An analysis of the individual free will and the concepts of existentialism and determinism

Back to Top Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice.

An analysis of the individual free will and the concepts of existentialism and determinism

Existence precedes essence Sartre claimed that a central proposition of Existentialism is that existence precedes essencewhich means that the most important consideration for individuals is that they are individuals—independently acting and responsible, conscious beings "existence" —rather than what labels, roles, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived categories the individuals fit "essence".

Precursors of existentialism

The actual life of the individuals is what constitutes what could be called their "true essence" instead of there being an arbitrarily attributed essence others use to define them.

Thus, human beings, through their own consciousnesscreate their own values and determine a meaning to their life. His form must be just as manifold as are the opposites that he holds together.

The systematic eins, zwei, drei is an abstract form that also must inevitably run into trouble whenever it is to be applied to the concrete. To the same degree as the subjective thinker is concrete, to the same degree his form must also be concretely dialectical.

But just as he himself is not a poet, not an ethicist, not a dialectician, so also his form is none of these directly. His form must first and last be related to existence, and in this regard he must have at his disposal the poetic, the ethical, the dialectical, the religious.

Subordinate character, setting, etc. The setting is not the fairyland of the imagination, where poetry produces consummation, nor is the setting laid in England, and historical accuracy is not a concern. The setting is inwardness in existing as a human being; the concretion is the relation of the existence-categories to one another.

Historical accuracy and historical actuality are breadth. Instead, the phrase should be taken to say that people are 1 defined only insofar as they act and 2 that they are responsible for their actions.

For example, someone who acts cruelly towards other people is, by that act, defined as a cruel person. Furthermore, by this action of cruelty, such persons are themselves responsible for their new identity cruel persons.

This is as opposed to their genes, or human nature, bearing the blame. As Sartre says in his lecture Existentialism is a Humanism: The more positive, therapeutic aspect of this is also implied: A person can choose to act in a different way, and to be a good person instead of a cruel person.

In a set of letters, Heidegger implies that Sartre misunderstood him for his own purposes of subjectivism, and that he did not mean that actions take precedence over being so long as those actions were not reflected upon.

This way of living, Heidegger called "average everydayness".

Existentialism. The general concern of existentialism is to give an account of what it is like to exist as a human being in the world. Epistemologically, it is denied that there can be an absolutely objective description of the world as it is without the intervention of human interests and actions. Existentialism in the broader sense is a 20th century philosophy that is centered upon the analysis of existence and of the way humans find themselves existing in the world. The notion is that humans exist first and then each individual spends a lifetime changing their essence or nature. 1. (Philosophy) the academic discipline concerned with making explicit the nature and significance of ordinary and scientific beliefs and investigating the intelligibility of concepts by means of rational argument concerning their presuppositions, implications, and interrelationships; in particular, the rational investigation of the nature and structure of reality (metaphysics), the resources.

Absurdism The notion of the Absurd contains the idea that there is no meaning in the world beyond what meaning we give it. This meaninglessness also encompasses the amorality or "unfairness" of the world.

According to Albert Camus, the world or the human being is not in itself absurd. The concept only emerges through the juxtaposition of the two, where life becomes absurd due to the incompatibility between human beings and the world they inhabit.

These are considered absurd since they issue from human freedom, undermining their foundation outside of themselves. The notion of the Absurd has been prominent in literature throughout history.

It is in relation to the concept of the devastating awareness of meaninglessness that Albert Camus claimed that "there is only one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide" in his The Myth of Sisyphus.

An analysis of the individual free will and the concepts of existentialism and determinism

The possibility of having everything meaningful break down poses a threat of quietismwhich is inherently against the existentialist philosophy. The ultimate hero of absurdism lives without meaning and faces suicide without succumbing to it.

Facticity Facticity is a concept defined by Sartre in Being and Nothingness as the in-itselfwhich delineates for humans the modalities of being and not being. This can be more easily understood when considering facticity in relation to the temporal dimension of our past: As an example, consider two men, one of whom has no memory of his past and the other who remembers everything.

They both have committed many crimes, but the first man, knowing nothing about this, leads a rather normal life while the second man, feeling trapped by his own past, continues a life of crime, blaming his own past for "trapping" him in this life.

There is nothing essential about his committing crimes, but he ascribes this meaning to his past. Another aspect of facticity is that it entails angstboth in the sense that freedom "produces" angst when limited by facticity, and in the sense that the lack of the possibility of having facticity to "step in" for one to take responsibility for something one has done, also produces angst.

Authenticity Many noted existentialist writers consider the theme of authentic existence important.

An analysis of the individual free will and the concepts of existentialism and determinism

Authentic existence involves the idea that one has to "create oneself" and then live in accordance with this self. This can take many forms, from pretending choices are meaningless or random, through convincing oneself that some form of determinism is true, to a sort of "mimicry" where one acts as "one should".

How "one should" act is often determined by an image one has, of how one such as oneself say, a bank manager, lion tamer, prostitute, etc. In Being and NothingnessSartre relates an example of a " waiter " in bad faith: The Other and the Look[ edit ] Main article: Other philosophy The Other when written with a capital "O" is a concept more properly belonging to phenomenology and its account of intersubjectivity.The word determinism will steer us toward metaphysics, but Sartre only borrows language from metaphysics, and he speaks of determinism in a purely pragmatic sense of human psychology.

Determinism - Wikipedia Back to Top Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice. It is the view that humans define their own meaning in life, and try to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe.

Consider this riff on "existence precedes essence" from Existentialism is a Humanism. Existentialism (/ ˌ ɛ ɡ z ɪ ˈ s t ɛ n ʃ əl ɪ z əm /) is a tradition of philosophical inquiry associated mainly with certain 19th and 20th-century European philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual.

Understanding Existentialism - 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.

Determinism is the philosophical idea that all events, including moral choices, are determined completely by previously existing causes. Determinism is at times understood to preclude free will because it entails that humans cannot act otherwise than they do.

It can also be called as hard determinism from this point of view.

Fundamental concepts and contrasts

Hard determinism is a position on the relationship of determinism to. Existentialism (/ ˌ ɛ ɡ z ɪ ˈ s t ɛ n ʃ əl ɪ z əm /) is a tradition of philosophical inquiry associated mainly with certain 19th and 20th-century European philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual.

1. (Philosophy) the academic discipline concerned with making explicit the nature and significance of ordinary and scientific beliefs and investigating the intelligibility of concepts by means of rational argument concerning their presuppositions, implications, and interrelationships; in particular, the rational investigation of the nature and structure of reality (metaphysics), the resources.

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