Download An Introduction to Existentialism by Robert G. Olson PDF

By Robert G. Olson

ISBN-10: 0486200558

ISBN-13: 9780486200552

Crucial consultant to 1 of the main influential inspiration structures of our century. Stressing the paintings of Heidegger and Sartre, it bargains a cautious and aim exam of the existentialist place and values — freedom of selection, person dignity, own love, artistic attempt — and solutions to the everlasting questions of the human .

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When, therefore, the existentialist says that man does not want happiness, it would be most uncharitable to interpret the statement as meaning that men do not deliberately seek happiness conceived as harmony, proportion, contentment, and so on, in the belief that it is worth pursuing. The existentialists spend a great deal of time complaining about this fact. Their intention is simply to deny that happiness so conceived is worthy of pursuit and to suggest that men who deliberately pursue this kind of “happiness” are obscurely aware of the futility of their quest.

Absolute existence is absolute mystery, for its relation with the nothing remains unmediated to our understanding. Still another offshoot of the movement under discussion is positivism, one of whose most notable twentieth-century representatives, Ludwig Wittgenstein, also specifically related the necessary contingency of being to the fact of anguish. “Not how the world is,” he writes, “is the mystical, but that it is. . ”3 The fact that Thomists, pragmatists, and positivists agree with the existentialists in regarding being as necessarily contingent ought not to lead us to overlook the originality of the latter’s views.

7 To be incapable of suffering and tears is to be swallowed up in the dread nothingness of unconsciousness. ” His answer is that of a typical existentialist hero: “Be sure, Caesonia, that without it I would be a contented man. ”8 The position of the existentialist as it is represented in this rough sketch is, of course, debatable. Consider, for instance, their second contention. If our purview is limited to the Western tradition it is probably true that men have wanted to live in the clear light of consciousness.

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An Introduction to Existentialism by Robert G. Olson

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