Existentialism

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  • A position within philosophical thought that rejects the Cartesian project and aims for a philosophy that erases the subjective/objective dichotomy. Existentialists, such as Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Kierkegaard, Levinas, and Nietzsche, insist that there can be no being-in-itself and that instead the essence of being emerges in acts and experiences that are constantly in flux and becoming. The existentialist notion of becoming dissolves the mind-body dualism and the related idea that essence precedes existence. Existentialist thought highly regards the value of being “true to oneself” since there is no self other than that created in experience. While existentialists have often been misunderstood and accused of fostering rampant individualism, in actuality, they assert that to live authentically one must acknowledge the choice of being responsible for one's own ...

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