Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

What triggered existentialism?

Expand Messages
  • Rose Lieberman
    Could the philosophy of existentialism have been created before it was? Say, the 17th or 15th century? Or could it only be a product of its time? And if so,
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 4, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Could the philosophy of existentialism have been created before it was? Say, the 17th or 15th century? Or could it only be a product of its time? And if so, what was it about its time that created it?

      War? The state of religion? Or did it logically follow another philosophy? Or is it simply the personal awareness of a single person that rang true for others?

      Rose

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • eupraxis@aol.com
      Rose, This is also a question that has been in some dispute here over the years. I, personally, would understand the matter this way: what we normally identify
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 4, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Rose,

        This is also a question that has been in some dispute here over the years. I,
        personally, would understand the matter this way: what we normally identify
        as "existentialist" reflects the crisis in European (or Western, etc.) thought
        after the collapse of 19th Century systems, the decline of religious authority
        in theoretical matters, the insistence on secular answers to crises in
        values, and finally the future of philosophy between and after the wars.

        That said, you can find many of the perennial questions of Existentialism in
        older times. Lucretius, Augustine, Erasmus, Hobbes, Shakespeare, Marlow and
        Hegel come to mind (certainly in no order here).

        Wil

        In a message dated 10/4/08 6:48:20 AM, lapis@... writes:


        >
        >
        >
        > Could the philosophy of existentialism have been created before it was? Say,
        > the 17th or 15th century? Or could it only be a product of its time? And if
        > so, what was it about its time that created it?
        >
        > War? The state of religion? Or did it logically follow another philosophy?
        > Or is it simply the personal awareness of a single person that rang true for
        > others?
        >
        > Rose
        >
        >
        >




        **************
        New MapQuest Local shows what's happening at your destination.
        Dining, Movies, Events, News & more. Try it out!

        (http://local.mapquest.com/?ncid=emlcntnew00000001)


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • louise
        Rose, These are fruitful questions. What is called by the name of existentialism constitutes a subject for academic study, yet also represents a body of texts
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 5, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Rose,

          These are fruitful questions. What is called by the name of
          existentialism constitutes a subject for academic study, yet also
          represents a body of texts that might inspire an individual to take up
          a new direction in the manner of living life, or indeed simply provide
          interest, an engagement of feeling. In Kierkegaard's sense, to
          reduplicate in one's own existence the ideas understood by one's
          intellect, in effect to close the gap, between head and heart, or to
          hold them in dynamic tension beneath a third, spiritual term, the realm
          of the divine, is how I might best describe a philosophical discipline
          which in one form or another has been part of the Western, and possibly
          not only the Western, tradition, for two and a half millennia. Yet I
          remain dissatisfied with my own description. Still in search of a less
          abstract apprehension. Any description this brief is likely to be
          perilously vague, anyway.

          Louise

          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rose Lieberman" <lapis@...> wrote:
          >
          > Could the philosophy of existentialism have been created before it
          was? Say, the 17th or 15th century? Or could it only be a product of
          its time? And if so, what was it about its time that created it?
          >
          > War? The state of religion? Or did it logically follow another
          philosophy? Or is it simply the personal awareness of a single person
          that rang true for others?
          >
          > Rose
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • tom
          Maybe the term existensialism like the term God , the term subconcious etc is a word that can never be fully defined. And any value a person might obtain
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 5, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Maybe the term "existensialism" like the term "God", the term "subconcious" etc is a word that can never be fully defined. And any value a person might obtain from it would be reflected in the integration of head and heart rather than fitting in to any solidly defined definition. The term "Tao" in eastern thought is again a reference to something that probably never could be fully defined, and if it it ever reached that point where it could be fully defined, it would no longer represent the fertile frontier for growth and integration. I read a Carl Jung quote in regard the subconcious that in affect said that "the term subconcious like the terms God and the Devil refer to things of which we dont know too much about".
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: louise
            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 3:36 PM
            Subject: [existlist] Re: What triggered existentialism?


            Rose,

            These are fruitful questions. What is called by the name of
            existentialism constitutes a subject for academic study, yet also
            represents a body of texts that might inspire an individual to take up
            a new direction in the manner of living life, or indeed simply provide
            interest, an engagement of feeling. In Kierkegaard's sense, to
            reduplicate in one's own existence the ideas understood by one's
            intellect, in effect to close the gap, between head and heart, or to
            hold them in dynamic tension beneath a third, spiritual term, the realm
            of the divine, is how I might best describe a philosophical discipline
            which in one form or another has been part of the Western, and possibly
            not only the Western, tradition, for two and a half millennia. Yet I
            remain dissatisfied with my own description. Still in search of a less
            abstract apprehension. Any description this brief is likely to be
            perilously vague, anyway.

            Louise

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rose Lieberman" <lapis@...> wrote:
            >
            > Could the philosophy of existentialism have been created before it
            was? Say, the 17th or 15th century? Or could it only be a product of
            its time? And if so, what was it about its time that created it?
            >
            > War? The state of religion? Or did it logically follow another
            philosophy? Or is it simply the personal awareness of a single person
            that rang true for others?
            >
            > Rose
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • devogney
            ... term subconcious etc is a word that can never be fully defined. And any value a person might obtain from it would be reflected in the integration of head
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 5, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Maybe the term "existensialism" like the term "God", the
              term "subconcious" etc is a word that can never be fully defined. And
              any value a person might obtain from it would be reflected in the
              integration of head and heart rather than fitting in to any solidly
              defined definition. The term "Tao" in eastern thought is again a
              reference to something that probably never could be fully defined,
              and if it it ever reached that point where it could be fully
              defined, it would no longer represent the fertile frontier for growth
              and integration. I read a Carl Jung quote in regard the subconcious
              that in affect said that "the term subconcious like the terms God and
              the Devil refer to things of which we dont know too much about".
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: louise
              > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 3:36 PM
              > Subject: [existlist] Re: What triggered existentialism?
              >
              >
              > Rose,
              >
              > These are fruitful questions. What is called by the name of
              > existentialism constitutes a subject for academic study, yet also
              > represents a body of texts that might inspire an individual to
              take up
              > a new direction in the manner of living life, or indeed simply
              provide
              > interest, an engagement of feeling. In Kierkegaard's sense, to
              > reduplicate in one's own existence the ideas understood by one's
              > intellect, in effect to close the gap, between head and heart, or
              to
              > hold them in dynamic tension beneath a third, spiritual term, the
              realm
              > of the divine, is how I might best describe a philosophical
              discipline
              > which in one form or another has been part of the Western, and
              possibly
              > not only the Western, tradition, for two and a half millennia.
              Yet I
              > remain dissatisfied with my own description. Still in search of a
              less
              > abstract apprehension. Any description this brief is likely to be
              > perilously vague, anyway.
              >
              > Louise
              >
              > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rose Lieberman" <lapis@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Could the philosophy of existentialism have been created before
              it
              > was? Say, the 17th or 15th century? Or could it only be a product
              of
              > its time? And if so, what was it about its time that created it?
              > >
              > > War? The state of religion? Or did it logically follow another
              > philosophy? Or is it simply the personal awareness of a single
              person
              > that rang true for others?
              > >
              > > Rose
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Herman B. Triplegood
              It started with Kant. The first philosopher, ever, to seriously take on the conundrum of human freedom plus human finitude. I have said it before, and I will
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 5, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                It started with Kant. The first philosopher, ever, to seriously take
                on the conundrum of human freedom plus human finitude. I have said it
                before, and I will say it again. What Kant was really all about
                cashes out, ultimately, inevitably, into existentialism.

                Hb3g

                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rose Lieberman" <lapis@...> wrote:
                >
                > Could the philosophy of existentialism have been created before it
                was? Say, the 17th or 15th century? Or could it only be a product
                of its time? And if so, what was it about its time that created it?
                >
                > War? The state of religion? Or did it logically follow another
                philosophy? Or is it simply the personal awareness of a single
                person that rang true for others?
                >
                > Rose
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • tom
                If one of the criteria of existensialism is the idea that whatever we put our faith in, it is I that have placed that faith; it might be argued that
                Message 7 of 8 , Oct 9, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  If one of the criteria of existensialism is the idea that whatever we put our faith in, it is I that have placed that faith; it might be argued that existensialism could not have emerged until after the printing press and the industrial revolution. I recall reading the Marshal Mccluan book of media being the means or such a number of years ago, and he maintained that the printing press and literacy to a large extent created the concept of the individual. Protestanism, and its reliance on reading your bible replaced the right hemisphere experience of Catholic liturgy and sacraments with the left hemisphere experience of the individual alone reading and reflecting. Also the industrial revolution replaced a predestined life as a peasant with the various possibilities of being a tradesman or merchant. A few years ago, I read a George Soros book in which he differentiated between traditional and critical thinking, as well as the difference between an organic and an open society. The concept of choice, so pertinent to existensialism, only becomes a reality as economic, social, and political evolution transforms organic socities into open ones, and traditional thinking into critical thinking. The quote from "Tale of Two Cities" "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times" is a relection of that shift, although obviously the French Revolution made the dichotomy more extreme. The resistance to westernization prevalent in the mideast is to a large extent rooted in the fear of the negative aspects of a change from an organic to an open society, and the consequent change from the family being the focus to the individual.
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Rose Lieberman
                  To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, October 04, 2008 6:46 AM
                  Subject: [existlist] What triggered existentialism?


                  Could the philosophy of existentialism have been created before it was? Say, the 17th or 15th century? Or could it only be a product of its time? And if so, what was it about its time that created it?

                  War? The state of religion? Or did it logically follow another philosophy? Or is it simply the personal awareness of a single person that rang true for others?

                  Rose

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • chris lofting
                  ... The shift from symmetric thinking (social thinking and dream state expression) to anti-symmetric (parts thinking) and on into asymmetric thinking
                  Message 8 of 8 , Oct 9, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                    > [mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of tom
                    > Sent: Friday, 10 October 2008 8:55 AM
                    > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: Re: [existlist] What triggered existentialism?
                    >
                    > If one of the criteria of existensialism is the idea that
                    > whatever we put our faith in, it is I that have placed that
                    > faith; it might be argued that existensialism could not have
                    > emerged until after the printing press and the industrial
                    > revolution. I recall reading the Marshal Mccluan book of
                    > media being the means or such a number of years ago, and he
                    > maintained that the printing press and literacy to a large
                    > extent created the concept of the individual. Protestanism,
                    > and its reliance on reading your bible replaced the right
                    > hemisphere experience of Catholic liturgy and sacraments with
                    > the left hemisphere experience of the individual alone
                    > reading and reflecting. Also the industrial revolution
                    > replaced a predestined life as a peasant with the various
                    > possibilities of being a tradesman or merchant. A few years
                    > ago, I read a George Soros book in which he differentiated
                    > between traditional and critical thinking, as well as the
                    > difference between an organic and an open society. The
                    > concept of choice, so pertinent to existensialism, only
                    > becomes a reality as economic, social, and political
                    > evolution transforms organic socities into open ones, and
                    > traditional thinking into critical thinking. The quote from
                    > "Tale of Two Cities" "It was the best of times. It was the
                    > worst of times" is a relection of that shift, although
                    > obviously the French Revolution made the dichotomy more
                    > extreme. The resistance to westernization prevalent in the
                    > mideast is to a large extent rooted in the fear of the
                    > negative aspects of a change from an organic to an open
                    > society, and the consequent change from the family being the
                    > focus to the individual.

                    The shift from symmetric thinking (social thinking and dream state
                    expression) to anti-symmetric (parts thinking) and on into asymmetric
                    thinking (mediation) brings out education systems that focus on high
                    precision (differentiating). What this does is fragment general symmetry
                    into local symmetries - i.e. the multitude of individuals but now as
                    conscious beings and so open to self-regulating if 'allowed'. This brings
                    out the transcendence/transform dichotomy where transformation is
                    shape-shifting and so adapting to a context without change of inner 'being'.
                    OTOH transcendence will bring out total change or more so the assertion of
                    one's own context to replace any existing context with something considered
                    'better'.

                    In most social revolutions the focus is more on distortion of symmetry
                    rather than breakage, fragmentation within the box that eventually leads to
                    a re-integrating of the fragments into some 'better fit' order but will
                    within the enclosure of the original symmetry. This is adaptive change such
                    that the egalitarians overthrow the aristocrats who overthrow the
                    egalitarians etc - this is reflected in current times with the
                    nationalisation and so socialisation of capitalist institutions being an
                    'instinctive' response to the problems with those institutions. However,
                    what is currently starting to emerge is a focus on hybrid forms where the
                    capitalist/socialist dichotomy is self-referenced to elicit from the middle
                    of that dichotomy variations on the themes and so choices beyond the 'basic
                    two that appear to not work 'as is''.

                    That said, there is a bias in these choices to increase in regulations and
                    so a falling back upon restrictions of individual freedom for the sake of
                    the collective.

                    The brain dynamic is more so OSCILLATIONS across
                    left-hemisphere/right-hemisphere as well as front/back where such
                    oscillations reflect a brain trying to deal with the new/complex and so
                    derive a language with which to perform and represent mediation - what is
                    implied is that the existing set of responses to stimuli does not work in
                    the current local context and so refinements or new habits need to be made.

                    Thus consciousness is a product of oscillations where left-brain bias is
                    more anti-symmetric (differentiating, part, mechanistic) and right-brain
                    bias is more symmetric (integrating, whole, organic) and oscillation links
                    these elements into an asymmetric dichotomy that is self-referenced (the
                    oscillations).

                    The more educated one is the more differentiating (also brings out the
                    front/back dynamic where frontal lobes etc cover anticipatory behaviours)
                    and so the more expressive of consciousness and sense of self. The richness
                    of well-developed language requires high level differentiations and so a
                    COMPETITIVE context overall where such introduces pressures to make finer
                    and finer distinctions and develop better and better technologies and so
                    develop from there.

                    This focus on distinction-making creates borders and so lets loose what
                    lives on borders - complexity/chaos dynamics and so the availability of
                    'emergences' that can elicit transcending over transforming. Existentialism
                    appears to have emerged as a consequence of the fragmentation of general
                    symmetries and development (training) of individual consciousness to a level
                    where questions are raised with regard to the level of proactive individual
                    experiences and assessments when compared to the reactive natures of our
                    social beings (symmetric thinking etc)

                    Some of the roots of existentialism can be identified in ancient Asian
                    perspectives free of their religious exaggerations (secular Taoism, Zen
                    Buddhism etc) with their focus on a way of living (and so on doing rather
                    than being). The discipline involved, when taken to extreme will NATURALLY
                    convert doing into being since the object/relationships dynamic is grounded
                    in all of our species where local context elicits biases that form into
                    cultural groups with their own languages. These languages will derive
                    specialist forms due to self-referencing and so cover the range of
                    being/doing. TO map out the sameness across all of these specialisations,
                    and so expressed differences, requires consideration of the general
                    methodology used across the species in deriving meaning.

                    Chris.
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.