Existentialism and Phenomenology Revision

19th century Hegel and Kant were influential
In the 20th century all this changed. Existentialism was the fashionable school in continental Europe. 
Existentialism was led by Stare (left wing) in France and by Heidegger in Germany (right wing) 

Kant’s ideas influenced phenomenology. He said that the noumena should be distinguished from the phenomena. He was agaisnt the copernicus revolution .
Kant was also against Descartes and his cartasien dualism.  Phenomena was a metal reasoning, Noumena is the unperceived object. All objects are noumena. 

Influenced anglo american philosophy in the 20th century. He looked at brain anatomy- psychoanalysis ( therapy) the exchange of words between patient and doctor, free association. He linked mental problems back to childhood. In his ‘interpretation of dream’ he looked at peoples dreams to reveal the underlying problems. He also wrote ‘ ego, the id and the super ego’ 
To have no mental problems the three would have to be in harmony and balance. Super ego is where society implements how you should act.- Existentialists would say this is bad faith (Sartre's term) where you shouldn’t let others determine your choices. 

Like Freud he looked at the human mind. Both Husserl and Freud fell victims of the Nazi anti-semitism, they were both Jews. 

Husserl’s interest in philosophy begun when he was influenced by his lecturer in Vienna Franz Brentano who wrote ‘Psychology from an empirical standpoint’. The book explained that the Data of Consciousness came in two kinds. 
The physical and the mental phenomena. 

Husserl’s first book looked at mathematics, ‘Philosophy of arithmetic’ he tried to explain our numerical concepts and identified them as mental acts that were their psychological origin. He tried to find a basis for maths in empirical psychology by was forced to some conclusions that some disagree with. He said that one and zero are not numbers. Frege later rejects this. 

In Husserl’s ‘Logical investigations’ like Frege he maintained a sharp distinction between logic and psychology. Frege focused on analytic, Husserl focused on the logical side. 

Phenomenology was developed in the first decade of the 20th century. 
Phenomenology is an approach that only concentrates on the mental experiences

Husserl’s Phenomenological Reduction focuses on the mental phenomena. Your experience of seeing something or hallucinating it is the same experience. It doesn’t matter if it is real or fictitious. 

He says that any kind of thought is phenomena, even emotions like love or hate. 

Husserl looks right back to Descartes, he’s an ontological thinker too. Descartes central concern is being ‘I think therefore I am’ and Husserl’s concerns over being too. 

Husserl says that all phenomena is internal to the mind. The main type of phenomena is intention. I want to pick up a cup. This would be my intention. Without having that intention I would not care about the cups phenomena. When you have intention to use it then you become aware of it. 

Heidegger’s existentialism
He became the father of existentialism because he said the essence of dasein is its existence. 

Heidegger rejects Decartees Cartesian Dualism- two things in the universe- mind and body spirt physicality. 
Hiedegger says this was a disaster. People shouldn’t believe this. 
If these two things are completely differentness how do they react? it’s like a ghost lifting a chair- two different substances cannot react. 

Heidegger just addressed consciousness. 

-His book ‘Sein and Ziet’ ‘Being and time’ - being precedes consciousness. 
-He coined the term Dasein. Which is ‘Being in the world’ a carpenter relates to the world using a hammer. This would be him engaging with his dasein. 
-We are thrown into the world and into a certain culture. This ‘throwness’ is facticity of dasein. But you must not let where you are born and who you are around determine your choices as where you live should have no impact on them. (Football team example: Just because you live in England doesn’t mean you have to support England) 
  • The activity of dasein has three aspects. 
  1. Attunement- your reflection on your past
  2. Being for itself- the present mode but without focusing on your dasein you would suffer from boredom
  3. Directedness- This is the future, people fear the future. 

Dasein is the ‘ability to be’ what I am aiming for in life determines the significance of my present situation. 

Existentialism- The school of philosophy that says I am what I freely take myself to be. To be authentic I must make my own life in full awareness that there is no ground for the choices I make. 

-Heidegger’s existentialism in right wing. Where as Jean Paul Satre in France led a left wing existentialism. 

  • Perception and imagination have no difference. 
  • His book ‘Being and nothingness’ 
  • Being just is. ‘Being is without reason, cause of necessity’
  • Satre accepts the concept of nothing. When we look at things in the world we use negation. e.g: If I divide the world into red then the rest of the world would be... ‘not red’ and I distinguished between a chair and a table. The table would be ‘not a chair.’ In Alice and Wonderland, Alice says, she sees nobody in the road. “I only wish i has such eyes to be able to see nobody.” 
Creative Commons: quicheisinsane (Flickr) 

  • Essence precedes essence.
  • A life is not determined in advance Humans have the chance to decide what kind person to be. This is freedom of choice. If our choices are made on morality/society or religion we are living in ‘Bad Faith’ 

Simone De Beauvior: “One is not born a women but becomes a women.”

First existentialist writer. 
His book: “The sickness unto death’
Kierkegaard picks up on Schopenhauer's themes and rejects objectivity of the enlightenment. Schopenhauer does this in the ‘World as Will and Representation’ he was an atheist with buddhist and hindu symphonies. 
Kierkegaard passionately embraced christianity. He likes the figure of Christ and eternal suffering. 
He says the starting point for all knowledge is despair. In sickness unto death he says that despair is the fact to life, you will always be in despair/longing/seeking is an ontological fact to life. 
Life is despair is like Nieztsche’s view. Nietzsche said we must transcend it. Kierkegaard believes we should be passionate about something as this will help you transcend life. For Nietzsche it was the ubermensche who were the closest to transcending life.

Albert Camus
'The Stranger' his novel has ideas of free choice and could be viewed as an existentialist text. 

The protagonist Meursault appears emotionless and makes his own choices without the opinion of others. The death of his mother provokes little in the way of emotional response from him. Consideration of others has no effect on his choices. 
"I felt like I wanted to smoke, he hesitated, I didn't know if I should do it with mumma there, i thought about it, it didn't matter.'
Thoughts like these contributed to his sentencing to which he showed no reject. Eventually he is condemned to death for a murder. 

He makes his own choices without the opinion of others. Satre would say this is living in good faith. He hasn't let others influence him. 

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