Shakespeare's 'King Lear' vs. 'Tuesdays with Morrie'

1495 Words Jan 14th, 2018 6 Pages
The essence of existentialism is authenticity of experience, asking the philosopher to undergo deep introspection. However, existentialism is perhaps most famous for its probing questions about what Friedrich Nietzsche called the "tension of the soul," (2). Known colloquially as existential angst, the "tension of the soul," search for meaning and purpose in life has characterized personal and collective identity formation in the twentieth century. Books like Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning is quintessentially existential in its approach to the author's coming to terms with his experiences in a Nazi concentration camp. Existentialism made its mark on the social sciences, and especially psychology. When psychology emerged as a discipline, Sigmund Freud's theories had a clear existential basis due to his emphasis on the death wish and the deeper realms of human consciousness and its phenomenology. Therefore, existentialism has had a tremendous impact on the evolution of Western society in the twentieth century and well into the 21st as well.
Existentialism has impacted the questions philosophers ask as well as the methods used to answer those questions. For Nietzsche, god was dead; it was high time to direct human endeavors to the reaching of highest potential without the confines…
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