Existence vs Essence - Essay Example

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Name Date Class Instructor Existence Vs Essence What does it mean to exist? Philosophers have argued about the essence of existence for hundreds of years. In my opinion, we make ourselves throughout our experiences and therefore though our existence. Sartre’s view of existentialism helps to prove this, and thus I lean toward existentialism and its beliefs…
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Download file to see previous pages This is simply not true, and can be easily asserted by the fact that individuals can sit through the exact same traumatic event (for instance, a bank robbery) and come out of the experience with several varying stories—therefore, there cannot be a single definition. Likewise, I do not agree with the concept presented by environmentalism. Environmentalism suggests that the environment itself around an individual determines existence, which, to me, also cannot be true. Again, relativism proves this point invalid, because people again often can be a part of the same environment, or situation, and come out of the issues with a totally different story. Therefore, the concept of existentialism and existence will be examined here, with a focus on Sartre’s views. Relativism was mentioned above, and relativism seems to be a fact in existentialism. It helps to prove that we have a pre-given essence. However, existentialism does not argue that relativism is easy to understand. This will lead us to his next assumption that it is psychologically distressing to affirm the value of an action which cannot be universalized. Sartre feels that that a concept should be universalized, or in other words, should be applicable to different people in a society having different point of views in their life. One of the reasons why I agree with the existentialist concept of existence is the fact that it allows room for relativism. It does not display relativism as necessarily a good thing, or an easy thing to understand. It does, however, admit to its existence and its profound impact on individuals (Guignon and Pereboom 35). Therefore, it admits and promotes the concept “essence of existence.” In universalizing certain actions, we should take into consideration existentialist claims about the existence of different beliefs, meaning many people are trying to relate themselves in the way that their society identifies them. Generally, society has a certain perception of an individual based on occupation, looks, or otherwise. People want to act and present themselves within this framework, but aren’t often able to do so. The inability to function within this framework can cause a dissociative type of feeling, but the importance of this feeling within our discussion here is the fact that this feeling helps to prove the fact that the person exists. If the person did not exist, then no feeling would be present. Again, we see that there is a pre-given essence to existence. Thus, the unsettling feelings present in existentialism help us prove the essence of existence o for individuals, in several instances. The concept of facticity also comes into play when speaking of the essence of existence, and the concept of a pre-given essence. This concept gives importance to the past scenarios of every situation and the present or the actual scenario itself. It has a conscious definition of the things that have happened in the past as well as the physical characteristics of the environment one is in. Therefore, we get the gist of the feeling of existence when we take a close look at this scenario. Basically, within facticity exists the past and the present, as well as the environment and the individual. Thus, because the individual experiences these different concepts of time, he or she must exist (Guignon and Pereboom 35). Another existentialist co ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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