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Existentialism Philosophy - Essay Example

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Kierkegaard is known to be the father of existentialism. He is also a highly known philosopher of the 19th century. Kierkegaard developed the idea of living life in a variety of stages. Aesthetical, ethical and the religious were his divisions of life. In his work, he claimed that he went through similar experiences during his lifetime, and he used the stages to establish his own philosophy of life and of human existence. He assessed the first two stages with regard to normal set of believes and behavior. However, the last stage developed based on personal and non-rational opinion “leap of faith” (Cooper 517). The aesthetical stage was characterized by immediacy and failure, to reflect with seriousness upon the nature of a person’s life. The people in this stage were defined to like material things and fulfilling their desires as they occurred. People become slaves to their senses and they tend to want to fulfill desires propelled by their senses. People would tend to fulfill needs they consider appropriate and other people’s opinion did not count. The stage represents two types of lifestyles; reflective and non-reflective immediacy. Alcohol, sex and drugs are some illustrations of satisfying unrefined immediacy. An individual acts without thinking because the satisfaction expected does not require thinking, refined immediacy, on the other hand characterized by thoughtful planning (Cooper 518). Sometimes people think before undertaking a certain action, but the thoughts do not put into consideration moral and ethical values. Reflection of the lifestyle embarked not put into consideration. Planning made in order to gain full satisfaction of the lifestyle. According to Kierkegaard this pleasures of life will eventually vanish, and an individual will be caught in a moment of despair (Kierkegaard n. p). In the end, one will get tired of the life of luxury and satisfaction would hardly be achieved. He considered this stage significant because after the moment of despair one develops a sense of ethical understanding. The ethical stage according to Kierkegaard provides a meaningful existence. The stage involves adhering to personal morals and ethics, pleasure and emotions are not the main factors towards happiness and satisfaction. Reason and a duty to fulfill a certain feeling engulf the stage. The ethical stage represents religious development and the responsibility that follows religious believes. One becomes a commitment participant in society. Image and reputation become the virtue of a person in this stage. Connection to the family members and friends becomes very significant, and marriage is a marvelous example of commitment represented in this stage. A mature person who has undergone a stage of mistakes and errors in life represents ethical stage. The ethical stage remains in a person’s life even after moving to the next stage of life; religion. In the aesthetical stage, one lacks the will of commitment and only personal satisfaction matters. For instance, when Kierkegaard experienced this stage he liked the life of pleasure and despised commitment that is why he broke his engagement to Regina Olsen a woman from Copenhagen. After he had broken the engagement, he began searching for a reason of life. He was tired with the pleasures of life. The personal letters he wrote during this period were mainly based on his feelings and thoughts of life where he stated that his ...Show more
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Name Professor Course Date Existentialism Existentialism is a movement developed in the 20th century. The goal of the movement was to ensure people had freedom of determining the meaning of life instead of believing of the existence of a higher being. According to the group, this meant that there is no God and that human beings are free and accountable to their own lives…
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