a character called, Cypher, decides that he prefers illusion.

34 Early in the film, Neo is faced with an essential choice—the red pill or the blue pill. Each represents how he will choose to see reality, since he now knows that what is real is not real. Early in the film, Neo is faced with an essential choice—the red pill or the blue pill. Each represents how he will choose to see reality, since he now knows that what is real is not real.

35 The Pills This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit- hole goes. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit- hole goes. Hence, NEO makes a choice. He desires to know the truth rather than live in a fantasy world. Hence, NEO makes a choice. He desires to know the truth rather than live in a fantasy world.

36 Another Element In the film there is the suggestion that humanity is living in a virtual reality world but are completely unaware. In the film there is the suggestion that humanity is living in a virtual reality world but are completely unaware.

37 The film raises questions about the true nature of self and the illusion that is reality The film raises questions about the true nature of self and the illusion that is reality

38 The Matrix suggests that we can peel back the layers and expose society for what it really is -- that we can somehow see the actual matrix that props up our institutions and conventions -- we just need to take a step back and recognize the megastructure and mechanisms that keep everyone in step and oblivious to the deeper reality. The Matrix suggests that we can peel back the layers and expose society for what it really is -- that we can somehow see the actual matrix that props up our institutions and conventions -- we just need to take a step back and recognize the megastructure and mechanisms that keep everyone in step and oblivious to the deeper reality.

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