Existentialism

Finish reading Existentialism by Flynn. Also, write up an outline for your existentialism paper. In this paper you should explore your own development as an individual, using the concepts and terminology of existentialist philosophy, such as Kierkegaard’s three stages of development, and/or Sartre’s and de Beauvoir’s ideas about existential crisis, essence and existence, facticity and transcendence, bad faith vs. good faith, ethics/morality, etc.

Write a paper inspired by discussions and readings around existentialism, and turn in it on Wednesday the 13th. Remember that I am not at all interested in a dry, abstract discussion of that belief system, but instead would be VERY interested to read an account of your personal journey toward individuation and freedom, and how existentialist concepts may have played a role in that achievement, whether you were aware of them or not. While we take pride in our ability to overcome the obstacles that life puts in our way, remember that this pride is closely related to, and partly inspired by, the modern existentialist insistence on both the inevitability and the burdensomeness of freedom, of “the refusal to [completely] become what others have made of you.” I add the word completely and place it in brackets because in my opinion Sartre unrealistically discounts our very human inability to transcend ALL facticity. Nevertheless, the prospect of radical freedom is fascinating, seductive, and I hope to consistently push myself in new directions. I can’t in the end believe in a strong version of “essence” that would ABSOLUTELY forbid me to, say, get a Ph.D., or bicycle across Eurasia, or move to the Alaska wilderness, or dress like a woman.

Last Updated on February 11, 2019 by EssayPro