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Posts Tagged ‘Existentialism’

rlclrose22

The newborn just entered into the world, may say to herself, “I am soiled; I am hungry, and decidedly uncomfortable.  Surely, my mother knows this. Why then does she not come to feed and change me?”  Although surrounded by others, we are profoundly isolated, able to communicate only a small portion of our thoughts, feelings, and observations and unable to fully apprehend what others are attempting to communicate to us.  I think that it is this striking isolation that causes us to first consider the nature of our being.  Long before I knew the word philosophy, I stared intently at my own hand, concluding that whatever this wonderfully constructed organism was, it was not “me”.  I was apart from it, enclosed by it, wearing it if you will, but not it.  This was my first impression of my own “being.” Martin Heidegger made the contemplation and explanation of “being” his life’s work.
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Zu bald alt, zu spät klug

rlclrose21I was a child in the sixties, aged six to sixteen, during a time when existentialism was highly celebrated as pop philosophy. Nothing could be more counter-cultural than the words, “God is dead,” or more likely to cause semi-comatose, bushy eye-browed conservatives to sit upright, bristling with indignation. Great fun, but easily diffused if we begin any consideration of Nietzsche’s work by posing the more palatable question, “Well, what if there were no God?” Nietzsche’s explanation of a “Godless” universe is both passionate and robust.
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