Portal:Existentialism

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Existentialism

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Existentialism is a term applied to a range of philosophical thoughts that emphasise on the fundamental nature of existence, exploring the uniqueness of human experience and freedom facing hostile and absurd surroundings. Some existentialists stress on the imperative for individuals to create their own meaning in face of apparent meaninglessness. Prominent thinkers of existentialism include Søren Kierkegaard, Frederich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Lev Shestov (photographed on the right), Jean-Paul Sartre, Karl Jaspers, and Martin Buber.


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The proposition that existence precedes essence (French: l'existence précède l'essence) is a central claim of existentialism, which reverses the traditional philosophical view that the essence or nature of a thing is more fundamental and immutable than its existence.

The idea can be found in the works of Averroes in the 12th century and Mulla Sadra in the 17th century, and was later more explicitly formulated by Jean-Paul Sartre in the 20th century. Simone de Beauvoir also uses this concept in her feminist existentialism to develop the idea that "one is not born a woman, but becomes one". In Islamic philosophy whereas previous methods of philosophical thought held that "essence precedes existence", a concept which dates back to Avicenna and Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi, Mulla Sadra substituted a metaphysics of existence for the traditional meta physics of essences, and giving priority ab initio to existence over quiddity.


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Martin Heidegger (26 September 1889 – 26 May 1976) (German pronunciation: [ˈmaɐ̯tiːn ˈhaɪ̯dɛɡɐ]) was an influential German philosopher. His best known book, Being and Time, is generally considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century. Heidegger's work remains controversial due to his involvement with National Socialism.

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