Monday, 19 September 2016

Existentialism: Video Resources

Existentialism: Learn to think and 'be' an Existentialist

This blog contains two web resources and nine short video to learn the fundamentals of Existentialist philosophy (apart from additional reading resources for deeper understanding).

1) Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existencefreedom 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. It focuses on the question of human existence, and the feeling that there is no purpose or explanation at the core of existence. It holds that, as there is no God or any other transcendent force, the only way to counter this nothingness (and hence to find meaning in life) is by embracing existence.
Thus, Existentialism believes that individuals are entirely free and must take personal responsibility for themselves (although with this responsibility comes angst, a profound anguish or dread). It therefore emphasizes actionfreedom and decision as fundamental, and holds that the only way to rise above the essentially absurd condition of humanity (which is characterized bysuffering and inevitable death) is by exercising our personal freedom and choice (a complete rejection of Determinism) (The Basics of Philosophy) (Click here to read full article)


2) Existentialism is a catch-all term for those philosophers who consider the nature of the human condition as a key philosophical problem and who share the view that this problem is best addressed through ontology. This very broad definition will be clarified by discussing seven key themes that existentialist thinkers address, i.e. 
a.                   Philosophy as a Way of Lifeb.                  Anxiety and Authenticityc.                   Freedom
d.                  Situatednesse.                   Existencef.                   Irrationality/Absurdity g.                  The Crowd

  1. Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) as an Existentialist Philosopher
  2. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) as an Existentialist Philosopher
  3. Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) as an Existentialist Philosopher
  4. Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) as an Existentialist Philosopher
  5. Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) as an Existentialist Philosopher
  6. Albert Camus (1913-1960) as an Existentialist Philosopher
(Click on the themes or names to read the article by Douglas Burnham)
Apart from the philosopher mentioned above, the contribution of Hegel, Dostoevsky, Husserl and Samuel Beckett is significant in the 'Existenlialism'.

Video 1: What is Existentialism?

Video 2: The Myth of Sisyphus: The Absurd Reasoning (Feeling of the Absurd)

Video 3: The Myth of Sisyphus: the notion of philosophical suicide

Video 4: Dadaism, Nihilism and Existentialism

Video 5: Existentialism - a gloomy philosophy

Video 6: Existentialism and Nihilism: Is it one and the same?

Video 7: Let us introduce Existentialism again!

If you still find it difficult to understand this philosophy, view this video:

Video 8: Explain like I'm Five: Existentialism and Nietzsche:

Video 9: Why I like Existentialism? Eric Dodson

Additional reading resources:

If you want to read more about
  1. What is Existentialism?

    o   Read Existentialism (Burnham and Papandreopoulos)  
    o   Read Existentialism (C. Wikipedia, Existentialism)
  2. What is the theme of The Myth of Sisyphus?

    o   Read The Myth of Sisyphus. Translated from the French by Justin O'Brien, 1955 (Camus)
    o   Read brief on The Myth of Sisyphus (C. Wikipedia)
  3. Do you agree that Existentialism is Humanism?

    o   Read brief note on Existentialism is Humanism (C. Wikipedia, Existentialism and Humanism)
  4. What is Übermensch?
    o   Nietzsche had his character Zarathustra posit the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself in his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra
    o   Read brief on Übermensch(C. Wikipedia, Ubermensch)

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