Mod-01 Lec-36 Existentialism: main features; existence precedes essence; freedom and responsibility;


Welcome to this lecture series on Aspects
of Western Philosophy, module 36 and lecture number 36. So, this lecture is going to introduce existentialism,
focusing on it is main feathers and some of the important concerns
of existentialism as I do not want to call it a
philosophical movement, because there was not such a movement as such. In that sense
existentialism is a very unique and a very different approach to philosophy or has a
place in the history of philosophy, there is pictures
you can see the you if you can identify them, the first 1 is Nietzsche, we have already
examine some of his views, this is Heidegger and third 1 is this is Sartre, Jean
Paul Sartre, and here comes, this is Soren Kierkegaard. They are all different types of philosophers
for instance Kierkegaard is Sartre would call him his theistic existentialist, and Sartre
would define himself for understands himself as
an atheistic existentialist, and Heidegger is one percent who would not probably like
to associate himself with existentialism, he
rather hated that label of existentialism, and
Nietzsche is a one person who was active in philosophy when the movement called
existentialism was not, was yet to come up. In that sense you know you can see all these
diversity in existentialism and probably one philosopher who claimed himself as an existentialist
in this picture is Sartre, who actually claim that he is an existentialist
and he is also a written in book existentialism and humanism, which is a defense of existentialism. A defense in the sense you know a it
is an answer to various critics from various directions from the communist, from the
Christians, from various other directions. So, in this lecture we will see some of the
important features and try to situate in the context of a historical development both in
philosophy as well as in western history. Is very difficult to say that existentialism
is a result of the works done by a group of philosophers, who agreed upon certain common
notions and all that very difficult to identify such common themes. Yet there were attempts even including Sartre
try to sort of identify something which can be understood as the most important feature
of existentialism, which is according to Sartre the dictum existence proceeds as in
we will discuss that later. So, here there is
some sort of a definition or some sort of a description of existentialism, which is
given by Charlesworth, he says I quote it was one
could say more or intellectual mood or atmosphere than a coherent creed or body of
doctrine. More an outlook or mind set than
a philosophical party line, more a method or approach than a school of thought and it
was very much a creature of the waste land that was Europe during and after the last
2 war last world war. This is if this keeping this is mind, this
particular description of existentialism in mind. Let us move on to identify some of the important
features thought as I mentioned earlier, this is not an attempt to identifies some
of the common features which are set to be a
essential for all philosophers whom would identified themselves as existentialist, but
just to see some of the features. First one is characterized by a reaction of
the philosophy of man against the excess of the
philosophy of ideas and the philosophy of things. So, the in once sense this statement
implies that traditionally in western philosophy has been mostly a philosophy of ideas
and philosophy of things, were in that process man get neglected. Existentialism can be seen as a kind of a
response a reaction to this feature it understands existence in a concrete sense of living or
lived reality. So, this is another there are certain
terms like lived experiences or living reality these are some of the terms which you will
find repeatedly figuring in when you read existential literature, because the focus
is on the individual and the concrete manifestations
of human existence. What I mean by a
concrete manifestations are like you know the kind of experiences human concrete,
human beings have, rather than problems of humanity or universal humanity there are
problems, which each individual a concrete individual faces in his or her life day to
day life, problems and relationships and various
other issues traditionally philosophers have never dealt with such issues. Traditional philosophy as always been a philosophy
of ideas or philosophy of things, but here these
thinkers this 20th century philosophers sort of try to argue that what is more important
is man himself or herself, accuses philosophical traditions of ignoring the concrete
man and his problems. This is what I mention the concrete man and
his problems are ignored completely by these traditional thinkers. Now let see what is meant by understanding
human existence, an existentialist say that, what is important
his existence of man? They are not interested in an a priori an
impersonal conception of human reality this is
again a very important aspect of existentialism, there is a kind of turn towards concrete
human existence, the man who exist, the man who lives, his lived experiences his anxiety
his threats, his worries and problems. So, these are the concerns of existential
thinkers not an a priori and impersonal conception
of human reality they are concern with. Where
again it is not to understand man in terms of some fundamental rational concepts like
what was advocated by philosophers like Plato, Descrates and Kant Hegel etc for
example, in the case of Plato you have this notion of essence. Plato has a philosopher conceived, what is
philosophically relevant? What is
philosophically significant is the idea the essence of man is important not concrete
human beings; concrete human beings he conceived are in perfect copies of that idea of
man. So, all substantial philosophical problems
are deal with these abstract universal ideas for Plato, where does the concrete human
being figure in such a situation again descarte, where it begins with the thinking
the cogito the thinking eye which is again not
a very concrete a individual, who lives in a world, but it is the very abstract entity
Kant and Hegel, all of them you know there is a
emphasis on structures of universal rationality in Kant the structures of mind the twelve
categories, and Hegel talks about an absolute in
which everything is consumed under, everything is got under that absolute for Hegel,
where there is no scope for anything which is concrete and particular. This over those of universalism and absolutism
and abstract theorization would eventually neglect, the human Situatedness
the human worries the concrete human being, what Heidegger would term has the being in
the world, the world where the merits of you know things and objects and other human
beings with a lot of problems and worries focus on the concrete living individual in
his actual preoccupation with himself and the
world. So, this is what I said other the actual relationship
between the world of objects in the other people and again you know how I
pre occupy myself, I mean when I leave in this world myself conceptions, what I do the
kind of worries I have, I mean the kind of being I create out of this world in which
I leave. Thorough my lived experiences I can put it
in that way. So, these things are the focal
concern and to derive the meaning of the individual man from living or lived experiences
of concrete individuals and their surroundings. Now, let us come to some important concerns
again not to identify common concerns, but some important concern which appear here
and there in the work in the writings of these thinkers live once life, this is very
important because the moment you emphasis on concrete existence of man and you know what
you mean by each individuals concrete existence is unique. This is what Heidegger means by authenticity
when you says that, when you distinguishes authentic human existence from
in authentic ways of existing, which is again recapitulated by Sartre through his
concept of back faith which is where you in authentically exist. Where the emphasizes that you should live
your own life do not try to imitate others you
live in a concrete situation you have to take decisions you cannot blame others for your
life what is happening to your life take responsibility, these are some of the important
concerns associated with this then again existential questions are important death
meaning of human existence god and man, values in life, nature of relationships,
etcetera. There are considered as existential problems
rather than universal problems concerning human essence or universal human nature or
anything, anything of abstract nature these problems are very concrete you know, when
I say I am concerned about death it is about death which affects me, my death or death
of those people whom I know. So, it is a
concrete reality for me, it is not a abstract philosophical concept again meaning of human
existence, what is that meaning when I raise this question, I would eventually have to
find an answer to this question from the conduction, which I leave in this world. So, what
things happen to me though all those things that happen to me my historicity is very
important in finding consist to these questions, like values in life for instance my
relationship with other people, my relationship with god, all these are problematized and
in all such problems you can see the concrete human being comes to the for print rather
then and abstract universal humanity. Questions on the universal and objective values
are suspended like essence of man value and meaning of life etcetera, and concern
for human freedom and choices and other issues related to this like dread anxiety
etcetera, concern for human freedom and choices like what you mean by freedom, freedom is
essentially understood by existential thinkers as something which the ability and the freedom
to make choices in your life. So, when
you make a choice, naturally you know; you know that you are making the choice and
you are anxious about what is going to happen. So, there is anxiety there is dread there
is a lot of anxiety about what would be the impact
or the result of the choice which you are going to make. This a quote from a jaspers book to himself
is a very important prominent member of this existential movement, the book’s title
is philosophy of existence I quote already in
the 19th century, movements with this turn of mind kept recurring people wanted life
wanted really to live, they demanded realism instead of wanting merely to know they
wanted to experience for themselves, everywhere they wanted to genuine wanted the
genuine searched for origins and wanted to press on to man himself, superior men
became more clearly visible at the same time it became possible to discover the true and
the real in the smallest particle and quote. The catchword is instead of wanting merely
to know they wanted to experience for themselves, I would rather identify this as
a most important statement in this paragraph which I read out. So, here existentialism as been divided into
2 classes, 2 types of existentialism mostly done by Sartre it is
theistic and atheistic. The theistic existentialist are people like
Soren Kierkegaard, who is also being understood as the founder of which is not
a real at expression the most important thinker in the existential movement, in that sense
Kierkegaard is being regarded by many as the founder of existentialism a Martin Buber,
Paul Tillich, Gabriel Marcel and Karl Jaspers. These are some of them they for them god exists,
and the atheist people prominently are Jean Paul Sartre then Simon De Beauvoir, Friedrich
Nietzche, Nietzche is again as I mentioned you know it is very difficult to
classify Nietzche as an existentialist, but still
Martin Heidegger this is also in other very content issue, because whether Heidegger can
be treated as an existentialist he himself which it does not want to be categorized as
an existentialist. Then there are others like Albert Camu, who
are absurdist and also shared a lot of other a
concerns with the existentialist prefer to distance themselves from the existential
movement, and for them god does not exist or is not problematized for Heidegger for
instance, it is not problematized at all, hence no values and meaning since people like
Nietzche And Sartre since, they are visibly atheistic they would deny the conception of
values which are transcendental or metaphysical there is no such transcendental an
metaphysical values or meaning for human life which is fixed a priori. So, they would
emphasis or rather, Sartre would do it more explicitly emphasizing on you know creating
one zone essences through existence, the way on the exits them choices one makes in
once life and essentially you know one exist by making choices. By making such choices one exists and through
which one makes oneself. So, that is a
process which these people would prominently identify as part of their existentialism and
absurdity is another concept which I have already mentioned people like Albert Camu
and many others. Again let us come back to common features
once again, existentialism was not a rational philosophical system like rationalism or empiricism,
I have already mentioned this it was existentialist ideas were popularized through
art and literature as well philosophers, philosophizes not with reason alone. See for instance Sartre was a novelist and
some of his very important philosophical ideas were articulated through novel century stories. For instance is famous novel nausea
which is his probably is first philosophical novel is nausea and there are prominent
stories, like the world and all where he expresses the ideas of existentialism through
these media and Albert Camu is another prominent who is a novel
narrate for literature, he is novels and short stories are taken contain a lot of existential
elements and another very important aspect, as I mentioned you know existentialism is
not something which originated with one thinker in the classical sense of the term, it is
always been there and you know these philosophers particularly Sartre and Camu and
many others. They were all inspired by not only by philosophers,
but also by other times of intellectuals like poets and artist and novelist
and others, for instance Shakespeare was a major inspiration Dostoevsky, is a very prominent
inspiration for existentialist Kafka, Franz Kafka his short stories particularly
his very famous story metamorphosis, these are
all very important literature for the existential movement and in that sense it is a very
different form of philosophy, a there is no common doctrine which all the existentialist
would be arguably advocating begins from man as an existent subject and not just a
thinking subject. This is this is very a important concept you
know it begins with man; man is a not just a
thinking substance like Descartes conceived to be that a kind of existent subject not
a substance subject which means you know, your
living in this world. That is why you know this emphasize on lived
experiences and lived reality they call it the man who feels wills loves hates and do
many other things in this world. So, it is a
being in the world where I exists as a concrete human being by relating myself with
others and other objects and the world the world of objects, where I hate them, love
them, and do many other things. Again philosophers who were identified with
it were very different from each other as I
have already mention you know Kierkegaard was the theist for his philosophy was predominately a system where his one of the
major concerned Kierkegaard was to relationship between man and god, and for
Sartre for that matter there is no god. You have totally different contradictory kind
of views and perspectives, but still they there are certain very important features
which put them all and the umbrella of existentialism, theist atheist phenomenologist’s,
hermeneuticians, absurdist’s, etcetera. All these are philosophers who I mean different
kinds of people, who participated in the movement there are atheist and phenomenologists,
Heidegger of phenomenologists for that matter and hermeneuticians Heidegger
again is hermeneuticians, absurdists like people like Albert Camu Samuel Beckett all
these people where not academic philosophers Beckett and for that
matter they where they where artist, but they where and there will
be lot of painters and other people. Against metaphysics that is purely speculative,
see this is one common feature we can say that you know the over those of metaphysics
which you would find in the philosophical systems of all almost all traditional
thinkers you want find in the these philosophies, against systematization of reality
because the major aspect of reality which these people are concerned with is the human
reality which is the lived human reality which is a concrete human being, and it is
very difficult to systematize concrete human being because each human being is different
and unique. Emphasis on individuality, again it is a reaction
and response to certain important historical and political development like
any of the philosophy there is a kind of very creative negotiation that happens, between
what is happening in the historical political and cultural domain and in the domain of ideas
and thinking. Here also we can see that it is a reaction
and response to certain very important historical and political developments, a response to
certain dominant approached in ancient and modern dominant approaches, in ancient and
modern philosophy the importance given to essence over existence, and it is a reaction
against the totalizing philosophy of Hegelian idealism which we have already seen, Hegel
consumes everything under the absolute, becoming as a passage from non existence to
existence, Hegel advocates the absorption of existence into essence everything is absorbed
under one entity which is the absolute for Hegel. Now, with regard to the social and historical
factors the loss of faith is a very important catalyst or rather not just a catalyst, very
actively you know it contributed to the existential temperament emergence of this
kind of a philosophy, religion loosing it power
which is being described beautifully by in each in his expression death of god, then
again the 2 world wars gave rise to feelings of
despair and disbelief in all established social political and moral order. The 2 world war shattered European, what you
called foundation list values system and this ultimately you know resulted actually
in that sense which was predicting it the kind
of faith in this death of god that what is eventually going to happen, and then again
this is another important aspect the rise of ideologies,
like Fascism, Nazism and communism, none of them reserve a space a respectable
space for the individual in it. They are all totalizing systems and you can
see the way in which political power you. So,
centralized in these systems in Fascism and Nazism, now the fascism which originated
unitary my soliny, was the sole leader of fascism and in Hitler German Nazism, Hitler
was the sole leader and communism again we had seen you know what is happen in
Russia, like people like again detectors like Stalin have emerged they have crushed
suppressed all free thinking and there is no respect, absolutely no respect for the
individual freedom or concerns of the individual or any of those things. And modernity’s all absorbing absolutism
characterize by Hegelianism, and industrialization and urbanization which eventually
made man as a tools, see the one of the impacts of industrialization is it is
separating man from nature, or the kind of relationship man had with nature has been
substantially revised drastically redefined with
industrialization and urbanization because, that kind of an intimate association with
nature, complete dependency on nature, was revised to a kind of domination relationship
where emphasis was more on controlling nature and changing it to once on requirements. This is resulted in a kind of change of value
system complete change of value system which ultimately resulted in this kind of
you know social political and cultural you know
events, which Europe has victors in 20th century. Here let us see this figure this talks about
thinking about human existence traditional and
modern philosophical categories are inadequate to understand human reality. So, what
happens in traditional systems is say for instance here, man is understood as a thinking
substance or a rational being for instance thinking substance by Descartes, rational
being which is largely by modern philosophers, epistemological
subject by rationalism and empiricism, mind body kind of dualism union
whatever which was problematized by the modern philosophers again, and then there
are this materialistic tendencies which would identify man essentially as a physical entity. In all these things you know where is the
man the concrete living the man who is in the
world relationship with things and other peoples in this world, where is that concrete
man in this whole picture. So, that a question existentialist were rising. The uniqueness of the concrete or real as
over against the abstract and possible and not
existence on as such, to our way of encountering existence and not an objective interest
in an existence which is in different in regard to the multiple existence, but a subjective
in the peculiar existent which every one of us is. So, this is what when you talk about
existence focus of existence does in not I mean it does not mean that you know
philosophers are concerned about existence as if very abstract philosophical problem
or a philosophical idea. But their concern is not on existence as such,
but our way of encountering existence, and each one of us encounter our existence differently
that uniqueness is being emphasized each one of us. So, it is not an objective interest in existence,
but which is indifferent and we know there are, but the subjective interest
in the peculiar existence each individual, what is that kind of, concrete human self
is the locus where existence is discovered. When we talk about the precursors of modern
of this existential movement, I have already mention their names you have Soren
Kierkegaard, who is Danish philosopher, then you have Fyodor Dostoevsky who is a Russian
writer, and novelist whose novels like crime and punishment brothers Karamazov
more prominently they contain a lot of existential ideas Fredrick Neitzsche, which
whom a his philosophy we have already discussed and Kafka is another very important
writer. When you talk about Kierkegaard he pitched
it against the Hegelian absolute system which absorbs all individuals and particularizes. So, which does not reserve any space
for the individual concrete particular human being so this is something which he
challenges for Kierkegaard genuine philosophical experience is a personal experience it
is a subjective experience, opposes the rational explanations to justify gods existence,
because as I mentioned for Kierkegaard the relationship between man and god is a
central problem of philosophy and this relationship cannot be theoreticized, it is
something which needs to be experience by every individual, it is an experiential
problem rather than a theoretical issue in Kierkegaard. This is from Andersons book, it is say I quote
faith constitutes a sphere of, a sphere all by itself and every misunderstanding of Christianity
may at once be recognized as it is transforming it into a doctrine, transferring
it into it to the sphere of the intellectual. So,
this is complained about the established Christianity though he himself was sort of
concerned about the biblical god, Christ experience of god etcetera. And emphasis was on subjective and personal
choice, personal things are more important than objective and universal realities, everything
is subjective and personal and objectivity is a myth and subjective and personal
choice is the crux of human existence, there are and in this context, he refers to
three spheres of existence in an individual’s life
which an individual might undergo. It is not necessary that each one of us would
be under going all the three stages, but these
are the three possibilities according him were
one has to were one has to make choices, whether to continuing one particular sphere or
move on to the next one, and these are the choices the aesthetic the ethical and the
religious. The aesthetic is where live for physical or
intellectual pressure like who has, who is completely immersed in the
world of pressures and were it seeks the most immediately pleasing thing there is absolutely
no concern for something which is deeper and in once on life. So, the second one is ethical where there
is recognition of some certain common ethical laws except moral
responsibility, a lead a life of duty of moral, duty to moral law. So, there is recognition of duty recognition
of a moral law which is binding it is the individual, but
even this stage it is also has it is problems. So,
the next stage is religious stage were life is completely devoted to god and give up
everything ethical standards and the universal good, everything is given up complete
devotion to god. That is the higher stage and here the interesting
point which Kierkegaard’s philosophy tells is that these spheres of existence or
stages of life’s ways each containing it is own
system of values, when you are in that particular sphere you follow certain value system,
and to move from one to another is a personal choice there is nothing like a common a
priori given strategy or requirement that you should go I mean there is no teleology
that binds you to make a choice in a particular
way, it is a personal choice which each person has to experience and do actually make it,
a choice not guided by any meta principle an a
rational leap. He says that from one stage to the next is
an a rational leap, it cannot be based on certain
rational calculations of free choice which cannot be further defended and the individual
passionate and discontinuous proceeding by sudden leaps and cries, which he encounters
in his life own to his very peculiar historicity’s and Situatedness. And Dostoyevsky as I mentioned is another
very important figure, very important influence in the extensile movement, problematized
human limitations agonies anxieties and helpless the human confusions and problem
through his novels, this is master piece novel brothers Karamasov, the conversation
between 2 characters intellectual Ivan and his brother Alyosha, Alyosha is more a kind
of god intoxicated man, while Ivan is visibly an intellectual, who lives, who theoratises. Let us see the conversation so this is Ivan
tells Alyosha I quote you know dear boy there was an old sinner in the 18th century, who
declared the that there were no god he would have to be invented and man has actually invented
god. So, this question whether man is
invented god or god made man that is a question that is a problem again it says and what
is strange? What would be marvelous is not that god should
really exist the marvel is that such an idea, the idea of the necessity of god could
enter the head of such a savage vicious beast as man again Dostoyevsky again one more passage
from brothers Karamasov and this again said by Ivan to Alyosha. I accept god and am glad to and what is more
I accept his wisdom his purpose which are utterly beyond our ken, I believe in the underlying
order and the meaning of life I believe in the eternal harmony in which they say we
shall one day be blended, yet in the final result I do not accept this world of gods,
and although I know it exists I do not accept it
at all. It is not that I do not accept god, you must
understand it is a world created by him I do not and cannot accept and quote. This situates the man a concrete man in a
context and Kafka is another very remarkable writer isolation of the individual is. So, prominently characterized by him the individuals
place in the world the anxiety and guilt experienced by individuals these things are
highlighted by him, and Nietzsche we have already seen you know the way in which he
was declaring that all truth is perspectival. And again with this declaration of the death
of god how he propagated a kind of nihilism of morals everything is permitted as truth
is perspectival there is nothing like the path. So, in that way you know he was also advocating
a very unique kind of philosophical position, knowledge and truth are provisional
and change over time and with the ruling class and there are many kinds of truth and
consequently there is no truth and quote this is from will to power. You have a very interesting concept of truth,
here by Nietzsche he says truth is an edifying name for what are really vital lies
and Kierkegaard says is objective truth is existentially irrelevant, and what Sartre
says is no universal truth. With this you know let us re visit the key
themes of existentialism there is an emphasis on freedom were we are condemned to be free
this is by Sartre very famous statement by Sartre we will address this problem in the
next or some of the subsequent lectures, then the concept of responsibility, because we
have freedom in our fundamental projects and attitudes we are responsible for the people
we become. This is again a very concrete problem not
a problem which, which is an abstract philosophical issue which human beings are
facing, but a concrete problem which every individual would be face differently or the
intensity would also be different, there are different types of people right, there are
different types peoples temperament different from each other. So, accordingly you know way in which they
conceive their problems also would change, emphasizing individuality
his or her search for authentic self food is
a major issue ideas of self creation and authentic existence become important in this
context, we have already examined how Heidegger problem probematises the problem of
authentic existence. Then again the this problems like angst dread
anguish anxiety when we reflect on our freedom we experience this kind of and is
capable anxiety, and inauthentic existence and
bad faith we have already made reference 2 those who refuse to take responsibility for
themselves and living an inauthentic existence in bad faith, they are self deluded and
again finitude guilt alienation despair death they are not topics of discussion in
traditional philosophy, but these thinkers take up them with some very remarkable
originality. Acknowledgement of the tragic elements of
human existence some are even pessimists and absurdist’s while some are, some others
speak about hope see for instance Albert Camu begins his famous book myth of Sisyphus
with the statement that the most serious philosophical problem of 20th century is that
of murder and suicide, see the kind of tragic element is being highlighted, and there
are of course, philosophers like Kierkegaard who talk about hope. You cannot say that you know all of them belong
to one particular school, but they all reflect certain common concerns, the best
one the I mean probably the ideal candidate for
a common theme in the works of all existentialist philosophers would be this existence
precedes essence, which is actually co I believe it is coin by Sartre, because it is in his
book in his various articles he has written about it, we do not have a standard existence,
but we create ourselves there is lot of emphasis on personal freedom there is nothing like
you know I model myself on a universal humanity. But there is nothing like a standard
norm given to me on which I can model my existence, but my existence is a very
concrete process were, because I find myself in a very unique situations which is not
there for others and my historicity is different my relationship context are different
everything is different. The way in which I create myself since I have
freedom to create myself is definitely going to be different from the ways in which
other people would be creating themselves, unlike other entities were there essential
properties are fixed a priori human beings make
themselves through their choices and actions. And again there is no a priori essence like
human nature or essence that determines man we will probably discuss this again in the
next lecturer when we analyze when we try to
understand Sartres position. Again human beings have no model blueprint
no ideal essence or perfect nature for humans man makes
his or her essence, first man exists and he or she create the essence. This is something which characterizes human
existence from are the existence of other objects, that he first exist and then creates
his essence unlike other objects it is say for example, a pen which initially I mean which
first the essence of this pen is already there before it is creation, the man who created
it the man who produced it must be having a
blueprint idea about it what is going to produce, but in the case of man there is nothing of
that is sort, passions, emotions and instincts are not irrelevant when I create my myself,
see it is a process in which I create myself through living through, various things I do,
through my actions, and thoughts and feelings, and emotions, all these things play a very
important role in this process of self creation. There is you know this Nietzsche’s concept
of will to power becomes extremely relevant in this context and passion to exist Kierkegaard
says is Heidegger says is that Dasein is mine, and is being in the world and Sartre
says being in itself and being for itself we will
explicate what this is in the next lecture, but just to mention being in itself is the
things which were essence precedes existence, but
being-for-itself is where you know the being-of-man were existence comes first and
then through living, through choices he makes he creates his essence. When we try to distinguish these 2 important
terms essence is what a thing is that which is definable in a thing we call it is essence. So, when we define in an object we often
isolate the essence of that object and say that this is what the object is. So, what is
intelligible about an object and many considered essence as superior to existence and
even absorbed we to do essence like Hegel, on the other hand existence is that the thing is, not easily definable because it is something
which keeps on changing again existentialism gives priority to existence
over essence. And see it is very important to note this
distinction that man is rational animal or a
thinking substance there is all an a tendency to essentialize man that man is a thinking
being, or a thinking animal rational animal where which denies man a freedom
narrowing down human existence to that, but what Sartre would argue is that it is not
so. There is no in the case of man the existence
precedes essence and then I make myself, weather I am going to a painter or musician
or whatever, it is my choices which would enable we to achieve my essence existence
is characterized by concreteness and particularity, it implies givenness of a fact
the existence of a camera or a pen or whatever you have, it is existence is not my creation
for instance it exist as something “it is”, it is
there the camera, the pen, the book, the computer, there all there. And to exist is derived from the Latin word
ex-sistere, which means to stand out or emerge to stand out from nothing, to exist
is to have a place in the world real world concreteness is asserted existence is concrete
and particular while essence is abstract and universal. In this context I mean it is important to
distinguish existentialism from essentialism or
essentialism from existentialism, we have seen that you know all this traditional
philosophers have been emphasizing a lot on the problem of essence. The problem of abstract essences, and essence have always
been a central idea in traditional philosophy and were a predominantly you know this tradition
philosophers considered existence is illusionary, essences are universal and are
unchangeable the notable I mean a striking example is that of Plato everything is a copy
and essence is alone are real, Plato conceived only essence as realities and treated
existence of particular as illusionary contingent and changeable and Hegel’s totalizing
philosophy everything is absorbed into the absolute. Is absolutism and now when you try to understand
the concept of existence in existentialism it is to distinguish the unique
way in which man exists in the world, only man exists, in the case of other objects as
I already mentioned essence is prior, but in the
case of man existence is prior highlights the ontological peculiarity of mans being
the being of mans is understood in terms of facticity,
thrownness and particularity. We have
already discus these concepts when we discussed Heidegger’s philosophy, what do they
mean like facticity somewhere thrownness, I find myself in a world in a world of objects
and other people middles of this world and particularity, all these are my experiences
limitations and scopes of man being are the problems here facticity thrownness
transcendence on the one hand there is facticity, I find myself in a particular situation
and to some extent I am constrained by I am limited to that situation, but at the same
time there is transcendence, like I have certain projects objects have certain meaning for
me. I approach the world with certain projects
I have plans aspirations desires and then again
there are problems like alienation and authenticity must be understood in this context. So, existence for Kierkegaard is the contingent
the particular that which refuses to fit into some system constructed by rational thought
and Heidegger calls it mans being a dasien and Sartre concept of existence unfolds with
the explication of being-in-itself, being-foritself, and being-for-others this will these concept
will examine in detail in subsequent lectures. These are this is let us now wind up this
lecture we will summarize the topics which we
have discuss today, we have seen the emphasis the kind of emphasis existential
philosophers give into individuality particularity and subjectivity and there is no
conception of objective truth subjectivity disclosure and unconcealment are concepts
which we are emphasize. We have seen this when we discussed Heidegger
how Heidegger conceives truth as disclosure or
unconcealment, and when it comes to Nietzsche, Nietzsche says that all truths
are lies, truth become perspectival. And a perspectival truth is not truth at all. So, these are some kind of things which we
have in examine and emphasis on lived experiences like passions, emotions, fears,
anxieties, confusions, etcetera, and then we have seen the kind of tensions between
universality the situatedness of human experience and the kind of universality which will
be further explicated in the next lectures and thrownness verses absolute exist essence,
existence precedes essence, which is probably arguably the most important concept and
freedom and responsibility are emphasized in this context. We will wind up this lecture here, this lecture
on existentialism and introduction it was basically, and now we will see in the next
2 lectures endeavor in the philosophy, the existential philosophy of Jean Paul Sartre,
who is probably can be considered as most important philosopher among the in existential
it is movement. We will see that in the next lectures this
lecture we will wind up here now. Thank you.

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