Existentialism And How This Philosophical Theory Has Developed Over The Years

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Abstract:
In this paper we hope to discuss existentialism and how this philosophical theory has developed over the years. After World War 2, this theory became increasingly popular and some of the great philosophers such as Freidrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard can be said to be the founders of this theory although they, in their lifetime, never accepted this. Therefore they are sometimes called precursors of this movement. Other major philosophers like Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger also deny any association with the movement yet their work is pivotal in bringing this theory to the world. Writers like Fyodor Dostoevsky, Franz Kafka also discuss this theme in their work, thus creating literary work on existentialism
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What is the meaning of life? Among other vital questions asked by humans over the course of history. Existentialism is a term derived from the idea that human being has freedom and choice and through this how a person can give meaning to his own life. This theory stresses upon individual existence and that through one’s own rationality one can find true purpose of his life in this irrational world. This theory revolves around the central idea that we create ourselves and that through our actions we create the world around us. We can choose our path freely and because of this we have to take up the responsibility of our actions. According to Sartre this creates ‘bad faith’ as you try to shift responsibility of your actions on others while other philosophers believe that this is a conscious effort towards forming society. By shifting responsibility we deceive ourselves and those who permanently dwell in bad faith live in unauthentic existence. When we become responsible of your actions, when we self-recognize who we are we exist in the mode of authentic existence. It says that man does not exist in a detached observer manner in the world but rather he is in the world and his actions will directly reflect upon his life. Existentialists believe that there is no purpose to human life unless we give it ourselves and that we are who we are by our actions. Our actions define us and our
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