Existentialism

#3
Im quite interested in existentialism, But the bulk of my endevours in philosophy are spent reseaching Epistemology. I consider myself a Rationalist and hold Descartes in the highest regard, and specificly love the ideology of Empiricism. But like any true philosopher, I entertain both ideologies equally and never subscribe to any specific belief. Kant is a close second for my favorite philosopher because of my love for Idealism/Skepticism. BUt I've always been a fan of Husserl and his doctrine on phenomenology

'I Heart the Huckabees' is a stellar movie to watch about existentialism if you haven't seen it.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0356721/
 

SolitaryIndividual

Pig that doesn't eat Jews
Ninjabro
#4
Im quite interested in existentialism, But the bulk of my endevours in philosophy are spent reseaching Epistemology. I consider myself a Rationalist and hold Descartes in the highest regard, and specificly love the ideology of Empiricism. But like any true philosopher, I entertain both ideologies equally and never subscribe to any specific belief. Kant is a close second for my favorite philosopher because of my love for Idealism/Skepticism. BUt I've always been a fan of Husserl and his doctrine on phenomenology

'I Heart the Huckabees' is a stellar movie to watch about existentialism if you haven't seen it.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0356721/
Have you read anything on Franz Brentano, he was an empiricist and had a lot of influence on Husserl and phenomenology. I just read that Husserl and Brentano disliked Kant greatly, but Husserl, in his older years, grew a great respect for Kant mostly for his transcendental philosophy. I also like how Sartre took Descartes' cogito a step further to "I think therefore I exist." I guess it is because the existentialists put so much study and thought into the nature of "being", especially heidegger and sartre, that they found it necessary to not say "I am" because am is a form of being and that implied that the being of the person saying the cogito was in someway complete, and they believe that a person existing is always participating in a project of being, striving towards true being, although it would be impossible to ever achieve. And it seems that the "am" is changed to "exist" also because Sartre, and most other existentialists, believe that existence precedes essence for humans. So our existence precedes our being, in an existential sense.
 

SolitaryIndividual

Pig that doesn't eat Jews
Ninjabro
#6
<embed id="VideoPlayback" style="width:400px;height:326px" flashvars="" src="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-6111801749792931897&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> </embed>

http://www.nodogs.org/
is that video mocking existentialism? that is the same thing everybody says, about modern existentialism at least, when they don't understand it at all. So many people say that existentialism makes life too meaningless and depressing and so on, and even though i don't agree with everything a Sartrean existentialism contends, it is definitely not simply doing those things. It stresses the meaninglessness of life simply to show that, life a priori has absolutely NO meaning, and because of this we, as free individuals, are not only able but even obligated to give it meaning and make it worth something, and that every single action we perform effects the entirety of existence in some way.
 
#7
Have you read anything on Franz Brentano, he was an empiricist and had a lot of influence on Husserl and phenomenology. I just read that Husserl and Brentano disliked Kant greatly, but Husserl, in his older years, grew a great respect for Kant mostly for his transcendental philosophy. I also like how Sartre took Descartes' cogito a step further to "I think therefore I exist." I guess it is because the existentialists put so much study and thought into the nature of "being", especially heidegger and sartre, that they found it necessary to not say "I am" because am is a form of being and that implied that the being of the person saying the cogito was in someway complete, and they believe that a person existing is always participating in a project of being, striving towards true being, although it would be impossible to ever achieve. And it seems that the "am" is changed to "exist" also because Sartre, and most other existentialists, believe that existence precedes essence for humans. So our existence precedes our being, in an existential sense.
I can appreciate the specifics of the quote `I`am` and what it implies,.. but you have to appreciate the vocabulary that existed during that day and age,... and not be so black and white about the terminology used

How any true philosopher could ever discrimite against a belief or an individual doctrine seems ridiculous to me. Philosophy prides it`s self on a lack of absoultes or boundaries(for the most part anyway...excluding the Absolutes) People can never be right or wrong, even though the masses happen to suscribe to the believe of right and wrong, its just not the case. And its the fundemental flaw in humanity...IMO

As for Descartes,... the orginal quote was "I Doubt! therefore I think... I think therefore I'am"

And that is as about as profound as I'll ever be able to comprehend personally.

But as for transcendental philosophy,.,.. this is essentially what I believe in as an afterlife. This is my idea of a heavan. That and the 4th dimernsion`... ala Carl sagan
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y9KT4M7kiSw


So our existence precedes our being, in an existential sense.
indeed
 

jetjaguar

New Member
Ninjabro
#8
is that video mocking existentialism? that is the same thing everybody says, about modern existentialism at least, when they don't understand it at all. So many people say that existentialism makes life too meaningless and depressing and so on, and even though i don't agree with everything a Sartrean existentialism contends, it is definitely not simply doing those things. It stresses the meaninglessness of life simply to show that, life a priori has absolutely NO meaning, and because of this we, as free individuals, are not only able but even obligated to give it meaning and make it worth something, and that every single action we perform effects the entirety of existence in some way.
I meant no offense I was mainly trying to share to share the link to No Dogs or Philosophers Allowed which was nice show on public television. Usually pitting theologians and scientists and learned persons of many disciplines to debate on various subjects. Sartre and existentialism were mention quite frequently. switch to decaf before you get an ulcer.
 

SolitaryIndividual

Pig that doesn't eat Jews
Ninjabro
#9
I meant no offense I was mainly trying to share to share the link to No Dogs or Philosophers Allowed which was nice show on public television. Usually pitting theologians and scientists and learned persons of many disciplines to debate on various subjects. Sartre and existentialism were mention quite frequently. switch to decaf before you get an ulcer.
i didnt take offense
 

SolitaryIndividual

Pig that doesn't eat Jews
Ninjabro
#10
I can appreciate the specifics of the quote `I`am` and what it implies,.. but you have to appreciate the vocabulary that existed during that day and age,... and not be so black and white about the terminology used

How any true philosopher could ever discrimite against a belief or an individual doctrine seems ridiculous to me. Philosophy prides it`s self on a lack of absoultes or boundaries(for the most part anyway...excluding the Absolutes) People can never be right or wrong, even though the masses happen to suscribe to the believe of right and wrong, its just not the case. And its the fundemental flaw in humanity...IMO

As for Descartes,... the orginal quote was "I Doubt! therefore I think... I think therefore I'am"

And that is as about as profound as I'll ever be able to comprehend personally.

But as for transcendental philosophy,.,.. this is essentially what I believe in as an afterlife. This is my idea of a heavan. That and the 4th dimernsion`... ala Carl sagan
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y9KT4M7kiSw


indeed

i didnt mean to sound negative about Descartes, i think he is undoubtedly one of the most important thinkers, and i almost made the same comment you made about the terminology Descartes used myself.

i also believe there is no black and white discernable to us, i strongly believe that truth in many ways is subjectivity. truth is to be found in the way we relate ourselves to things (if our relation to the thing is true or not) more than the objective thing we are relating ourselves to. this relation will be different for every person and no two people can know exactly how another is attempting that relation. Kierkegaard (a christian) demonstrates this by asking the question "if a man lives in an idolatrous place and worships a false idol with with infinite passion and true devotion, and another man lives in a Christian society and falsely worships the true God, which man is more in the truth?" The man worshiping the false idol truly is considered more in the truth because his relationship to the idol is true, even though the idol itself is not true (from Kierkegaard's christian standpoint) demonstrating that truth is subjectivity.
 

SolitaryIndividual

Pig that doesn't eat Jews
Ninjabro
#12
could someone explain to me what it is
existentialism in walter kaufman's famous quote is "The refusal to belong to any school of thought, the repudiation of hte adequacy of any body of beliefs whatever, and especially of systems, and a marked dissatisfaction with traditional philosophy as superficial, academic, and remote from life - that is the heart of existentialism."

Soren Kierkegaard is usually regarded as the father of existentialism, and some other extremely important existential thinkers are Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, kafka, ortega y gasset, heidegger, jaspers, rilke, sartre, camus, marcel. Existentialism stresses individuality, and individual thought, along with the importance of subjectivity and the embracing of irrational occurences and irrational thought. Not because they embrace irrationalism, but they realize that it is quite real and apparent in our lives, and some consider a man who claims to live his life simply by reason and rational thought to be "a bore". Atheistic existentialists tend to believe that our lives have no meaning whatsoever prior to our births, and that we are free beings, and that it is our responsibility therefore to give our lives a proper meaning. Theistic existentialists stress alot of the same things but believe in the importance of God in their lives, which may seem to be a contradiction to the belief in radical freedom. A few good intro pieces into existentialism would be sartre's essay "Existentialism is a Humanism" and Dostoyevsky's Notes From the Underground

Existentialism is also unique because it is in many ways a literary movement also. Kierkegaard used many stories as did Nietzsche and especially Sartre and Dostoyevsky. Instead of writing only their thoughts, they wrote many fictional novels expressing the themes they wanted to communicate. Another interesting part off existentialism is that it deals greatly with human emotions and psychology. Kierkegaard wrote books dealing with fear and anxiety and despair which became prevalent topics within the discussions of existentialists. Sartre also thought of himself as a psychoanalyst in an existential sense, as opposed to the traditional freudian psychoanalysis. Sartre goes so far as to deny the existence of a subconscious.

Also stressed in existentialism is the importance of deep reflection. This can almost be traced back to the Socratic maxim "know thyself." Sartre for example believes that our stances, emotions, and so on are defenses of a sort to keep our minds occupied so we don't think of the infinty of possibilities that radical freedom presents us with. This is one factor that causes human being to experience angst, despair, and nausea, which is the title of one of his famous novels. It is through true and deep reflection that we can try to break down these barriers, although this is very difficult because we are prone to self deception.

As i wrote in an earlier post, a main tenet of existentialism for many existentialist philosophers is that for us humans, existence precedes essence. This is what has led to the great misunderstanding of many existentialists as promoting the idea that life is meaningless and therefore spreading a depressing and pointless philosophy. That life , at least at its beginning, is meaningless is what "existence precedes essence" means, but it is precisely because of this that we are able to give it meaning and make ourselves something meaningful and important, because we are given control of our lives and we have no specific nature when we are born.

A quote from Ortega to make this last point a little more clear - "The stone is given its existence; it need not fight for being what it is - a stone in the field. Man has to be himself in spite of unfavorable circumstances; that means that he has to make his own existence at every single moment. He is given the abstract possibility of existing, not the reality. This he has to conquer hour after hour. Man must earn his life, not only economically but metaphysically."
 
Last edited:

donkeypunch

take a sip
Ninjabro
#14
yea that cleared it up pretty good, thats what i gathered from reading what you guys posted just wanted to clarify.

i guess you could say that existentialism is 100% true in a sense. it all really depends on your priorities in life. imo if family and friends are not an important factor of your life this makes it alot easier to say. i have found out that in life nothing is right or wrong it just depends on where you come from and where you stand now. and if you benefit then its right
 
#15
there is no 100% truth.. we are all victums of circumstance. Exsistence is beyond comprehension. But we feel as if we are privliaged because of our vanitey. When the reality is that a human being is no more imporant then a piece of shit on the lawn. The Idea of freewill makes up feel as though we are in control of our destiny,.... but I have my doubts

Watch it... love it..

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_VxQuPBX1_U
 

donkeypunch

take a sip
Ninjabro
#16
yea like i said there is no right or wrong i contridicted myself in that post pretty hard, but thats the point im trying to get across. life is one big contridiction, there is always gonna be something to contridict what one says or does
 

blevunly

New Member
Ninjabro
#17
there is no 100% truth.. we are all victums of circumstance. Exsistence is beyond comprehension. But we feel as if we are privliaged because of our vanitey. When the reality is that a human being is no more imporant then a piece of shit on the lawn. The Idea of freewill makes up feel as though we are in control of our destiny,.... but I have my doubts

Watch it... love it..

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_VxQuPBX1_U
Check out this thread
http://ninjashoes.net/forum/showthread.php?t=40874

Zach and I had a discussion about free will.
 

SolitaryIndividual

Pig that doesn't eat Jews
Ninjabro
#18
Check out this thread
http://ninjashoes.net/forum/showthread.php?t=40874

Zach and I had a discussion about free will.
I get a feeling that the existentialists may, for the most part, simply accept free will in the Kierkegaardian sense of accepting something through a leap to faith. I'm pretty sure we talked of Kierkegaard's concept of faith before. And also existentialists do admit the important role that our past and history play in our being, but they feel that one can break away from his own past with the right tools of reflection and such, although they also believe that the majority of people will never go so far into true reflection and thought to ever achieve this.

A quote showing Kierkegaard's feelings here - "Without infinite reflection we should fall into the quiet of the settled and established which, as something permanent in the world, would become absolute; that is, we should become superstitious. An atmosphere of bondage arises with such a settlement. Infinite reflection, therefore is, precisely through its endlessly active dialectic, the condition of freedom. It breaks out of every prison of the finite. Only in its medium is there any possibility of an infinite passion arising out of immeadiate feeling which, because it is unquestioning, is still unfree. In infinite passion the immeadiate feeling, which is held fast and genuinely true throughout the questioning, is grasped as free."

Existentialists believe in a sort of transcendence, an ability that we humans have to reach outside and above ourselves to strive for things such as freedom and the understanding of ourselves that would not be possible under normal circumstances. Believing this, it is possible to see how they can posit free will, because through this belief they say that we can reach outside of suffocating normalcy or causal chains.
 
Last edited:

killemall

Too sweeeet
Ninjabro
#20
Infinite reflection, therefore is, precisely through its endlessly active dialectic, the condition of freedom. It breaks out of every prison of the finite. Only in its medium is there any possibility of and infinite passion arising out of immeadiate feeling which, because it is unquestioning, is still unfree. In infinite passion the immeadiate feeling, which is held fast and genuinely true throughout the questioning, is grasped as free."
I disagree. Meditation also helps.