Short Essay (2 Page) on Existentialism

Essay by motown9High School, 11th gradeA-, May 2006

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Existentialism is philosophical view on the world. It is the idea of why and how humans exist in the world. Existentialism looks deep into things such as anxiety and freedom as those two things in particular affect how people go about the world and why they make the decisions that they do make. In order for someone to understand themselves, existential philosophers believe that a person must have an awareness of death and be conscious of living. The most important part of existentialism is that a person has the ability to make a choice for them self, and because of this they will gain experience on how to exist in the world on their own. There have been many faces to existentialism, such as Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre and Husserl.

Kierkegaard, who was born in 1813 and died in 1855, and was not alive long enough to know he was even part of the existentialist movement, but he is considered the "father of existentialism."

Kierkegaard believed that people could not be understood through a scientific theory or a biological explanation, but only from that person's experiences with life and the dilemmas that go with it. He is a reason why existential philosophers value the idea of choices and freedom, for there cannot be a reason to live unless one has a choice to make when faced with an issue.

Existentialists believe that humans are "thrown" into the existence, according to Heidegger, and that humans have no choice but to come into existence. People are "thrown" into existence even before they can create a concept or an idea. This idea is explained even deeper by a philosopher named Jean-Paul Sartre, that "existence is prior to essence." This idea conceives itself as being something that only can be understood as this basic...