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The Existence of Existentialism

Conversations regarding philosophy and existentialism’s meaning have gained hefty prominence during these tough times of COVID-19. However, one can decipher numerous instances where existentialism was misunderstood. Read on to debunk the above view. 

The very utterance of the word ‘philosophy’ paints portraits of individuals lost in their own worlds. With a pen in hand and mind lost in the meadow of deep thinking; philosophizing about the unknowns from the knowns. The moment I tell certain individuals of my life (the ones who must not be named) about my current study in Philosophy, giggles and questions follow. Let me leave out the questions on my job prospects. The ones that follow are as such: “Philosophy is equal to existentialism, right?, “Are all philosophers existentialists?”, etcetera. Let me take this opportunity to delve into the world of existentialism and its meaning. 

existentialism, philosophy
Existentialism; a conversation. (Source: Pinterest)

Trust me when I say this, existentialism is not all about death. Nor is it about existential crises. Nor does define philosophy. Philosophy is a vast ocean and existentialism is one of the fishes that swim around in the same. Existentialism is a trick all term for those savants who consider the idea of the human condition as a key philosophical issue and who share the view that this issue is best tended to through metaphysics. 

 

The idea of reasoning as a lifestyle shows itself in existentialist ideas in various ways. The existentialists frequently attempted an evaluation of present-day life as far as the specialization of both manual and scholarly work. Specialization included a way of thinking. One result of this is that numerous existentialist scholars tried different things with various styles or classifications of writing to get away from the impacts of this specialization. Moreover, an idea that we can call ‘innateness’: reasoning examines life from the inside. Lastly, the idea of life itself is a perpetual existentialist concern and, all the more broadly additionally the meaning of death.

existentialism, philosophy
A cartoon representation of existentialism (Source: Medium)

“Existentialism basically encapsulates the nature of humanity, in that being a human is inescapable and inevitable. In modern-day, for instance, humans long for connection and socialisation, especially in terms of the pandemic, where we have been put into this state of isolation. But it is for a fact, that the true nature of humans is death. We come alone into this world and we die alone. We will have to come to terms with being human, one way or the other. In such a state of affair, philosophy can’t help but be existentialist,” says Tridip Patir, B.A. Philosophy (H) – 2nd Year from Hindu College.

 

A vital thought here is that human life is here and there ‘all alone’; tension is the acknowledgement of this reality. Tension here has two significant ramifications. To begin with, most by and large, a huge number would in general pressure the meaning of feelings or sentiments, to the extent that they were attempting to have a less socially or mentally interceded connection to one’s individual and separate presence. In addition, being all alone may imply the uniqueness of human life, and along these lines the way that it can’t comprehend itself regarding different sorts of presence.

existentialism, philosophy
A representation of existentialism. (Credits: Abul Abedi)

The upcoming aspect of existentialism is freedom. It can conveniently be in connection to the idea of torment, in light of the fact that my freedom is partially under characterization by the confinement of my choices from any assurance by divinity, or by already existent qualities or information. A huge number distinguished the nineteenth and twentieth hundreds of years as encountering an emergency of qualities. In spite of the fact that, obviously, existentialism takes its name from the philosophical subject of ‘presence’, this doesn’t involve that there is homogeneity in the way presence is to be perceived. One point on which there is arrangement, however, is that the presence with which we ought to feel worrisome here isn’t only any existent thing, yet human life.

 

“Existentialism is something that has found itself in the nook and corners of the modern society in every imaginable way, especially during the COVID pandemic where government inability, social isolation, all being variables in changing the moral systems we’re in very rapidly. Now, from the burden of meaning put on by corporations in creating our lives through media and consumerism, we’re asked to involve ourselves in creating art and learning new things, somehow creating meaning by ourselves. While it isn’t wrong to assume that this still is a corporate manufactured form of self help, we shouldn’t be shy to overcome the grave situation by creating art, which is something both Nietzsche and Schopenhauer consider as creating some semblance of meaning in our lives.” – says Anu Migom Panging, B.A. Philosophy (H) – 1st year from St. Stephen’s College.

 

Human minds are an open chest of ideas and thoughts. Wisdom is what most of us crave. The numerous schools of philosophy are vivid proof of the diversity that thinking beholds within its nature. 

Read Also: Beyond Cliche: Philosophy Honours

Featured Image Credits : Contemporary Art Curator Magazine

Himasweeta Sarma

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