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Outline Lecture Eighteen--The Existentialist Solution

Outline Lecture Eighteen--The Existentialist Solution - ii...

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Outline Lecture Eighteen The Existentialist Solution Key Questions: 1) Is existentialism the answer to the problems of conformity and mass society? 2) What are the aspirations and potential pitfalls of existentialism? I) Age of Spiritual Forlornness in the West a) Elie Wiesel’s Night i) “Does God exist?” b) John A.T. Robinson’s Honest to God (1963) i) “Can a Truly Contemporary Person NOT be an Atheist?” II) Existentialism The Philosophy of Individual Accountability a) Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) i) Atheist Existentialism (1) “God does not exist” as the premise of existentialism, not its purpose ii) Existence without excuses (1) Nothing predetermines our existence b) Existentialism’s Challenge to Freudian Psychoanalysis i) No deferral to some predisposed psychological constitution ii) “Existence precedes essence” iii) Existence as an organic process c) Accountability to Others i) Socialists attacked existentialism as too solipsistic, too self-indulgent
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Unformatted text preview: ii) Self-accountability actually translates into collective accountability iii) Forging a more responsible and authentic connection to the world d) Is existentialism merely a philosophy of the privileged? i) A “philosophy of contemplation” that ignores the realities of race, gender, and class? ii) In short, what can existentialism offer to the oppressed and privileged alike? III) An Existentialist Connection in the World a) Humanity’s Age-old Need for Connection i) Deep need to overcome sense of separation and aloneness (1) Sources of transitory union (2) “Pseudo-unity” through “herd conformity” (3) “Fusion without integrity” b) Existentialist Love as the Basis for Connection i) “Standing in love” vs. “Falling for love” (1) Not masochistic love (2) Not sadistic love ii) Existentialist approach to human connection (1) Knowing and loving someone “objectively”...
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