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Twentieth century philosophy Existentialism Existentialism is the popular name of a philosophical attitude primarily associated with the 20thcentury

thinker Jean Paul SARTRE !ut with a history that "oes !ack to the #$th-century %anish philosopher Soren &'ER&E(AAR%) The name itself was coined !y Sartre althou"h the expression *existence philosophy* had !een used earlier !y &arl JASPARS who !elon"ed to the same tradition) Existentialists ha+e differed widely from one another on many !asic philosophical issues !ut they ha+e shared a concern for human freedom and personal responsi!ility and ha+e stressed the importance of the indi+idual,s need to make choices) -thers who ha+e helped to shape the existentialist point of +iew are .riedrich /'ET0S12E 3artin 2E'%E((ER Al!ert 1A34S and 3aurice 3ER5EA4-P-/T6) &ierke"aard is the chief exponent of reli"ious existentialism a +ery personal approach to reli"ion that emphasi7es faith and commitment and tends to minimi7e theolo"y and the place of reason in reli"ion) &ierke"aard attacked the theolo"ians of his day for attemptin" to show that 1hristianity was a thorou"hly rational reli"ion claimin" instead that faith is important precisely !ecause it is irrational and e+en a!surd) The important thin" he ar"ued is not the o!8ecti+e 9uestion of whether (od in fact exists !ut the su!8ecti+e truth of one,s own commitment in the face of an o!8ecti+e uncertainty) Althou"h &ierke"aard,s work inspired an influential school of 20th-century reli"ious existentialists :includin" Paul T'55'12 3artin ;4;ER &arl ;ART2 and (a!riel 3AR1E5< the existentialist attitude is perhaps more often associated with atheistic thinkers to whom reli"ious !elief seems like an act of cowardice or as 1amus calls it *philosophical suicide)* /iet7sche,s attack on 1hristianity and 1hristian morality is !ased on his suspicion that these are in fact crutches for weakness instruments for the weak and mediocre to use a"ainst the stron" and self-reliant) They are products of what he calls *the herd * the le"acy of a sla+e morality that prefers safety and security to personal excellence and honor) ;ut as opposed as /iet7sche may !e to &ierke"aard :neither one e+er read the other< these two #$th-century existentialists shared one essential line of approach) They !oth attacked the 1hristianity of their day as hypocritical insistin" that it was an expression of the herd instinct and personal weakness) That &ierke"aard ur"ed a renewal of the 1hristian faith while /iet7sche wished to eliminate it is perhaps less si"nificant from a philosophical standpoint than their common insistence on the importance of indi+idual passion a"ainst the calm pu!lic pronouncements of reason and conformity) Twentieth-century existentialism is lar"ely defined--in its form if not its expression--!y the mo+ement known as P2E/-3E/-5-(6 ori"inated !y Edmund 24SSER5 and pursued into the existential realm !y his student 3artin 2eide""er) 3ost of 2usserl,s own philosophy was restricted to a!stract and impersonal 9uestions in the theory of knowled"e and the foundations of mathematics) 2is method simply stated was to find and examine the essential structures of experience with the aim of esta!lishin" the uni+ersal truths necessary to !asic consciousness) 2eide""er !orrowed the phenomenolo"ical method and applied it to more personal pro!lems-9uestions a!out how human !ein"s should li+e what they are and the meanin" of life and death) 2is work ;E'/( A/% T'3E :#$2=> En") trans) #$?2< is nominally concerned with metaphysics !ut in fact it is a radical reassessment of what it means to exist as a human !ein") 2eide""er re8ects the classical 1artesian concept of consciousness :' think therefore ' am< and

replaces it with the neolo"ism *%asein * a word that literally means *!ein" there)* 'n his +iew there is no separation of mind and matter no consciousness separate from the world) -ne finds oneself in the world *a!andoned)* The pro!lem is to find out what to do with oneself or as /iet7sche said how to !ecome what one is) Phenomenolo"y for 2eide""er !ecomes a method for *disclosin" one.s !ein" * a way of seein" what is essential to oneself) Sartre com!ined existentialism with 3arxism) .rench or crippled> it is an open 9uestion what one will make of oneself whether these will !e handicaps or ad+anta"es challen"es to !e o+ercome or excuses to do nothin") 1amus !orrowed from 2eide""er the sense of !ein" a!andoned in the world and he shared with Sartre the sense that the world does not "i+e meanin" to indi+iduals) .i!lio"raphyB .or Sartre howe+er the heart of existentialism is not "loom or hopelessness !ut a renewed confidence in the si"nificance of !ein" human) @hen Sartre died in #$A0 existentialism as such died with him !ut the existentialist emphasis on the indi+idual the personal and the importance of freedom and responsi!ility continue to represent an essential in"redient of philosophical thinkin") Ro!ert 1) Solomon .ut whereas Sartre 8oined 2eide""er in insistin" that one must make meanin" for oneself 1amus concluded that the world is *a!surd * a term that has :wron"ly< come to represent the whole of existentialist thinkin") .rom Rationalism to Existentialism :#$=2> repr) #$AC<> @arnock 3ark Existentialism :#$=0<) Phenomenology Phenomenolo"y is a school of philosophy whose principal purpose is to study the phenomena or appearances of human experience while attemptin" to suspend all consideration of their o!8ecti+e reality or su!8ecti+e association) The phenomena studied are those experienced in +arious acts of consciousness mainly co"niti+e or perceptual acts !ut also in such acts as +aluation and aesthetic appreciation) Phenomenolo"y took its present shape at the !e"innin" of the 20th century with the writin"s of Edmund 24SSER5) 2usserl intended to de+elop a philosophical method that was de+oid of all presuppositions and that would descri!e phenomena !y focusin" exclusi+ely on them to the exclusion of all 9uestions of their causal ori"ins and their status outside the act of consciousness itself) 2is aim was to disco+er the essential structures and relationships of the phenomena as well as the acts of consciousness in which the phenomena appeared and to do this !y as faithful an exploration as possi!le uncluttered !y scientific or cultural presuppositions) .arrett @illiam 'rrational 3an :#$CA<> (rene 3ar8orie 'ntroduction to Existentialism :#$C$> repr) #$AD<> Solomon Ro!ert .ollowin" !oth 2usserl and 2eide""er he used the phenomenolo"ical method to defend his central thesis that human !ein"s are essentially free free to choose :thou"h not free not to choose< and free to ne"ate the "i+en features of the world) -ne may !e cowardly or shy !ut one can always resol+e to chan"e) -ne may !e !orn Jewish or !lack .

Maurice Gmair-loh-pohn-tee.rance from #$C2 until his untimely death in #$?#) 3erleau-Ponty is re"arded as one of the finest phenomenolo"ists who ha+e worked in the tradition of Edmund 24SSER5 a reputation that is !ased primarily on his two early works The .i!lio"raphyB Edie J)3) Edmund 2usserl.) A) and 3c1ormick P) eds) 2usserlB Expositions and Appraisals :#$==<> .oyce (i!son :#$F#> repr) #$?2<> /atanson 3) A) ed) Phenomenolo"y and the Social Sciences 2 +ols) :#$=F<> Solomon R) 1) ed) Phenomenolo"y and Existentialism :#$=2> repr) #$=$<> Spie"el!er" 2er!ert The Phenomenolo"ical 3o+ement Fd re+) ed) :#$A2<> 0aner Richard The @ay of Phenomenolo"y :#$=0<) Merleau-Ponty.rench phenomenolo"ist and social critic tau"ht philosophy at the 4ni+ersity of 5yon and at the Sor!onne in Paris) 2e occupied the chair in philosophy at the 1olle"e de .inswan"er) Phenomenolo"y has also influenced neoThomist reli"ious thou"ht) Althou"h o!+iously related phenomenolo"y should !e distin"uished from phenomenalism the +iew that human knowled"e is limited to phenomena) Thomas E) @ren .oundation of Phenomenolo"y Fd) ed) :#$?=<> (rossman R) Phenomenolo"y and Existentialism :#$AD<> 2usserl Edmund 'deasB (eneral 'ntroduction to Pure Phenomenolo"y trans) !y @) R) . moh-rees.rench philosophers Jean Paul SARTRE and 3aurice 3ER5EA4-P-/T6 also employed the methods of phenomenolo"y for their existential pro"rams as has the (erman philosopher &arl JASPERS :see EE'STE/T'A5'S3<) Throu"h these philosophers especially Jaspers the phenomenolo"ical method has influenced psycholo"ical thou"ht particularly that of certain European psychiatrists such as 5udwi" .s successors ha+e made of his method) 3ax S12E5ER an early assistant of 2usserl adapted it to reli"ious and ethical experience and 3artin 2E'%E((ER a student of 2usserl applied it to such experiences as dread and fear and there!y "enerated what is now known as existential phenomenolo"y) The .ar!er 3ar+in The .H 3aurice 3erleau-Ponty !) 3ar) #D #$0A d) 3ay D #$?# a .s idea of a presuppositionless science amounted to re8ectin" all antecedent commitments to theories of knowled"e !oth those formally de+eloped as philosophical systems and those which per+ade our ordinary thinkin" :*the natural attitude*<) 2e intended !y this suspension or !racketin" of extraneous commitments to "o !eyond the usual choices of '%EA5'S3 and realism :see REA5'S3 philosophy< to *the thin"s themsel+es)* 'n his later work howe+er 2usserl expanded his phenomenolo"ical method to include what he called *the phenomenolo"ical reduction)* 'n this reduction not only extraneous opinions !ut also all !eliefs a!out the external existence of the o!8ects of consciousness were !racketed) This suspension of all reference to the reality of the thin" experienced left the philosopher with nothin" !ut the experiencin" itself which 2usserl di+ided into the *noesis* :act of consciousness< and the *noema* :o!8ect of consciousness<) 2ere the line !etween idealism and phenomenolo"y !ecame !lurred althou"h the suspension of !elief in the reality of an o!8ect of consciousness is not the same thin" as denyin" that it exists) There is considera!le di+ersity in the use that 2usserl.s Phenomenolo"y :#$A=<> Elliston .'n his ori"inal conception of phenomenolo"y 2usserl.

Structure of .s Philosophy of 5an"ua"e :#$AA<> (ill Jerry 2) 3erleau-Ponty and 3etaphor :#$$#<> &ruks Sonia A Study of the Political Philosophy of 3erleau-Ponty :#$A=<> 3allin Samuel .rom #$DC to #$C2 he colla!orated with Jean Paul SARTRE on the 8ournal 5es Temps 3odernes) At this time he shared many of Sartre.s Philosophy :#$=$<> -.s position and in Ad+entures of the %ialectic :#$CC> En") trans) #$=F< ar"ued that history was irreduci!ly plural and that no sin"le mo+ement not e+en 3arxism :with which he remained sympathetic< could !e re"arded as the exclusi+e a"ency of historical pro"ress) 'n his final essay Si"ns :#$?0> En") trans) #$?D< as in his earlier Sense and /on-Sense :#$DA> En") trans) #$?D< he explored the meanin" of history in connection with lan"ua"e and socially founded meanin"s) Thomas E) @ren .rei!ur" where he !ecame the assistant to Edmund 2usserl) 2eide""er was affiliated with the 4ni+ersity of .ein" and Time :#$2=> En") trans) #$?2< united two philosophical approaches--the EE'STE/T'A5'S3 of Soren &ierke"aard and .s chief concern was ontolo"y or the study of !ein") 2is most important work .rei!ur" throu"hout his career except for a !rief period as a professor at the 4ni+ersity of 3ar!ur") As rector of the uni+ersity from #$FF to #$FD he was a +ocal supporter of the 2itler re"ime and he remained a mem!er of the /a7i party until #$DC) .riedrich /iet7sche and the P2E/-3E/-5-(6 of 2usserl--in an in9uiry into !ein" :Sein< specifically human !ein" :%asein<) Althou"h sometimes considered "loomy and nihilistic !ecause of his emphasis on an"uish and death in .-teenH The (erman philosopher 3artin 2eide""er !) Sept) 2? #AA$ d) 3ay 2? #$=? was one of the most si"nificant thinkers of the 20th century) 2e attended a Jesuit seminary then earned :#$#D< his doctorate from the 4ni+ersity of .ecause of this an attempt was made to remo+e him from the faculty after @orld @ar '' !ut he mana"ed to retain his teachin" post) 2eide""er./eill John Perception Expression and 2istoryB The Social Phenomenolo"y of 3aurice 3erleau-Ponty :#$=0<> Ra!il Al!ert 3erleau-PontyB Existentialist of the Social @orld :#$?=<) Heidegger.s political +iews) 5ater howe+er 3erleau-Ponty re8ected Sartre.i!lio"raphyB Edie James 3) 3erleau-Ponty. Martin Ghy.ein" and Time 2eide""er was concerned with these ne"ati+e aspects of human existence !ecause they shed li"ht on the nature of !ein") .ein" is re+ealed most dramatically !y experiences that show the "ap !etween non!ein" and !ein") The most profound such experience .-de"-ur mahr.eha+ior :#$D2> En") trans) #$?F< and The Phenomenolo"y of Perception :#$DC> En") trans) #$?2<) 4nlike 2usserl 3erleau-Ponty focused on the world-referrin" structures of perception rather than the internal or"ani7ation of consciousness) 2is P2E/-3E/-5-(6 is uni9ue in that he explicitly affirms the reality of the world external to consciousness> thus much of his philosophy consists of a refutation of certain idealistic suppositions that characteri7e classical phenomenolo"y) 'n #$D= 3erleau-Ponty pu!lished 2umanism and Terror :En") trans) #$?$< a "roup of essays defendin" So+iet 1ommunism) .) 3erleau-Ponty.

our 3odern Philosophers trans) !y Alistair 2annay :#$?A<> -krent 3ark 2eide""er.s own non!ein" that is death !ecause this *possi!ility of impossi!ility* re+eals the finitude of human !ein" as !oth a limitation and an incenti+e to li+in" in the world) 'ndeed the prospect of death functionin" as a radical condition for the possi!ility of human experience "i+es authenticity to human !ein"s) .asic @ritin"s ed) !y %a+id .i!lio"raphyB 1aputo John %) The 3ystical Element in 2eide""er.s idiosyncratic use of lan"ua"e and sometimes 9uasimystical tone are often re"arded as !arriers to understandin" his philosophy) /e+ertheless many concepts introduced !y 2eide""er are now common for example the necessity of achie+in" an authentic existence in the face of the downward dra" of the anonymous crowd> the importance of intense si"nificance-disclosin" experiences> and the elusi+eness of the !asic features of human existence) The role of theolo"y in 2eide""er.s philosophy is o!scure !ut his work has "reatly influenced such contemporary theolo"ians as Paul Tillich) 2eide""er himself sometimes seems to imply that !ein"--the 9uest of the philosopher--and the holy--the 9uest of the poet--may ultimately !e the same) Translations of 2eide""er.riedrich 2olderlin and in his in+ention of words with multiple meanin"s deri+ed from their etymolo"ical roots) 2eide""er.s Pra"matism :#$AA<> Richardson @) J) 2eide""er throu"h Phenomenolo"y to Thou"ht :#$?F<> Rorty Richard Essays on 2eide""er and -thers :#$$#<> Seidel () J) 3artin 2eide""er and the .ynsk 1) 2eide""er :#$A?<> 2eide""er 3artin .arias Jictor 2eide""er and /a7ism trans) !y P) .s Thou"ht :#$==> repr) #$AF<> %emske James 3) .ein" 3an and %eath :#$=0<> .s thou"ht chan"ed in se+eral important respects) 2e thus a!andoned his ori"inal intention to write a second part to the ontolo"ical in9uiry that he !e"an with .ein" and Time in which he mo+ed from human experience to the nature of !ein") 'n his later works 2eide""er stresses the decadence of the modern world ar"uin" that humanity has *fallen out of !ein")* 2e traces this fall !ack to (reek philosophy) 'n the thou"ht of the preSocratics particularly Parmenides he finds the only real understandin" of !ein") .is reflection of the prospect of one.urrell and () R) Ricci :#$A$<> .e"innin" in the mid-#$F0s 2eide""er.arrell &rell :#$==<> &ockelmans J) A) 3artin 2eide""er :#$?C<> 5an"an Thomas %) The 3eanin" of 2eide""er :#$C$> repr) #$AF<> 3ac9uarrie John 3artin 2eide""er :#$?A<> 3ehta J) 5) The Philosophy of 3artin 2eide""er :#$=2<> /aess Arne .s works include @hat 's 3etaphysicsI :#$2$> En") trans) #$D$<> An 'ntroduction to 3etaphysics :#$CF> En") trans) #$C$<> @hat 's 1alled Thinkin"I :#$CD> En") trans) #$?A<> @hat 's PhilosophyI :#$C?> En") trans) #$CA<> and -n the @ay to 5an"ua"e :#$C$> En") trans) #$=#<) Thomas E) @ren .ein" and Time) 2is later works howe+er may !e considered this second part !ecause in them 2eide""er works from the notion of !ein" to the more familiar notion of human existence re+ersin" the direction of .y the time of Aristotle that understandin" was lost in the emphasis on human !ein"s as rational creatures) 2eide""er placed particular emphasis on lan"ua"e as the +ehicle throu"h which human !ein"s can reencounter !ein" and on the special role poetry plays in the de+elopment and function of lan"ua"e) The importance he attaches to poetry can !e seen in his respect for the work of the (erman poet .

erdinand de SA4SS4RE undertaken 8ust prior to @orld @ar ' lon" ser+ed as model and inspiration) 1haracteristic of structuralist thinkin" Saussure.ollowin" the ideas of Saussure and of the Sla+ic lin"uists /) S) Tru!et7koy and Roman Jako!son 5e+i-Strauss specified four procedures !asic to structuralism) .s life) -ne of the !asic tenets of EE'STE/T'A5'S3 .ein" and Time exerted a wide influence on European thou"ht in the 20th century) Structuralism Structuralism is a mode of thinkin" and a method of analysis practiced in 20th-century social sciences and humanities) 3ethodolo"ically it analy7es lar"e-scale systems !y examinin" the relations and functions of the smallest constituent elements of such systems which ran"e from human lan"ua"es and cultural practices to folktales and literary texts) 'n the field of lin"uistics the structuralist work of .s lin"uistic in9uiry was centered not on speech itself !ut on the underlyin" rules and con+entions ena!lin" lan"ua"e to operate) 'n analy7in" the social or collecti+e dimension of lan"ua"e rather than indi+idual speech he pioneered and promoted study of "rammar rather than usa"e rules rather than expressions models rather than data lan"ue :lan"ua"e< rather than parole :speech<) Saussure was interested in the infrastructure of lan"ua"e that is common to all speakers and that functions on an unconscious le+el) 2is in9uiry was concerned with deep structures rather than surface phenomena and made no reference to historical e+olution) :'n structuralist terminolo"y it was synchronic existin" now rather than diachronic existin" and chan"in" o+er time)< 'n the domain of anthropolo"y and myth studies the work done in the immediate post-@orld @ar '' period !y 1laude 5EJ'-STRA4SS introduced structuralist principles to a wide audience) .irst structural analysis examines unconscious infrastructures of cultural phenomena> second it re"ards the elements of infrastructures as *relational * not as independent entities> third it attends sin"lemindedly to system> and fourth it propounds "eneral laws accountin" for the underlyin" or"ani7in" patterns of phenomena) 'n humanistic and literary studies structuralism is applied most effecti+ely in the field of *narratolo"y)* This nascent discipline studies all narrati+es whether or not they use lan"ua"eB myths and le"ends no+els and news accounts histories relief sculptures and stained-"lass .Pre-Socratics :#$?D<> Sheehan T) ed) 2eide""er :#$A#<> Steiner (eor"e 3artin 2eide""er :#$A=> repr) #$$#<) Being and Time 'n .ein" and Time :#$2=> En") trans) #$?2< the (erman philosopher 3artin 2E'%E((ER used the method of P2E/-3E/-5-(6 de+eloped !y his teacher Edmund 2usserl--namely to esta!lish uni+ersal truths !y examinin" the essential structures of experience--and applied it to the pro!lem of human existence) 2uman !ein"s he says are thrown into a world that has no meanin" !y itself> this he calls *%asein* :*!ein" there*<) 't is the human task to "i+e meanin" to the world !y achie+in" authentic existence one that transcends !onda"e to the facts of e+eryday life which !linds people to their true sel+es) Authenticity in+ol+es consciousness of time which for humans is the process of emer"in" from nothin" and mo+in" toward the nothin"ness of death) Acceptance of this destiny confers freedom on the indi+idual and "i+es meanin" to one.

) 5eitch .ecause structuralism +alues deep structures o+er surface phenomena it parallels in part the +iews of 3arx and .s %E1-/STR41T'-/ 3ichel .s contemporary sketched a similar science la!eled semiotic) 'n #$?# 5e+i-Strauss situated structural anthropolo"y within the domain of *semiolo"y)* 'ncreasin"ly the terms semiolo"y and SE3'-T'1S came to desi"nate a field of study that analy7es si"n systems codes and con+entions of all kinds from human to animal and si"n lan"ua"es from the 8ar"on of fashion to the lexicon of food from the rules of folk narrati+e to those of phonolo"ical systems from codes of architecture and medicine to the con+entions of myth and literature) The term semiotics has "radually replaced structuralism and the formation of the 'nternational Association for Semiotic Studies in the #$?0s has solidified the trend) At the moment when structuralist methodolo"y was expandin" into the discipline of semiotics critical reaction occurred particularly in .s *semanalysis)* These critical schools were lumped to"ether and la!eled poststructuralism in the 4nited States) %espite the +arious criti9ues of structuralism it has "enerated much important work and holds promise of continuin" to do so) Jincent .) eds) The Structuralists :#$=2<> 2arari Josue ed) Textual Strate"iesB Perspecti+es in Post-Structuralist 1riticism :#$=$<> 2arland Richard SuperstructuralismB The Philosophy of Structuralism and Post-Structuralism :#$A=<> 2awkes Terence Structuralism and Semiotics :#$==<> 5eitch Jincent .i!lio"raphyB .rench narratolo"ists populari7ed the field which has since !ecome an important method of analysis in the 4nited States as well) .reudianism therefore structuralism furthers the on"oin" modern diminishment of the indi+idual portrayin" the self lar"ely as a construct and conse9uence of impersonal systems) 'ndi+iduals neither ori"inate nor control the codes and con+entions of their social existence mental life or lin"uistic experience) As a result of its demotion of the person or su!8ect structuralism is widely re"arded as *antihumanistic)* Saussure en+isa"ed a new discipline a science of si"ns and si"n systems that he named semiolo"y and for which he !elie+ed structural lin"uistics could pro+ide a principal methodolo"y) The American philosopher 1harles Sanders PE'R1E Saussure.s *"enealo"y * and Julia &riste+a.oucault.ART2ES and se+eral other .rance where it led to such antithetical and schismatic pro8ects as (illes pantomimes and psycholo"ical case studies) 4sin" structuralist methods and principles narratolo"ists analy7e the systematic features and functions of narrati+es attemptin" to isolate a finite set of rules to account for the infinite set of real and possi!le narrati+es) Startin" in the #$?0s the .) American 5iterary 1riticism from the Thirties to the Ei"hties :#$AA<> Scholes Ro!ert Structuralism in 5iterature :#$=D<> 6oun" Ro!ert ed) 4ntyin" the TextB A Post-Structuralist Reader :#$A#<) .arthes Roland 1ritical Essays :#$=2<> /ew 1ritical Essays :#$A0< and The Semiotic 1hallen"e all trans) !y Richard 2oward :#$AA<> 1aws P) Structuralism :#$AA<> 1uller Jonathan Structuralist Poetics :#$=C<> %e (eor"e R) and .s *schi7oanalysis * Jac9ues %errida.rench critic Roland .reud !oth of whom were concerned with underlyin" causes unconscious moti+ations and transpersonal forces shiftin" attention away from indi+idual human consciousness and choice) 5ike 3arxism and .