A CRITICAL STUDY OF EXISTENTIALISTIC VIEW OF EDUCATION AND ITS RELEVANCE TO HUMAN EXISTENCE AND PROGRESS ABSTRACT OFTHE THESIS SUBMITTED FOR THE AWARD OF THE DEGREE OF l o c t o rof$l|tIo£(opIip IN EDUCATION BY IRAM AZHAR UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF PROF. ROQUIYA ZAINUDDIN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AUGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY ALIGARH (INDIA) 2013
Abstract Existentialism is primarily, a reaction to and a voice of protest against, all the rationalistic and speculative philosophies. It emphasizes human existence and the qualities which are distinctive in man. It signifies restoration of man to himselfandcalls him to face the problems and to realize the possibilities of his own existence as a "concrete individual." Existentialism is a philosophy concerned withfindingselfandthe meaning of life through free will, choice and personal responsibility. Existentialism has both theistic and atheistic forms. Theistic Existentialists consider God to be 'the source of one's being', 'the ground of all being', or 'one's ultimate concern'. Religious existentialists include Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Jaspers, Gabriel Marcel, Martin Buber and Paul Tillich. The atheistic existentialists' presuppositions and belief systems preclude any supernatural or any idea of God. Atheistic existentialists include Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus. Atheistic view of existentialism from our point of view does not leave a strong impression. Now thousands of studies prove the spiritual nature of man. Man is not simply a material being but in essence is spiritual. When man comes to understand himself he also realizes his spiritual nature and the existence of God. A famous Sufis dictum is "one who knowshimself,knows his lord". So self actualization through self analysis and self progress will eventually lead to spiritual realization. Justification ofthestudy: Existentialism came into existence as a consequence of tragic events of the two World Wars especially the Second World War. 1
Existentialism started gaining ground and enthusiasm in the beginning of twentieth century with the support of some very original and forceful writers and thinkers. Now a great number of scholars and writers have been attempting to critically examine and interpret existentialism in all its shades and aspects. As a result concepts and issues of existentialism have been explored and treated at length and in depth, ifnot exhaustively. But the question is whether existentialism is meeting the demands of present society. In present society, man's existence is in danger, he is depressed and regressed, there is need to secure man's existence and bring him out of depression and lead toward progress. In such situation existentialist themes and more importantly its educational implications acquire great importance as education is considered an important tool for solving the problems of the modem society. Existentialism, through its themes and educational programmes can combat all those forces that tend to dehumanize society and are a threat to human existence.