The Characteristics Of Existentialist Thought Essays

The Characteristics Of Existentialist Thought Essays

Length: 1132 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

III. The aim of this essay is to clearly distinguish the characteristics of existentialist thought and demonstrate whether belief in God amounts to inauthentic escapism. Existentialist thought comes from the philosophical concept of existentialism. Notably, Existentialism is a philosophical approach that emphasizes mostly on individual existence, choices and freedom. The viewpoint of this philosophy is that humans describe their own purpose in life while trying to make rational decisions even though we live in an irrational world. It comes with various characteristics, which distinguish it from other types of thought.
First, this type of thinking lies in people who are rarely straightforward in their writings and opinions. Such people prefer hiding under layers of irony and pseudonyms. Therefore, it is clear that one aspect of existentialist thought lies in some form of secrecy. One such person who had similar thought was the Danish philosopher, Kierkegaard (Rosenstand p. 490). Second, people who do not belong to any school of thought characterize this type of thought. Actually, such people are normally associated with superficial nature, extreme academic excellence, and remoteness from the actual truth about life (Rosenstand p. 494). Third, proponents of this type of thought believe that humans are solely responsible for their personal actions and are free to undertake such actions.
In essence, it recognizes that humans ought to rise above the normal absurd condition of humanity. Instead, they should exercise utmost freedom and choice oriented decision-making (Rosenstand p. 493). Lastly, as Kierkegaard recognized, rationality is the main instrument for humans to oppose their existential anxiety (Rosenstand p. 495). We live in a ...

... middle of paper ...

...ay appear immoral. For instance, there are various wars across the world today and soldiers may be unjustly involved in such fights just because they were chosen based on courage. However, that does not mean they are morally acceptable to the society. Perhaps, one other weakness would be the question as to whether there really is a specific human function as anticipated by Aristotle.
In my judgment, I do not believe the kind of life that Aristotle advocated for is possible in present-day American society. The reason relies on the fact that the United States has reached a very high level of developed democracy where individuals know their rights. Furthermore, the contemporary world has introduced a complicated mixture of generations with varying interests. Therefore, it would be very difficult to impose certain virtues on people when they know what is right for them.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Existentialist Perception Of The Human Condition: With Special Reference To Sartre

- Existentialist Perception Of The Human Condition: With Special Reference To Sartre ABSTRACT: Existentialism lays stress on the existence of humans; Sartre believed that human existence is the result of chance or accident. There is no meaning or purpose of our lives other than what our freedom creates, therefore, we must rely on our own resources. Sartre thought that existence manifests itself in the choice of actions, anxiety and freedom of the will. In this way the responsibility of building one's future is in one's hands, but the future is uncertain and so one has no escape from anxiety and despair....   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Papers]

Strong Essays
2430 words (6.9 pages)

Essay on Comparing Common Characteristics of The Trial and Nausea

- Common Characteristics of The Trial and Nausea I am happy I took the opportunity to explore Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea and Franz Kafka's The Trial. These novels are considered by many to be two of the definitive works representing Existentialist philosophy. Many other authors have dealt with the subject of existence in the form of a novel, most notably Samuel Beckett (Molloy) and Albert Camus (A Happy Death). Existentialist ideas have even slipped into the works of authors such as Ernest Hemingway and Joseph Heller....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
385 words (1.1 pages)

Essay on Existentialism Is A Defining Point Of Existentialism

- Existentialism is just one of the many philosophies that attempt to determine the meaning of life. This idea that the world is meaningless developed in Europe around the time of World War II. Many writers and authors in the forties and fifties were affected by the horrors of war and this new philosophy, namely, Albert Camus. Existentialism is greatly reflected in Camus’ time period, culture, and works such as The Stranger. To truly understand how existentialism is reflected in Camus’ time and works, it must first be defined....   [tags: Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus]

Strong Essays
1197 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Existentialists in the Television Show Spongebob Squarepants

- Children across the world enjoy the television show Spongebob for its loveable characters and humor. The most prominent of these characters is Spongebob Squarepants, a personified sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea, in a town called Bikini Bottom. He spends the majority of his time working as a chef at the Krusty Krab, a fast food restaurant run by a greedy crab named Mr. Krabs. Spongebob’s neighbor and co-worker, Squidward Tentacles, has a very cynical view of life, constantly complaining about Spongebob and praising the clarinet and other arts....   [tags: Spongebob Squarepants, ]

Strong Essays
848 words (2.4 pages)

Albert Camus and His Views on Existentialism Essay

- Albert Camus is considered one of the greatest existentialist writers of all time. However, although he was considered an existentialist writer, Camus never labeled himself as an existentialist. “No, I am not an existentialist”  (Albert Camus: Lyrical and Critical Essays, Vintage (1970)) Camus rejected in an 1945 interview, however in some of his literary works, some find that his writings are one of a true existentialistic thinker. Although many contrast these thoughts and believe that Camus was anything but a thinker of this philosophy, Camus is one of the main authors that people turn to research and read to understand the thinking of existentialism....   [tags: Existentialist Writer]

Strong Essays
1002 words (2.9 pages)

The Characteristics of the Mu'Tazilite School of thought Essay

- With the rise of the Abbasids in 750, the Islamic faith entered into an unprecedented age of reason. Looking towards great thinkers of classical Greco times such as Plato and Aristotle, a new breed of Islamic philosopher appeared, one that embraced reason and rationality along with revelation. It is in these times that the highly esteemed Muslim philosophers appeared, such as Al Kindi and Ibn Sinā, thinkers that would make leaps in theological study such as Ibn Sinā who had great effect western Latin theology under the name of Avicenna....   [tags: downfall of an Islamic sect]

Strong Essays
2573 words (7.4 pages)

Radhakrishnan's Thought and Existentialism Essay

- Radhakrishnan's Thought and Existentialism ABSTRACT: I attempt to show the similarities between the viewpoints of Radhakrishnan and the existentialist thinkers. The philosophy of Radhakrishnan is an attempt to reinterpret and reconstruct the Advaita Vedanta of Sankara in the light of scientific knowledge and techniques of modern time. Existentialism is an attitude and outlook that emphasizes human existence. For Radhakrishnan, the human is essentially subject, not object. The existentialists assert that the human is not an object to be known, but a subject....   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Papers]

Free Essays
1618 words (4.6 pages)

Understanding Existentialism Essays

- Do we matter. Do we seek personal happiness in life. These are questions from existentialism. The dictionary defines existentialism as an individual’s experience filled with isolation in a hostile universe where a human being attempts to find true self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility. Hamlet is an existentialist character who believes that he is forced to avenge his father’s death and the hatred builds in his heart because of the many betrayals which direct him towards a senseless life and constant thoughts about suicide; this ultimately leads to his demise and he is left with naught....   [tags: Existentialism]

Strong Essays
872 words (2.5 pages)

Existentialism Essay

- Existentialism 'Existence precedes essence'. These are the few words that many people live by. These words describe a philosophy called Existentialism. The philosophical term, Existentialism, came from Jean Paul Sartre, a French philosopher. Jean Paul Sartre wrote 'No Exit', where he portrayed his philosophy negatively. On the other hand, Albert Camus, who wrote The Stranger, portrayed Existentialism positively through his characters. Each author uses the characteristics of Existentialism positively or negatively to define their own story as well as their characters as true Existentialists or not      Existentialism has been described as a philosophical movement especially of the 20th cent...   [tags: Philosophy Sartre Existentialist Essays]

Free Essays
1272 words (3.6 pages)

Existentialism Essay

- Existentialism is a philosophy about life that says being is more important than the indispensable everyday occurrences. It acknowledges an individuals freedom to choose and says with this knowing there comes an immense sense of responsibility. Despair, hopelessness and anxiety are characteristic of a person struggling with existential thoughts. Nihilism sums up this condition by stating that all values are baseless, nothing is foreseeable and that life itself is meaningless. The characters in A Clean Well Lighted Place and A Day’s Wait show signs of being both aware and unaware of these elements of existentialism....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
723 words (2.1 pages)