Existentialism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 26 pages of information about Existentialism.
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Existentialist Themes

The Individual and Systems

Søren Kierkegaard chose for his own epitaph the words "that individual." The concept of the individual for Kierkegaard was contrasted both with the concept of philosophical system and with the concepts of the stereotype and the mass. Between these contrasts there is a connection. A philosophical system was for Kierkegaard an attempt to understand individual existence within a conceptual scheme of a kind that would exhibit a logically necessary connection between every individual part and the conceptual scheme of the whole universe. People in the mass, or those who live out a stereotyped role, are people who understand themselves in terms of some concept or concepts they happen to embody. In both cases the individual is secondary to the concept it embodies. In fact, however, what exists comes first; concepts are necessarily inadequate attempts to grasp individual existence, which always...

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This section contains 7,713 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Existentialism Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Existentialism from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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