Existentialism vs. Phenomenology and the response to Hegelian Idealism Absolute idealism was a huge part of Western culture but through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the greatest political movement took place. Marxism was this great political movement. The movement had an affect on theology and art. Jean-Paul Sartre, a continental philosopher who lived in the nineteenth century was an existentialist. Some of the main themes of extentialism are: • Traditional and academic philosophy is sterile and remote from the concerns of real life.
• Philosophy must focus on the individual in her or his confrontation with the world.
• The world is irrational (or, in any event, beyond total comprehending or accurate conceptualizing through philosophy). • 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. (Moore-Bruder, 2005)
The extentialist believed that there was no answer to the existential predicament. They say life can only deteriorate and without struggling through life a person can find no meaning or value to the life they lead.
Some of these themes had already been introduce before Jean-Paul Sartre came up the additions. The philosophers, Arthur Schopenhauer, Søren Kierkegaard, and Friedrich Nietzsche were the contributors to these themes. All three had a strong distaste for the optimistic idealism of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and for metaphysical systems in general. Such philosophy, they thought, ignored the human predicament. For all three the universe, including its human inhabitants, is seldom rational, and philosophical systems that seek to make everything seem...
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