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Existentialism

Existentialism

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Published by kathy lowe

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Published by: kathy lowe on Sep 24, 2009
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12/07/2009

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ExistentialismExistentialism
Existentialism is a philosophicalmovement that emphasizes individualexistence, freedom, and choice, thatinfluenced many diverse writers of the19
th
and 20
th
centuries. Put simply it isconcerned with finding self and themeaning of life through free will,choice, and personal responsibility.
 
Major ThemesMajor Themes
Mankind has free will
Life is a series of choices, creating stress
Few decisions are without any negativeconsequences.
Some things are irrational or absurd,without explanation.
If one makes a decision, he or she mustfollow through.
 
Moral IndividualismMoral Individualism
Plato held that the highest ethical good is thesame for everyone; insofar as one approachesmoral perfection, one resembles other morallyperfect individuals.
Kierkegaard, the first writer to call himself existential, insisted that the highest good for theindividual is to find his or her unique vocation. Hewrote: “I must find a truth that is true for me . .. the idea for which I can live or die.” 
Nietzsche further contended that the individualmust decide which situations count as moralsituations.

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