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Existentialism By Tara Ivers EDU 513. Definition A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or.

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Presentation on theme: "Existentialism By Tara Ivers EDU 513. Definition A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or."— Presentation transcript:

1 Existentialism By Tara Ivers EDU 513

2 Definition 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. — American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation. 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. — American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation.

3 History Existentialism became popular in post World War years as a way for human to reassert the importance of individuality and freedom. Existentialism became popular in post World War years as a way for human to reassert the importance of individuality and freedom. Became a well known philosophical and cultural movement from 1930s-1970s. Became a well known philosophical and cultural movement from 1930s-1970s. Existential themes have been discussed throughout philosophy and literature: Existential themes have been discussed throughout philosophy and literature: Socrates- “Be true to thyself” Socrates- “Be true to thyself”

4 Existentialists Soren Kiekergaard Viewed as Father of Existentialism Viewed as Father of Existentialism Felt individual was responsible for giving life meaning and living that life passionately Felt individual was responsible for giving life meaning and living that life passionately Focused on subjective experiences of humans rather than the objective truths provided by math and science Focused on subjective experiences of humans rather than the objective truths provided by math and science

5 Jean-Paul Sartre In 1945, adopted Existential term to describe his philosophy In 1945, adopted Existential term to describe his philosophy Major concept of his philosophy was freedom and responsibility Major concept of his philosophy was freedom and responsibility “Man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world and defines himself afterward.” “Man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world and defines himself afterward.”

6 Karl Jaspers Existenz philosophy is the way of thought by means of which a man seeks to become himself. Existenz philosophy is the way of thought by means of which a man seeks to become himself.

7 Existentialism Focuses on conditions of human existence: Emotions Emotions Actions Actions Responsibilities Responsibilities Thoughts Thoughts Meaning or purpose of life Meaning or purpose of life

8 Beliefs of Existentialists Existence precedes essence Existence precedes essence Human essence is determined through life choices Human essence is determined through life choices Tragic experiences or insightful moments can cause humans to question meaning of life. Tragic experiences or insightful moments can cause humans to question meaning of life. We make “pillars” in our identity. Basing one’s identity solely on a “pillar” with a condition can lead to living in despair. We make “pillars” in our identity. Basing one’s identity solely on a “pillar” with a condition can lead to living in despair. Philosophy encourages preservation in spite of absurdity Philosophy encourages preservation in spite of absurdity Philosophy helps people to avoid living their lives in ways that put them in danger of having a breakdown of every thing meaningful. Philosophy helps people to avoid living their lives in ways that put them in danger of having a breakdown of every thing meaningful.

9 Beliefs of Existentialists Human beings create their own values through choice. These values help them create a meaning for their life. Defined by actions and their responsibility for those actions. Human beings create their own values through choice. These values help them create a meaning for their life. Defined by actions and their responsibility for those actions. Humans have freedom but with that freedom comes the responsibility we have to make choices. Each choice can lead to a success or a failure. Humans have freedom but with that freedom comes the responsibility we have to make choices. Each choice can lead to a success or a failure.

10 Beliefs of Existentialists Humans take a “leap of faith” that no matter the outcome, success or failure, they will make it. Humans take a “leap of faith” that no matter the outcome, success or failure, they will make it. The choices a person makes change their identity. The choices a person makes change their identity. We live in angst. We have no one to blame for our choices but ourselves. This responsibility can lead to dread and anxiety over choosing. We live in angst. We have no one to blame for our choices but ourselves. This responsibility can lead to dread and anxiety over choosing. If you choose not to make a choice, you are not living authentically. If you choose not to make a choice, you are not living authentically.

11 Beliefs of Existentialists A limitation and condition of our freedom is our facticity, or mode of “not being”. Our past consists of things one can’t chose (birthplace, parents, etc.) and we depend on values we develop in our past. We are a part of our past, present and future self. Not one self lives independently. A limitation and condition of our freedom is our facticity, or mode of “not being”. Our past consists of things one can’t chose (birthplace, parents, etc.) and we depend on values we develop in our past. We are a part of our past, present and future self. Not one self lives independently.

12 Existentialism Philosophy in Education Teacher must facilitate choices for students. Teacher must facilitate choices for students. Let the child take the first step and the teacher guide the next. Let the child take the first step and the teacher guide the next. Teachers prepare students for success and failure. Teachers prepare students for success and failure. When schools give children the freedom to make choices they are helping the child develop their identity and authentic self. When schools give children the freedom to make choices they are helping the child develop their identity and authentic self.

13 Discussion Questions In what ways does the education system reflect Existential philosophy? In what ways does the education system reflect Existential philosophy? Would our current education system support giving children the freedom to make choices? Would our current education system support giving children the freedom to make choices? In what ways are you an existentialist? Does it have an impact on your teaching? In what ways are you an existentialist? Does it have an impact on your teaching?

14 References Jean-Paul Sartre. "Existentialism is a "Existentialism is a"Existentialism is a Humanism, Jean-Paul Sartre 1946" Humanism, Jean-Paul Sartre 1946". Marxists.org. e/sartre/works/exist/sartre.htm Humanism, Jean-Paul Sartre 1946". Marxists.org. e/sartre/works/exist/sartre.htm e/sartre/works/exist/sartre.htm Humanism, Jean-Paul Sartre 1946" e/sartre/works/exist/sartre.htm


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