plugin-introduction%20to%20existentialism%20handout - Phil...

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Phil 155. Lecture: Introduction to Existentialism Existentialism as a movement (19 th th centuries) An artistic as well as a philosophical phenomenon ( Notes from Underground , Nausea , No Exit, The Flies, The Stranger, Waiting for Godot, Death of a Salesman ) Philosophers: Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Gabriel Marcel, Martin Buber… Artists: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Franz Kafka, Jean Genet, Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Jackson Pollock, Ingmar Bergman… An emphasis on thinking about human existence or subjectivity ; this requires a radical shift in perspective and can’t be done with the tools of scholastic philosophy or mechanistic scientific inquiry. Historical Situation Philosophically: the death of God. Attempts to build ethical ‘systems’ based on universal principles of reason and general categories: Immanuel Kant, Georg Hegel, John Stuart Mill. Rise of ‘mechanical’ explanations for human behavior. Abandonment of the divine justification for government: rise of the secular nation- state. Optimism that humanism and reason will lead to a better life. But then: collapse. The Russian Revolution, horrors of Bolshevism, purges of Stalin;
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2009 for the course PHIL 155g taught by Professor Manley during the Spring '08 term at USC.

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plugin-introduction%20to%20existentialism%20handout - Phil...

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