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Existentialism and Humanism - Essay Example

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Existentialism and Humanism

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Existentialism is basically a type of philosophical movement which tends to embrace the view that focuses on that of individual existence and subjectivity, and although it generally refers to the belief that one shapes in regards to one's basic nature and the way that they choose to live throughout their life, at the same time it captures much more than that. In part being a reaction to such names as Hegel and Nietzsche, it is a belief which considers that you are the one who is able to determine yourself, and that your personality and your own self is not given to you at birth, but rather it is given after you make decisions and thoughts and gain your personality. Humanism, on the other hand, is considered as being "a rational philosophy based on belief in the dignity of human beings, informed by science and motivated by human hope and human compassion. Humanists revere the natural world, knowing of no other place to set good examples, to work, and to show love". (Dorrell, 2002). People who are humanists are considered as being those who encourage moral excellence, have faith in other people to choose good over evil, promote positive relationships and human dignity, and who believe that moral values are neither divinely revealed nor that the special property in regards to any type of religious tradition.
Basically existentialism and humanism have for the most forever been considered as being two separate and in fact almost opposite issues in a way, however there is one person in particular, of which we will be discussing critically in this dissertation, who believes in fact that 'existentialism is humanism'. This person is Jean-Paul Sartre, and Sartre, (June 21, 1905 - April 15, 1980), was a French existentialist philosopher, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. He was one of the most noted and leading figures in all of 20th century French philosophy, and the opinions that he made over his life, especially that in regards to existentialism and humanism being one in the same, have been argued against or agreed with by some of the most influential people in the world's history since his day.
When Sartre was a junior lecturer at the Lycee du Havre in the year 1938, it was then that he wrote the novel entitled La Nausee, which even to this day remains as being one of his most popular books of all, and it has been considered by many that this particular literary work of his was one which in ways served as a sort of manifesto of existentialism. He shows in this book how he believed that "our ideas are the product of experiences of real-life situations, and that novels and plays describing such fundamental experiences have as much value as do discursive essays for the elaboration oh philosophical theories". (Wikipedia, 2007). Beginning from there, Sartre began to become even stronger in regards to his view on how existentialism is humanism, and he began to use Edmund Husserl as a sort of backing man, in ...Show more

Summary

Existentialism and humanism are two incredibly important issues, and although each certainly has their own differences, there are absolutely similarities as well, and in order to be able to properly and knowledgeable understand about each one, both the differences and similarities must be thoroughly examined and discussed…
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Existentialism and Humanism essay example
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