Philosophy of life  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

There are at least two senses in which the term philosophy is used: a formal and an informal sense. In the formal sense, philosophy is an academic study of the fields aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, as well as social and political philosophy. One's "philosophy of life" is philosophy in the informal sense, as a way of life whose focus is resolving the existential questions about the human condition.

Contents

The human situation

The human situation appears to be a struggle between what is (existence) and what ought (essence) to be.

Main answers to the existential question

There are at least three prevailing theories on how to respond to the existential question.

Denial of essence

  • Regression, pre-human existence
  • Nihilism, denial of meaning

Denial of existence

Affirmation of essence and existence

Religion as an attempt to overcome the existential predicament

There are two basic forms of existentialism:

Religious existentialism

Christian existentialism

Religious existentialism is best exemplified by St. Augustine, Blaise Pascal, Paul Tillich, and the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard. Religious existentialism holds that there are two levels of reality, essence, which is the ground of being, and existence. Religion is the ultimate concern in this view.

Atheistic existentialism

Atheistic existentialism

Atheistic existentialism is best exemplified by Friedrick Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Paul Sartre. It holds that there is one level of reality, existence. In this view, each person constructs his own unique and temporary essence.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Philosophy of life" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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