The Pros And Cons Of Existentialism

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Existentialism has always been criticized because it is viewed as only a pessimistic approach. To those critics, existentialism is nothing more than not believing in a higher power, but what it truly means is that “man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself,” (Sartre, 3) which, in turn, makes it optimistic. By that definition, there would be no human nature because that would imply that there is a predetermined plan for humans. Sartre counters the claim of human nature by proving that all actions are a choice made by the individual since before having an essence, man only existed and then he had to create that essence. To start, existentialism is a doctrine “which affirms that every truth and every action imply both an environment and a human subjectivity,” (Sartre, 1). In other words, this means that whenever someone makes an action, there was a set of surroundings, literally and figuratively, as well as a human consciousness responsible for the action. For instance, in the beginning, there was one man and no one else to impose their beliefs upon him. Therefore, the man had to create his own understanding, his own essence, which came after he was already existing. In addition, Subjectivity closely relates to existentialism because it is the quality of existing in someone’s mind rather than the external world. Altogether, these terms intertwine to show how human nature, a set of predetermined traits humans all possess, cannot exist because humans are
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