Existentialism in the 40's & 50's

Topics: Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir Pages: 4 (1410 words) Published: December 19, 2012
Existentialism : Here & Now
Existentialism aimed to explore and encourage personal sensory detail via the thought processes of human beings. “Existentialism stressed the special character of personal, subjective experience and it insisted on the freedom and the autonomy of the individual” (Wolf). The philosophy of existentialism, and one of its greatest philosophers Jean Paul Sartre, were the motivation and inspiration to the arts and humanities during the 1940’s and 1950’s.

First allow me to elaborate on the definition of existentialism and France at the start of 1940. Existentialism is a philosophical movement oriented toward two major themes, the analysis of human existence and the centrality of human choice. Existentialism's chief theoretical energies are thus devoted to questions about ontology and decision. It traces its roots to the writings of Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche. As a philosophy of human existence, existentialism found its best 20th-century exponent in Karl Jaspers; as a philosophy of human decision, its foremost representative was Jean-Paul Sartre.

Sartre finds the essence of human existence in freedom—in the duty of self-determination and the freedom of choice—and therefore spends much time describing the human tendency toward “bad faith,” reflected in humanity's perverse attempts to deny its own responsibility and flee from the truth of its inescapable freedom ( Encyclopedia Britannica) Although Existentialism is usually referred to as a distinct philosophy, it is almost impossible to give an exact definition of it as a unified and identifiable school of thought.

Sartre was born in Paris in 1905. He was an outstanding student of Philosophy mainly, and he graduated from the illustrious École Normale Supérieure . He made a living teaching Philosophy at high schools. In 1938 he published his first and most famous novel, Nausea. It describes the philosophical and intensively personal life of a man who could be called an...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay on existentialism
  • Essay about Feminism During the 50's
  • Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's Essay
  • Essay about Spanning Two Decade's: the 50's to the 60's
  • Compare and Contrast Television 50's Essay
  • Fashion in 80's and 50's Essay
  • Essay about Women in Australia 1920-50's
  • S Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free