Existentialism: A Brief Insight by Thomas R. Flynn PDF

By Thomas R. Flynn

ISBN-10: 1402768745

ISBN-13: 9781402768743

With its emphasis on individuality, freedom, and private accountability, existentialism used to be one of many twentieth century’s most important philosophical activities. via such writers as Sarte, de Beauvoir, and Camus, it motivated literature, the humanities and arts, and politics. Thomas R. Flynn examines the philosophy’s middle ideals, concentrating on a number of key existential subject matters, and introduces the prime existentialist thinkers, from Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to Sartre.


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Extra info for Existentialism: A Brief Insight

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The philosopher was a kind of doctor of the soul, prescribing the proper attitudes and practices to foster health and happiness. Of course, philosophy as the pursuit of basic truths about human nature and the universe was also widespread among the ancient Greeks and was an ingredient in the care of the self. It was this more theoretical approach that led to the rise of science and came to dominate the teaching of philosophy in the medieval and modern periods. Indeed, “theory” today is commonly taken as synonymous with “philosophy” in general, as in the expressions “political theory” and “literary theory,” to such an extent that “theoretical philosophy” is almost redundant.

Whereas the former made no demands on the kind of person one should become in order to know the truth (for the seventeenthcentury philosopher René Descartes, a sinner could grasp a mathematical formula as fully as a saint), the latter kind of truth required a certain self-discipline, a set of practices on the self such as attention to diet, control of one’s speech, and regular meditation, in order to be able to access it. It was a matter of becoming a certain kind of person, the way Socrates exhibited a particular way of life, rather than of achieving a certain clarity of argument or insight in the way Aristotle did.

It appeared that whatever could be weighed and measured (quantified) could give us reliable knowledge, whereas the nonmeasurable was left to the realm of mere opinion. This view became canonized by positivist philosophy in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ” This led to a number of significant discoveries, but it quickly became apparent that such an approach was inconsistent. The limiting of the knowable to the quantifiable was itself a value that was not quantifiable. That is, the choice of this procedure was itself a “leap” of sorts, an act of faith in a certain set of values that were not themselves measurable.

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Existentialism: A Brief Insight by Thomas R. Flynn

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