3 Answers

  1. Existentialists have introduced a way to talk about the entity as a project of the existing. That is, something that the subject designs and creates for himself, and not something that is given to him from above. And through this, we get a self-sufficient foundation in the person himself, without attracting external entities. Your favorite responsibility to the whole world is also there in full growth.

    This alone is more than enough to go down in the history of philosophy.

    But this was not enough for them, and they still managed to enter the history of psychology (Jaspers), literature (Camus) and cinema (Coens).

  2. Sorry, but the question requires such a voluminous answer that I decided to give pieces from my text. It's not pretty, but it's more productive.

    So, existentialism is a teaching that deals with the deep ontological reality inherent in man. It is important that this reality cannot be investigated by the methods of traditional science. Further, this reality cannot be objectified: in other words, in the case of the existential approach, we cannot study thinking, memory, consciousness, psyche, and so on, as if they were opposed to the subject-researcher in the format of research objects. For those who profess an existential vision of the world, a specific attitude to the world is characteristic, as for the French philosopher G. Marcel, who from childhood felt himself in a situation of “secret polarity between the invisible and visible” worlds.

    The interest of existentialism in deep ontological reality determines the further concretization of the subject of existential research. The most undifferentiated and unformalizable human states are taken as the subject. These states include feelings of responsibility, loneliness, imperfection, freedom, guilt, and mortality…

    Another point that is important for the general understanding of existentialism is that representatives of this trend strongly dissociate themselves from those “- isms ” that were introduced into science in an exaggerated form. First, existentialists clearly cannot be identified with materialistic philosophy. Representatives of materialism claim that their worldview is based on the idea of matter as the ontological basis of being. A sign of matter is its reliance primarily on human sensory perception, which is considered here to be the primary source of all knowledge. Existentialism, on the other hand, makes a reality that is strange for an unusual worldview, which is rather distorted and noisy by sensory images.

    All of this seems to give reason to consider existentialism as one of the trends of anti-Empiricism. However, the American psychologist R. May states: “Existential analysts are more empirical, that is, they have more respect for the human phenomenon than mechanists or positivists.” Indeed, existentialism rejects empiricism in its Lockeian sense, but, in turn, turns its attention to the sphere of human experience, which it calls the most concrete reality that can only be given to a person. I would define this sphere using the formula of the Soviet philosopher E. V. Ilyenkov as an internal interdependence of all aspects, forms of existence of the subject. That is why this field can provide the researcher with not less, but rather more reliable empirical data than sensory perception.

    Another essential feature of existentialism is its rejection of natural-scientific rationalism. More precisely, the anti-rationalism of existentialism is rationalism in the sense that F. Nietzsche put into this concept, which, according to R. May, “attacked not reason, but simple reason in its fruitless, fragmentary, rationalistic form, common in Nietzsche's days.”

    At the same time, existentialism also rejects idealism. Moreover, existentialism, according to Marcel, insists “on the priority of the existential over the ideal.”

    Russian philosopher V. P. Vizgin cites a number of features that, in my opinion, although not fully, but adequately enough express the difference between the existentialist and objectivist vision of the world around us. These features of existentialism lead its representatives to a significant conclusion: different existential schools can differ in any questions, “except for the main thing-whether a human being is an object that needs to be analyzed, or a person is a being that needs to be understood” (May).

    The object of existentialism is impossible without a certain subject who shows an attitude to his essence and understands it. It is important not to confuse existentialism with solipsism , a philosophical trend that presupposes a primary image of the world that exists “in the head” of a person. Existentialism considers man not just as a thinking being. Here a person is taken in all his integrity, as having not only consciousness, but also a body. Another thing is that, unlike many other trends, existentialism considers the relationship of the soul and body not in a Cartesian way, as two independent substances, but in their not just unity, but integrity: the physical and mental here are rather manifestations, attributes of the very “ontological reality” that representatives of this trend have made their subject. The physical is just as important to existentialism as the mental. Hence their interest in the so-called biological determinants of humans. But these” determinants ” are considered by existentialists as secondary, derived, and therefore subordinate to ontological reality. Existentialists believe that the body and soul considered separately are purely theoretical constructs, an abstraction of the researcher.

    Sorry again for such a long and probably complicated text. But the subject matter itself is complicated.

  3. There is such a term as philosophia perennis (eternal philosophy). Which means a simple thing: philosophy does the same thing. In particular, philosophy was existential in the time of Plato, in the time of St. Augustine, and in the time of Heidegger. It's just that some aspects of philosophical work have to be recalled (recreated). This is how phenomenologists emphasized reduction. The existentialists pointed out (Kierkegaard) that the thinker himself is a moment of the world, and he must first of all be(actualize) the existential dimension of the world. Existence means only you and yourself. You can't pass it on to anyone (or refer to a smart book or a smart person). “Me and Paris”. And let's see who's who.

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