By Robert G. Olson
Necessary consultant to at least one of the main influential inspiration structures of our century. Stressing the paintings of Heidegger and Sartre, it bargains a cautious and goal exam of the existentialist place and values — freedom of selection, person dignity, own love, artistic attempt — and solutions to the everlasting questions of the human situation.
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“Clear, exact, and fascinating. there is not any greater brief advent to the existential method of psychology. ” —Dallas Morning News
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Additional resources for An Introduction to Existentialism
Since there is nothing outside the totality of what is, there is nothing which can act upon it or induce it to change. By rigorous logical necessity, it is immutable. Finally, there being nothing outside the totality of what is which could be its cause, it must either have existed eternally or not exist at all. Since, however, it obviously does exist, it must have existed eternally. , the totality of what is, has the characteristic of immutability, it follows that whatever happens happens according to strict necessity.
It is only with regard to the alleged object of the experience that the existentialists part company with Job and to some extent with one another. For some existentialists the primary object of anguish is the brute fact of being; for others, human particularity or individuality; for still others, human freedom. It will, therefore, be convenient for expository purposes to speak of three forms of anguish, each distinguished by its 58 object. It must, however, be borne in mind that the features of the human condition which these three forms of anguish are said to reveal have been acknowledged by almost all existentialists and that in most cases their individual experience of anguish has more than one of these features as its object.
Through his conception of an inevitable process of historical development of which individuals are but moments, Hegel provided the Marxists with a rationale by means of which the sacrifice of oneself and others for the sake of the community at large or future generations could be justified. Since the achievement of the historically determined goal was guaranteed, the sacrifice could not be useless; and by viewing the sacrifice sub specie aeternitatis, much of its horror could be mitigated. This wedding of Enlightenment ideas with Hegelian philosophy had the further advantage of securing Marx against the charge of superficiality, so often leveled at the early Enlightenment, and against the charge of sentimentality, so often leveled at nineteenth-century humanists and latter-day liberals.