Hume's Bundle Theory struck me as something like an existentialist take on phenomenology.
im still very confused on what "existence precedes essence" actually means
I've just finished watching this excellent lecture on existentialism: https://youtu.be/-a-8xBbr05Y?t=221
You can see on his slide deck that his second point is "We have no essence or intrinsic function". I think the latter is a much clearer expression of the idea of existence preceding essence. So, "existence precedes function", or "existence precedes purpose". That is, a human being has no intrinsic function/purpose at birth, but must choose these later.
What do you think? Are these reformulations still accurate? Is something lost in translation here? It seems to me that "function" or "purpose" are more readily understood concepts in modern language than "essence", which seems to have a somewhat vague, context-sensitive definition.
The idea of 'existence before essence' is pertinent at an individual level. it highlights the rawness, alone-ness, absurdity and incomprehensible freedom at the heart of a lived-life. Sartre says that there is no basis for making these choices, we just have to make them. The question is, does it apply at the social-interpersonal level, where one's existence may well embody the hidden essence of the 'other' or, indeed, the 'socio'?
i'm talking about legitimate medical conditions of chemical imbalances of the brain, such as severe depression, etc. how does existentialism explain such things given that my understanding of the subject states that existence precedes essence? that is, a chemical imbalance is genetically pre-determined, so would not it precede existence in this case?
srs question, not trying to jump on existentialism, I am just trying to understand as someone new to the subject
I’m reading his analogy of a paper cutter/book to prove that in all existentialism existence precedes essence and I can’t completely grasp it
Quotes from philosphers on this also welcome!
What a profound quote! The answer to What is the meaning of existence? is you exist and only thus do you seek the meaning in the first place. I now see what is absurd in that.
Who am I? What am I? What is a who? Who is? Is a who a what? Or many whats put together? How? Are you a product of your environment, or is it a product of you? How have you made these genuine decisions?
I have a grasp of what Sartre's slogan means, on the surface. However, when analyzed, I have questions. Here is an excerpt from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism:
"The fundamental contribution of existential thought lies in the idea that one's identity is constituted neither by nature nor by culture, since to “exist” is precisely to constitute such an identity."
As a thought experiment, imagine a woman who is born as a homosexual. She can try to fake it and act straight and date men, but deep down she knows she's gay. Psychologists recognize sexual preference as static. With this in mind, can she really define herself in this aspect? My question being, are we all 100% free to define ourselves as Sartre posits, or are there limits?
I want to say something about the idea of 'brain sex', not on a scientific level, but in terms of how that illusive concept of 'objective trans-ness' affected me personally during my transition. I know not every trans person will necessarily identify with or agree with my view, and each person's own way of making sense of their gender is just as valid as mine; I just want to try and share my perspective, partly to express myself and partly for those that are like-minded and might have had similar struggles. It's difficult to express exactly what I want to get across, and it seems closely intertwined with existentialist philosophy – something I know only the basics about – so I hope I can manage to convey a rough idea of it.
Early in my transition I was plagued by the fear that I was “not really trans”. My fear was that if you cut open my brain and did the necessary experiments you would see it was that of a cisgender male and not the transgender woman I wished myself to be. To be sure... keep reading on reddit ➡
I've always thought of the existentialist rejection of a clear, derivable reason for purpose (instead embracing a complex, idiosyncratic purpose that must be discovered) very similar to Nietzsche's comments in that piece. Am I off here? I never really checked with anyone knowledgeable about this stuff and they are very important concepts to me.
Nietzsche says: "Just as it is certain that one leaf is never totally the same as another, so it is certain that the concept "leaf" is formed by arbitrarily discarding these individual differences and by forgetting the distinguishing aspects." And I've thought of people as those leafs and "existence precedes essence" as just a statement that "we even have to discover truths about ourselves and we can't just use the concept of 'what a person should want' to explain our own goals and purpose."
Let me know if I've been way off the mark here!
Sartre is famed for saying Existence precedes Essence and it seems to be taken quite literally as profound from what I've read in this sub reddit and elsewhere. However it seems that both existence and essence aren't really addressed very thoroughly by proponents(to clear bloggers and popular understanding of Sartre, not other philosophers that I'm aware of.) Lets take the two words existence and essence to illustrate where I have difficulty.
Existence: What does Sartre mean when he talks about existence? Does he mean subject experience? Does he mean conception of a human being? Depending on how you view self-hood, it might be incoherent to say "I began to exist." I find Thomas Metzinger's view that self is a process and not a thing one has compelling. Does he mean formation of particles that make up a person? Many open questions there for me at least.
This leads to the my confusion around essence as it's used in the context of the phrase at question. Essence: Again what is Sartre re... keep reading on reddit ➡
Does this mean that for example, a person lives and exists without knowing what they truly are until they discover their essence? And some people can live without ever discovering their essence?
Both these philosophies are quite inspirational to me and I've always figured they were rather similar on some level, but I just thought of something that made me doubt that.
So the basic idea in Taoism is that you're supposed to live in harmony with the Tao or Way. If you start forcing your own ego upon reality, you divert from this harmony and potentially start manipulating things unnaturally with a prejudice infused mind. Following this, one could hold that the idea of "De" is the power or virtue that comes from living in harmony with the Tao.
In existentialism the phrase from Sartre is often quoted 'that existence precedes essence', and it appears to me that this idea conflicts with Taoist philosophy. Being true to yourself, becoming an uncarved block and walking the path of the Tao all seem to assume a preexisting essence. It seems to me that the Tao is this essence and that living in accordance with it provides De (i.e. virtue).
So juxtaposing Sartre against Taoism. Sartre... keep reading on reddit ➡
What are the criticisms and implications of this statement? Is it necessarily atheistic?
As a student of the school of existentialism and as an atheist, I feel it is my responsibility to make this post. If you are not familiar with this school of thought, please read the link above.
To lead an authentic life we must first come to terms that we exist and there is no inherent meaning until we provide ourselves with an essence, an archetype to base ourselves on.
Why, you may ask, am I covering this? It is because I believe the archetype that is being portrayed by my fellow atheists on this subreddit is one of simple mockery and intolerance. Is this really the image we want to, as a supposedly intelligent "group" of unbelievers, portray? Wouldn't we as thinkers want to show tolerance to those that that haven't accepted their freedom. To have those with questions or those seeking guidance to come here and not be mocked... keep reading on reddit ➡