Existential Relevance

The modern system of belief made famous by Jean Paul Sartre in the 1970, existentialism, now applies to a vision of the condition and existence of man, his place and function in the world and his relationship or lack of one, with God. Existentialism is a style of philosophising rather than a body of doctrines according to John Macquarie. Most existential thinkers concern themselves with freedom, decision making, responsibility, the quest for meaning, finitude, guilt, alienation, despair, death, anxiety, boredom, nausea and the emotional life of human beings. Time as a fourth dimension, interpersonal relations, sexuality, the problem of truth, nihilism, loss are other recurring themes in existentialist literature.

Soren Kierkegaard and other philosophers have defined the philosophy highlighting only certain aspects of it. But no better definition of existentialism is available than the one given by F.H. Heinemann for the purpose of relating it to literature:

The  problems of existentialism are [. . .] in a narrow sense expressive of the present crises of man and in a broader sense of the enduring human condition.

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Existential Relevance

Existentialism is a style of philosophising rather than a body of doctrines according to John Macquarie. Most existential thinkers concern themselves with freedom, decision making, responsibility, the quest for meaning, finitude, guilt, alienation, despair, death, anxiety, boredom, nausea and the emotional life of human beings.

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