Continental Philosophy's Existentialism and Phenomenology
Various identifiable schools of thought such as: existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, deconstruction, and critical theory can be found within Continental philosophy. Existentialism and phenomenology can be traced back to the 19th century and to the pre-Socratics. A few of the main themes from existentialism are:
Traditional and academic philosophy is sterile and remote from the concerns of real life. ·
Philosophy must focus on the individual in her or hi confrontation with the world. ·
The world is absurd, in the sense that no ultimate explanation can be given for why it is the way it is. ·
Senselessness, emptiness, triviality, separation, and inability to communicate pervade human existence, giving birth to anxiety, dread, self-doubt, and despair. ·
The individual confronts, as the most important fact of human existence, the necessity to choose how he or she is to live within this absurd and irrational world.
Many of these themes were introduced by Arthur Schopenhauer, Soren Kierkegaard, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Kierkegaard emphasized the individual and especially the individual's will and need to make important choices. Georg Hegel rejected the concept of the "thing-in-itself" and held that all reality is the expression of thought or reason. Reality, for Hegel, is not a group of independent particulars or states of affairs, but rather like a coherent thought system such as mathematics it is an integrated whole in which each proposition is logically connected with all the rest. Where Hegel was abstract to a degree rarely found outside mathematics, Kierkgaard was concerned with how and what the individual actually chooses in the face of doubt and uncertainty.
One contributor to Continental philosophy was Friedrich Nietzche. Nietzche disagreed with all of Hegel's theories of idealism. He believed the world is driven and determined by the will-to-power. He also believed...
References: Moore, N., and Bruder, K., Philosophy The Power of Ideas 6th Edition, 2005, Chapter 8
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