Historical Development of Philosophy’s Existentialism and Phenomenology

Topics: Structuralism, Martin Heidegger, Post-structuralism Pages: 2 (551 words) Published: September 28, 2008
Continental philosophy is a collective term used to describe the distinct philosophical traditions, methods, and styles that was popular in the European continent during the time of Immanuel Kant. Continental philosophy is usually countered with analytic philosophy or sometimes referred to as Anglo-American philosophy. During the 20th century continental philosophy embraced schools of thought such as phenomenology and existentialism. The major influences that this type of philosophy had were thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michael Foucault, and Jacques Derrida. (Continental philosophy, Britannica)

Structuralism is defined as a method of analyzing phenomena mainly characterized by contrasting the elemental structures of the phenomena in a system of binary opposition. This is a school of thought that advocates and employee’s opposition in the process to derive truth. This approach to philosophy stresses the structures which underlie human behavior. The underlying elements of the structure remain some what the same, but the relationships between them alter. Some things appear to be natural to us, like some traits such as masculinity or femininity. These traits are actually social constructs. A fundamental theme of structuralism is that individuals are the product of relationships. When an individual does an action they are permitted to do that action by the overall circumstances, or structure, in which they operate. The structures that we act under are rules, conventions, and restraints upon human behavior are based. An example of this would be with in the structure of capitalism, the optimal location for an industry would be at the point of maximum profits. With the structuralism way of thinking all action is preset to follow a set of rules or boundaries that are put into place. (Structuralism and Psychoanalysis)

Poststructuralist is a school of thought that emerged from within the French structuralism of the 1960’s...
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