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Foundation II

Lesson 3
27 August 2013
Lesson objectives
• At the end of the lesson, students will be able
to discuss the following concepts:
 Existentialism
 Postmodernism
 Negritude
 Authenticity
• It is described as a philosophical belief which
stresses the importance of human experience
and that every human being is responsible for
the results of his/her own actions.
• It is believed to be the central problem facing
humanity with the question “how a human
being came to being exist?”
• It is teaching us that every person must choose
what is essential/ important and meaningful for
him/her in the process of existence.
• Every person/individual is seemed/viewed as
being unique and uniquely responsible for
his/her own belief/fate.
• It is telling us that there is no one who has the
right to force anyone to believe in what an
individual is not willing to fate.

• It helps us to believe in the existence of our

mighty God.
• A person’s philosophy can only be determined
in what he/she beliefs/fates.
• Philosophy is the study which deals with the
ultimate realists of the universe and the

• General cause and principles of those things

that man observes and experiences.
• It has various branches, such as natural, moral
and political philosophy.

• It is a largely reaction against the philosophical

assumptions, values, and intellectual world
view of the modern period of Western history.
• Postmodernism can fairly be described as the
straightforward denial of the general
philosophical viewpoint.

• The viewpoints are as follow:

- There is an objective natural reality, a reality
whose existence and properties are logically
independent of human beings.
- Postmodernists dismiss this idea as a kind of
naive realism.
- It deals with the investigation of past events
by historians and to the description of social
institutions, structures or practices by social
- The descriptive and explanatory statements of
scientists and historian can be objectively true
or false.
- The postmodern denial of this viewpoint is
sometimes expressed by saying that there is
no such thing as Truth.
- Through the use of reason and logic, human
beings are likely to change themselves and
their societies for the better.
- Reason and logic are universally valid i.e., their
laws are the same for, or apply equally to, any
thinker and any domain of knowledge.

- Language refers to and represents a reality

outside itself.
- According to postmodernists, language is not
such a “mirror of nature.”
- Human beings can acquire knowledge about
natural reality.
- Postmodernists reject philosophical foundation to
identify a foundation of certainty on which to
build the edifice of empirical knowledge.
- It is possible, at least in principle, to construct
general theories that explain many aspects of the
natural or social world within a given domain of
- Postmodernists dismiss this notion as a pipe
dream and indeed as symptomatic of an
unhealthy tendency.

• It is defined as “the black world” as an answer

to the question “what are we in this white
world "is indeed quite a problem.
• The “we” have to define themselves against a
world which leaves no room for who and what.

- They are black folks in a world where

“universal “ seems to naturally mean “white.”
- Negritude or the self-affirmation of black
people, or the affirmation of the values of
something defined as “the black world.”

• The transformation of individual feelings of

revolt into a concept that would also unify all
Black people and overcome the separation
created by slavery.

• Personal authenticity is often defined as being

true and honest with oneself and others, having
a credibility in one’s words and behavior, and
an absence of pretence.
• Its meaning is then often clarified by
contrasting it to inauthenticity, like comparing
light to darkness.

• The quest for authenticity is in part related to

achieving some measure of autonomy and
freedom, to the desire to be the architect of
one’s own life.
• Becoming authentic is an individual mission,
since each person has their own way of being
human and what is authentic will be different
for each individual.

• Personal authenticity is highly contextual and

depends on various social, political, religious
and cultural characteristics.
Philosophies of authenticity(1)
• The concept of authenticity has been explored
throughout history by many writers.
• The social barrier to achieving authenticity
was emphasized by Jean-Jacques Rouseau,
who argued that personal authenticity is
diminished by the need for the esteem of
others in societies characterized by hierarchy,
inequality and interdependence.
Philosophies of authenticity(2)
• The existential philosopher Martin Heidegger
said that authenticity is choosing the nature of
one’s existence and identity.
• Another existentialist, Jean-Paul Sartre argued
that there is no unchanging essence to the
self, but we have a free will that allows to
complete freedom to determine our lives from
the choices available
Philosophies of authenticity(3)

• Albert Camus claimed that the awareness that

we inhabit a universe which doesn’t care
about us and offers us no salvation compels
the individual to recognize that the only path
to freedom is authentic self-realization.
Some Basic Qualifications of

• The concept of authenticity is a human

construct and as such it has no reality
independent of mind.
• Some argue that authenticity is impossible to
achieve as an ongoing state of being.
Paradoxes of Authenticity(2)

• Another limitation in the quest for authenticity

is related to the language used, which is open
to misinterpretation.
• Authentic communication depends on the
capacity of individual to recognize what is true
for themselves.
Paradoxes of Authenticity(3)
• Another dilemma with personal authenticity is
related to the fact that most personal attributes
change with time.
• Other factors that may hinder the development of
personal authenticity include a lack of
understanding of authenticity, one’s prior
programming, the fear of rejection and failure and
social pressures to conform.