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Existentialism: Dead or Alive?

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  • existlist
    (text from a Philosophy forum message board thread entitled Existentialism is Dead ): I don t know that I d agree that Existentialism is on a decline
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 22, 2013
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      (text from a Philosophy forum message board thread entitled "Existentialism is Dead"):

      I don't know that I'd agree that Existentialism is on a decline currently, though it certainly has been since the post 1940's era.

      It seems to me that in the post-war years, at least in Western society, there was a strong social push toward conformity by the majority of people in the search for identity. Despite the boom of expressionism in music, the arts, and design, the prevailing norm of the majority was a cookie-cutter approach to individual values.

      However, today, with the proliferation of the Internet, particularly the multi-media aspect of it, not only is information being rapidly deseminated and widely available, but on most levels of society, there is a desire toward personal expression that contains an existential element. This flow of unlimited information exposes people to a vast set of values, beliefs, and personal expressions that is ever-changing and omnipresent.

      Exposure to this spectrum of expression lends itself to existential introspection on an individual level, and, as a result, we are seeing a rising proliferation of new philosophies, new takes on old philosophies, new splinter aspects of religions, and the merging of many previously-separate psychosocial and ontological systems.

      Is this not the essence of existentialism?

      --IntoTheLight--


      URL: http://groups.able2know.org/philforum/topic/4082-2
    • Mary
      I don t think existentialism has declined as much as been absorbed into the culture via artistic media and cultural attitudes. Not completely, of course, many
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 22, 2013
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        I don't think existentialism has declined as much as been absorbed into the culture via artistic media and cultural attitudes. Not completely, of course, many disavowed traditions persist. One of the reason's it faded so rapidly, while it was just beginning to gain attention in the U.S. at least, was due to advertising and other forms of propaganda.

        The internet and social media may encourage endless, narcissistic expression but not anything really individual. An individual variation on a theme may still be considered cookie-cutter if it doesn't 'say' anything individual. I generally don't see much critical thinking and self-analytics.

        I do like the trend away from gathering information from television and resort to the internet, but I doubt the process of detecting bias and motive from internet sources is sound enough and there still seems much herd-like trending and silly ideology even with all the new technology. I don't think exposure automatically equals introspection.

        Mary

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "existlist" <hermitcrab65@...> wrote:
        >
        > (text from a Philosophy forum message board thread entitled "Existentialism is Dead"):
        >
        > I don't know that I'd agree that Existentialism is on a decline currently, though it certainly has been since the post 1940's era.
        >
        > It seems to me that in the post-war years, at least in Western society, there was a strong social push toward conformity by the majority of people in the search for identity. Despite the boom of expressionism in music, the arts, and design, the prevailing norm of the majority was a cookie-cutter approach to individual values.
        >
        > However, today, with the proliferation of the Internet, particularly the multi-media aspect of it, not only is information being rapidly deseminated and widely available, but on most levels of society, there is a desire toward personal expression that contains an existential element. This flow of unlimited information exposes people to a vast set of values, beliefs, and personal expressions that is ever-changing and omnipresent.
        >
        > Exposure to this spectrum of expression lends itself to existential introspection on an individual level, and, as a result, we are seeing a rising proliferation of new philosophies, new takes on old philosophies, new splinter aspects of religions, and the merging of many previously-separate psychosocial and ontological systems.
        >
        > Is this not the essence of existentialism?
        >
        > --IntoTheLight--
        >
        >
        > URL: http://groups.able2know.org/philforum/topic/4082-2
        >
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