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Existentialism is a term applied to the work of a number of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, generally held that the focus of philosophical thought should be to deal with the conditions of existence of the individual person and his or her emotions, actions, responsibilities, and thoughts. The early 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, posthumously regarded as the father of existentialism, maintained that the individual is solely responsible for giving his or her own life meaning and for living that life passionately and sincerely, in spite of many existential obstacles and distractions including despair, angst, absurdity, alienation, and boredom.
Originally posted by AProphet1233
reply to post by NorEaster
The term ego was never used in this thread until you posted it. Neither was what one could classify as the "id" alluded to until you mistakenly alluded to it.
Not only that but existentialism has no clear definition. It never has. Despite what you may find on Wikipedia, you bastion of knowledge you, and had you even read to the bottom of the Wikipedia page, you thorough and studious researcher you, you would have known that the very nature of the discipline defies ultimate classification as it is not a philosophy but an anti-philosophy. Existentialism is anti-ideology, religion, or anything claiming to know the absolute nature of existence. At best the definition for it would be like me slapping you in the face and making you write the exact opposite of what that Wikipedia definition says.
Not only would it be completely funny, but completely valid.
And I'll also add that Kierkegaard was much more a theologist than existentialist. Dostoevsky and Nietzsche would be the true fathers of the movement. Heidegger, Camus, and Sartre are others who basically influenced any great mind to exist after them.
edit on 22-9-2010 by AProphet1233 because: (no reason given)
ex·is·ten·tial·ism /ˌɛgzɪˈstɛnʃəˌlɪzəm, ˌɛksɪ-/ Show Spelled
[eg-zi-sten-shuh-liz-uhm, ek-si-] Show IPA
–noun Philosophy .
a philosophical attitude associated esp. with Heidegger, Jaspers, Marcel, and Sartre, and opposed to rationalism and empiricism, that stresses the individual's unique position as a self-determining agent responsible for the authenticity of his or her choices.
World English Dictionary
a modern philosophical movement stressing the importance of personal experience and responsibility and the demands that they make on the individual, who is seen as a free agent in a deterministic and seemingly meaningless universe
Word Origin & History
1941, from Ger. Existentialismus (1919), ultimately from Dan. writer Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), who wrote (1846) of Existents-Forhold "condition of existence," existentielle Pathos , etc. (see existential), and whose name means, literally, "churchyard." Related: Existentialist .