What Are the Principles of Existentialism?

What Are the Principles of Existentialism?

July 1, 2021 Off By Felso

It is possible to list the principles of existentialism as follows:

1. Existence Precedes Essence

“If we want to explain it in philosophical terms, we can say that every object has an existence and an essence. Essence is an unchanging set of properties of an object; its existence is its actual presence in the universe.

Many believe that essence comes first and existence comes later; this idea comes from religious thought; really, a person who wants to build a house should know what kind of house to build. Here essence precedes existence. Likewise, those who think that man is created by God think like this and conclude that God will do this based on the ideas he had about them before. Those who do not believe in God, on the other hand, cannot get rid of the same effect and argue that an object can only exist if it conforms to their own ideas. The entire 18th century believed in the existence of an essence called “human nature”, which is common to all. According to existentialism, existence precedes essence in human – and only human – existence.

“This simply means: there is man first, this or that comes later.” (J.P. Sartre, Action, December 27, 1944).

Of course, we cannot create our universal or generic essence that binds us to the human species; however, we can choose our individual essence that is unique to us, that no one else has. Our innate and specific essence—“animal”-and-“human”—is determined without us; We are human, that’s all. Our individual or concrete essence shows only a certain uncertainty: we are human, but which human will we be? Only within these limits remains a specifically open door.

However, the location of the choice is still important. To understand this, it suffices to look at the diversity of occupations chosen by individuals who are equivalent to the beginning. Moreover, although we cannot choose our class, height, and intelligence, at least, the attitude we take in the face of these raw data is up to us. A worker is “conditioned with his whole being by his class…” but “to give a meaning to the situation of his fellows and to his own situation; It is still in his hands to freely recognize a future that brings victory and gain to the working class or makes them feel inferior, depending on whether they choose to be revolutionary or cynical.” I can be disabled even though I didn’t choose it, but “I can’t be disabled without choosing the way I look at disability.” (I can see it as intolerable, humiliating, necessary to hide, show it openly to everyone, a subject of pride, cause of my failures, etc.)

2. Unlimited Freedom

The choices or inventions we make every day in our lives, from the smallest to the largest, depend on the goals we have determined and a hierarchy of values ​​that we have chosen ourselves. Because of the diversity of these goals, an unexpected lump sum of money, by some, completing the shortcomings of the wardrobe; It is used by some as a reserve fund against an accident that may happen to it, and by others by spending it from entertainment places. “Choosing does not depend on deliberation: when we set out to contemplate, it is done, it is too late.”

But although we have freely chosen our ends, nothing is lost: for our ends also command all of our choices, so the free choice of our ends drives the freedom of all our private decisions.

To the extent that we do not pinpoint our goals when we first arrive into existence, we save freedom. To the extent that we continue to exist, we continue to choose our goals and our goals; because freedom is the essence of our existence. Due to any particular selection, we may encounter one of the choices we have made before, as a result of which every decision taken in accordance with it can be met as a renewal of it; indeed, we have the right to regard all our voluntary acts as free; because when we decide on them, we also decide on the goals that express themselves.

3. Responsibility

According to Sartre, the responsibility of man goes far beyond what he can freely choose, if he is in common sense, nothing is alien to him: neither our personal inner activity nor external events: I am responsible for everything; “I am responsible for the war, as if I had declared the war.”

It is obvious that Sartre cannot blame himself for the invasion of Poland, the occupation of France, the destruction of Stalingrad. But in the face of these events that are not related to him, he has taken an attitude peculiar to himself; In a world at war, he has taken responsibility for everything that happens in this world by putting forward free actions.

or more; “It is always said that I did not want to be born; but with the attitude I had at my birth” – shame or pride; optimism or pessimism…

4. Internal Boredom

Sartre is an intellectual in whose independent personality the idea suppresses the emotion, so he does not give boredom and despair the place they hold in the life and thoughts of a Kierkegaard, or in the writings of a G. Marcel: man is god.