Existentialism Essay

Existentialism Essay-73
In a self-help book, this would be the “real talk” section.William Mc Bride, philosophy professor at Purdue University, agrees that Sartre’s work is “inspirational” and that there are parallels between the work of the French philosopher and contemporary self-help texts. “That’s what self-help I guess is all about: making oneself.”The similarities between Sartre and self-help not merely coincidental.Though Sartre’s work shares the self-help industry’s focus on human potential, he is far more nuanced than typical works of contemporary self-help, which tend towards the facile and shallow.

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Sartre was a major public figure, with a level of fame of which philosophers today can only dream.

He became an active political commentator towards the end of the World War II, and continued to weigh in on public debates and write in newspapers for general audiences in the years following.

Not only is Sartre the original self-help writer, but also the best.

His ideas aren’t simply inspirational catchphrases, but fit into a coherent and compelling view of humanity.

Bigelow, Gordon E., "A Primer of Existentialism." In his essay "A Primer of Existentialism," Gordon Bigelow acknowledges the impact of this "ism" on literature, art, philosophy, theology and social science.

Furthermore, he goes on to state the six major themes common in Existentialism, exploring each in great detail.Artists such as Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon wrestled with existentialist themes, as have writers from Samuel Beckett to Graham Greene.In this way Sartre’s philosophy has rippled out through creative works and infiltrated broader society." This "unbearable terror" caused many to lose themselves in anguish, bringing forth an era of lost ideals and moral values.For someone alienated by God, nature, man and himself – at the same time living in constant panic and par...Furthermore, Bigelow stresses the common sentiment of "alienation and estrangement" from God or a higher power among Existentialist philosophers.The unification of reason and the rest of man, he argues, encourages a growth in science which leads to the merging of man and concrete earthly existence.On the contrary, Sartre says in this essay (and elsewhere in his writing) that “man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.”In language that is far more quirky than melancholic, he argues that this trait distinguishes humans from “a patch of moss, a piece of garbage, or a cauliflower.” While there’s not much moss can do about what it is, Sartre says, humans must create themselves through actions and choices.In other words, “man will be what he will have planned to be.” This self-deterministic mindset sounds little like the fatalism typically associated with Sartre.These writers may not have focused explicitly on self-help, but they explored the weight of individuals’ responsibility for their own destiny and other existentialist themes.Such ideas, in turn, permeated mainstream views on the self and spread to the self-help genre.


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