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EXISTENTIALISM. What is Existentialism? Def: A philosophical attitude that stresses the individual’s unique position as a self-determining agent responsible.

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Presentation on theme: "EXISTENTIALISM. What is Existentialism? Def: A philosophical attitude that stresses the individual’s unique position as a self-determining agent responsible."— Presentation transcript:

1 EXISTENTIALISM

2 What is Existentialism? Def: A philosophical attitude that stresses the individual’s unique position as a self-determining agent responsible for the authenticity of his or her choices

3 SOREN KIERKEGAARD ( ) Considered the first existential philosopher “Leap of faith” method There is not enough evidence necessary for faith—one must simply go on faith alone “Doubt is conquered by faith, just as it is faith which has brought doubt into the world.” One could conclude that Christian doctrines are true, but if they only agreed with likelihood then they are not truly religious because true belief requires true faith

4 JEAN-PAUL SARTRE ( ) Existence precedes essence There is no Creator Because there is no Creator, there cannot be essence (think soul) before our existence It is our duty to create our own essence through our own actions

5 ALBERT CAMUS ( ) Did not consider himself an existential, rather, an absurdist His theories and beliefs on absurdity are outlined in The Myth of Sisyphus Absurdity ignores rather than hopes

6 THE STRANGER (L’ETRANGER) Themes: The universe is irrational Life is meaningless Physical sensation Influences: Atheism Absurdism Nihilism

7 TEACHING THE STRANGER (L’ESTRANGER) Why is this a good idea for teenagers? As they are preparing to go out in the world, they must begin to consider themselves citizens of the world What are their responsibilities as global citizens? Who is affected by their actions? Do they operate singularly in the world, or do their actions have meaning? Essay question: What makes your life meaningful? What gives it this meaning?

8 EXISTENTIALISM LEADS TO AUTHENTIC EDUCATION Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl (1967) Meaning is found through horror Without meaning, life is a prison With meaning, any experience (bad or good) becomes the foundation for a more enriched life

9 THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

10 TO LIVE OR NOT TO LIVE… Life is meaningless unless we give it meaning There is no destiny, fate, or predetermination There is no reason for the universe to exist Death is the only certainty


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