Existentialism term papers and essays

Existentialism is a humanist philosophy that relates mainly to the essence of being and the human being's responsibility for his own decisions.  Thought to proceed from philosophers of the mid-19th century, Soren Kierkegaard and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, existentialism represents a moving away from systematic philosophies or those that describe the meaning of life in terms of God, reason or karma.  Existentialism asserts that meaning and morality can only be found or be made sense of in the arena of each individual's human experience.  Kierkegaard never used the word "existentialism" in his work and would probably not recognize the existentialism that developed in the 20th century, a philosophy that would influence art, literature, and even psychology and would be a rung on the ladder to nihilism and relative morality.  One important aspect of existentialism is the individual's responsibility to facticity and his own decisions.  A man may have the freedom under existentialism to define himself, but he must not do so in a way that is contrary to the identity his own actions give him.  He may not call himself a giver, if he never gives.  He may not change or invent reality.  However, he has the freedom to choose to give.  At the same time, an existentialist philosophy may cause angst because under it a person is allowed to make his own decisions and there is nothing to stop him from doing evil or nothing even to determine what evil is other than the man's own experience.

Most relevant essays on Existentialism