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"You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of.

You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. --Albert Camus

What is Existentialism?
Existentialism is defined by the slogan: EXISTENCE PRECEDES ESSENCE This means we have no predetermined nature or essence that controls who we are, what we do, or what we value. We are thrown into existence without a predetermined nature, and only later do we construct our essence through our actions.

Existence Precedes Essence

The Existential Condition

The Existential condition is characterized by three main things: 1.) Facticity (throwness): We find ourselves thrown into a world we don't control and didn't choose. The world is indifferent to our concerns.

The Existential Condition

2.) Anxiety: We are burdened with the task of choosing our own nature and values (i.e. our essence).

The Existential Condition

3.) Despair: We are faced with the lack of any external source of value or meaning. We must despair of any hope of external value or meaning. These three things lead to EXISTENTIAL ANGST

Free Choice
Ironically, much of existential angst comes from our freedom to choose. Existentialists believe that free choice is the ultimate prize, but also the ultimate burden. Mastery and commandment of free will are existential ideals.

Summary: The Existential Condition

We, uniquely conscious beings, are thrown

into the world:

There is no justification for our existence There is no fixed human nature or predetermined direction for our lives There is no purpose or meaning in life

How to Deal with it Correctly

The Positive Task: live authentically, that is, be true to the kind of being that you are:
Free: Create who we are through our choices.

Commit to a particular life fully, and see it through.

Subjective: Our understanding of the world must

lie within our individual actions and experience.

Individual: Do not identify with accepted norms;

you are a unique being.

All is not Doom and Gloom

The existential problem: If we are free to

choose our own values instead of taking them from external sources, can we do anything we want, no matter how evil or selfish?
The existential solution: In order to act

freely, we must not let our action be determined by any of our particular desires or interests. We must act as any free agent would act, hence we must act as we would like other people to act.

To Review
An existentialist believes that a persons life is nothing but the sum of the life he has shaped for himself. At every moment it is always his own free will choosing how to act. He is responsible for his actions, which limit future actions.

Thus, he must create a morality in the absence of any known predetermined absolute values.
Honesty with oneself is the most important value. Every decision must be weighed in light of all the consequences of that action Life is irrational and absurd, but we engage it!

Educational Implications of Existentialism

The philosophy of existentialism has not displayed any particular interest in education. Therefore, it






educational implications are derived and deduced from their philosophy rather than that are developed by existentialists.

Aims and Objectives of Education and Existentialism

Education helps an individual to realize the best that he is capable of. Education for happiness is a dangerous doctrine because there can be no happiness without pain and no ecstasy without suffering. Students must develop a consistent scale of values and so act to be prepared to die for these values than to live without them.

Aims and Objectives of Education and Existentialism

Every individual is unique. Education must make pupil aware of the infinite possibilities of his freedom and the responsibilities he must bear in life. The most important aim in education is the becoming of a human person as one who lives and makes decisions about what he will do and be.

Aims and Objectives of Education and Existentialism

Education for complete development of personality. More importance to subjective knowledge than objective knowledge. Education for perfection of man in his environment.

Aims and Objectives of Education and Existentialism

Education should create consciousness for self.

Education should train men to make better choices and also give the man the idea that since his choices are never perfect , the consequences cannot be predicted.

Aims and Objectives of Education and Existentialism





education is to make man conscious of his destination, to give understanding of his being and ultimately lead him to his heavenly abode

Teacher and Existentialism

He must himself be a free personality. He must help the pupils to be original and authentic. He is the creator of such as educational situation in which the student can establish contact with himself by becoming conscious of himself and can achieve selfrealization.

Teacher and Existentialism

He must build a positive relationship between himself and the students. He should avoid applying labels to children. He is also changing and growing as he guides the pupil in his discovery of self.

Child and Existentialism

The existentialists want to give full freedom to the child. They do not want the child to become selfish, autocratic and irresponsible. Education should be provided according to the childs powers and needs.

Child and Existentialism

The child has to make choices and decisions. Child thrives better from intense competition, harsh discipline and fear of failure. Primary emphasis must always be on the child, as learner and not on the learning program.

Child needs positive evaluation, not labels.

Interest is directed on man. It describes and diagnoses human weaknesses, limitations and conflicts. It traces the origin of all these and anticipates that man will overcome them.

They do not want man to be philistine or mediocre who submerges himself. They want the transcendence of man, which means that he should become more and more authentic. It preaches the doctrine of action and emphasizes the concept of freedom, choice and responsibility.

Human existence cannot be captured by reason or objectivity it must include passion, emotion and the subjective

Each of us is responsible for everything and to every human being.

Simone de Beauvoir