Reddit Reddit reviews Existentialism Is a Humanism

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Existentialism Is a Humanism
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11 Reddit comments about Existentialism Is a Humanism:

u/CapBateman · 15 pointsr/askphilosophy

In general, academic philosophy of religion is dominated by theistic philosophers, so there aren't many works defending atheism and atheistic arguments in the professional literature.

But there are still a few notable books:

  • J.L Mackie's The Miracle of Theism is considered a classic, but it's a bit outdated by now. Although Mackie focuses more on critiquing the arguments for God's existence rather than outright defending atheism, he is no doubt coming from an atheistic point of view.
  • Michael Martin's Atheism: A Philosophical Justification is a lengthy book with the ambitious goal of showing atheism is the justified and rational philosophical position, while theism is not.
  • Nicholas Everitt's The Non-existence of God is maybe one of the most accessible books in the "case for atheism" genre written by a professional philosopher. He even presents a new argument against god's existence.
  • If you're more into debates, God?: A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist is a written debate between atheist philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and famous Christian philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig. It's far better than any debate WLC had with any of the New Atheists in my humble opinion.
  • On the more Continental side of things, there a few works that could be mentioned. There's Michel Onfray's Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (although I must admit I didn't read it myself, so I can't attest to how good it is) and of course any work by the atheist existentialists, a good place to start will by Jean-paul Sartre's Existentialism Is a Humanism.

    I didn't add him because others have already mentioned him, but everything written by Graham Oppy is fantastic IMO. He is maybe the leading atheist philosopher in the field of philosophy of religion. A good place to start with his writings is his 2013 paper on arguments for atheism.
u/[deleted] · 6 pointsr/infj

I like Camus a lot, but his prose is super hard to read sometimes. I don't really like Nietzsche; he's a massive fucking dick. I like Camus leagues more because Camus explains things and leads you to his conclusion while Nietzsche just preaches and rambles on about how much he hates this or that and how stupid this or that is.

Not all of these called themselves philosophers, but here's some I like:

I'm not stoic by any means, but I love Marcus Aurelius's Meditations. I think it's interesting how someone could write musings that are relevant millennia later.

John Milton wrote Paradise Lost, but he has a ton of prose too. Here's a book full of it along with annotations and modernized grammar. Milton wasn't the most satisfactory person, but his writing is incredible.

I haven't read this myself, but a friend of mine really liked Man's Search for Meaning by Frankl. Some of his friends called him pretentious for reading the book though (I wasn't one of them).

If you like Camus, you'll probably like Sartre's Existentialism is a Humanism. Again, I haven't read it myself, but it was also recommended to me because I like Camus.

Jean-Paul Marat was a journalist during the French Revolution, but his writings sometimes crossed into philosophical territory. He was a huge populist, and I love his work when he's not calling for the deaths of hundreds of people. You can read some of it here.

I'm huge into theology, so I love Thomas Aquinas. He wrote a lot about theology and Christianity and was a major Christian apologist. He also dabbled in theodicy. Smart man.

And to mix it up, here's one I haven't checked out but is top on my list: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz's Selected Works. She was a writer and a nun from Spain who was self-taught--all qualities you usually don't find in philosophers, so she'll be a unique read.

u/ohmanchild · 3 pointsr/askphilosophy

Thanks. I actually ordered Meditations right after I read Epictetus. Is this the other book? How do you apply reason when you talk to people and look at tasks you need to do so it's not so overwhelming?

u/angstycollegekid · 3 pointsr/askphilosophy

Sartre presented a lecture called "Existentialism and Humanism," which can now be found in print as Existentialism is a Humanism. It's almost like an Existentialism manefesto, per se. The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus is a good treatise on existentialism (Absurdism, really, but it'll do).

I would not hesitate to start reading fiction novels that have Existentialist themes. Camus' The Stranger, Sartre's Nausea, and Dostyevsky's Notes From the Underground are just a few that will find your studies well.

As for secondary literature, the only text I can knowledgeably recommend is Existentialism For Dummies, as I'm currently working my way through it. It's actually not as bad as you might think coming from the "For Dummies" series. It doesn't go too in-depth, and ideas are very concise and oftentimes humorous.

I have also heard good things about David Cogswell's Existentialism For Beginners, though I have never read it myself.

If your niece feels comfortable with this level of writing and philosophical examination, it is almost imperative to read Kierkegaard's Either/Or and Fear and Trembling, Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, and Sartre's Being and Nothingness, among others. It is good to have some background understanding of Kant and perhaps have a few essays by Schopenhauer under your belt leading up to the more rigorous academics like Heidegger and Hegel.

Good luck, and happy reading!

u/BonkTink · 2 pointsr/Existentialism

"Man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world—and defines himself afterwards"

—Jean-Paul Sartre

From Existentialism and Humanism (later published in English as Existentialism is a Humanism)

u/the_unfinished_I · 2 pointsr/books

Existentialism is a humanism, by Jean Paul Sartre. Very short, easy to understand, and (speaking personally) quite life-affecting.

u/j0h0 · 2 pointsr/books

Note: This comes from my interpretation and quotes from "A Commentary on The Stranger" by Jean-Paul Sartre, which can be found in the book Existentialism is a Humanism also by Jean-Paul Sartre.

> In The Myth of Sisyphus... Camus provided us with a precise commentary on his work: his hero was neither good nor bad, neither moral nor immoral. Such categories do not apply to him. He belongs to a very particular species for which the author reserves the name "absurd."

Sartre goes on to explain that "absurd" as used in Camus' work represents both a factual state and the lucid awareness that some people acquire from that state. By this reading, Meursault is Camus' attempt to throw us headfirst into the feeling of the "absurd".

>"For the absurd man, the ideal is the present and the succession of present moments before an ever-conscious spirit." Confronted with this "quantitative ethic," all values collapse. Projected into this world, the absurd man, rebellious and irresponsible, has "nothing to prove."

>And now we fully understand the title of Camus's novel. The stranger he wants to portray is precisely one of those terrible "idiots" who shock a society by not accepting the rules of its game. He lives among strangers, but he is a stranger to them too.

>Meursalt does not seem to be indignant about his death sentence. He was happy, he did as he liked, and his happiness does not seem to have been affected by any inner gnawing so frequently mentioned by Camus in his essay, which stems from the blinding presence of death. His very indifference often seems like indolence, for instance on that Sunday when he stays home out of pure laziness, and admits to having been "a little bored." The character thus remains singularly impenetrable, even from a vantage point of the absurd... He is there before us, he exists, and we can neither understand nor quite judge him. In a word, he is alive, but his fictional density is the only thing that can make him acceptable to us.

I hope some of that helps! I really enjoyed reading Sartre's commentary on The Stranger and I felt as though it made me appreciate Camus's work more than my first reading. Somewhere inside the commentary Sartre explains that Meursalt is much less a key player in the events of the story as an impartial observer and that to truly live the "absurd" is simply to experience it. He likens the events in the book to our looking in on them through a window in which we can see what is happening, but are completely cut off from the context and meaning of such events.

I haven't read The Myth of Sisyphus yet, but Sartre claims that it amounts to Camus's spelling out of his theory of the absurd. The Stranger attempts to expose us to the "feeling" of the absurd, while TMoS attempts to expose us to the "idea" of the absurd in a much more philosophical way. If you're interested in Camus's ideas, I would probably have to second his recommendation.

u/scdozer435 · 2 pointsr/askphilosophy

>I didn't know continental vs analytical terms are outdated.

Dated perhaps isn't the right term, but just know that they do have certain limits.

As for post-WWII philosophy, there's a lot, but I'm going to let you know that much of it can't be well-understood without a basic understanding of Heidegger, much of whose thought was pre-WWII. His best known work is Being and Time, but it's one of the most challenging texts in the western canon. For an easier introduction to prep you for it, I'd recommend some of his early lecture material, such as The Hermeneutics of Facticity and The History of the Concept of Time. This could just be me, but I've found his lectures to be generally easier than his primary texts. If you want to trace the development of his thought, much of which was post-WWII, the Basic Writings anthology has a number of essays by him. While nothing really eclipsed Being and Time, much of his later thought is still studied. I'd say the most significant work of his later career was his Contributions to Philosophy, which took the form of briefer aphorisms and anecdotes, more similar to Nietzsche in style, but still grounded in much of his own thought and terminology.

If you want to move away from Heidegger, some of the big texts would be Gadamer's Truth and Method (Gadamer was a student of Heidegger's, so the former's thought is very deeply influenced by the latter), Sartre's two texts Being and Nothingness and Existentialism is a Humanism (note the similarity to Sartre's title with Heidegger's Being and Time, and also note that Heidegger would respond rather critically to Sartre's Existentialism with an essay in the Basic Writings), and Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex (a key feminist work heavily influenced by Sartre and Heidegger).

Beyond this my knowledge is a bit scattered, as I've only just completed undergrad. I really would recommend David West's text as a decent overview that will guide you in what the key texts are, as well as good secondary sources. I've not brought up Derrida, who was also huge, as well as Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Michel Foucault and Charles Taylor just to name a few. On top of those, there's a ton of pre-WWII stuff that's hugely important for understanding these thinkers, such as the ideas of Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, and the whole field of psychoanalysis (Freud, Jung and Lacan). Then there's postmodernism, postcolonialism, the various strands of feminism, and tons more. The more I type, the more I'm just reminding myself how little I know about this area (even though it's the area I'm most interested in).

Let me know if there's anything more you need to know or if you want to know a decent secondary source.

u/imsoeffingtired · 1 pointr/AskReddit

If you are interested in Watts' idea of nothingness you might be interested in the philosophy of Existentialism. If you want this idea put in layman's terms Existentialism is a Humanism is a great place to start. Honestly though, I would steer away from Alan Watts, although he is interesting, after reading a few of his books his philosophy seems rather empty and repetitive... Kierkegaard, Camus, and Sartre are all very interesting reads. Despite our resentful convo you should check them out.

u/FabesE · 1 pointr/IAmA

Kierkegaard makes for dense reading, real dense.

Existentialism is a Humanism by Sartre is my go-to recommendation for an entrance into Existentialism. It's actually a lecture, so it reads like an essay; it's short, so it is manageable; and it is significantly less dense than Kierkegaard. "Existence precedes essence". Such a simple and wonderful idea that needn't scare or lead to malaise.

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