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date: 27 May 2022

p. 453. Humanism: for and againstlocked

p. 453. Humanism: for and againstlocked

  • Thomas Flynn

Abstract

‘Humanism: for and against‘ examines existentialists' various attitudes to humanism and what roots it has in the philosophy. In 1945, Sartre attempted to present existentialism as a viable and relevant social philosophy, even if the principles he set out did not follow from his philosophy thus far. Existentialists believed that it was always possible to make something out of what you have been made into. In contrast, Heidegger believed that mere pragmatic action did not advance true human possibilities. Instead, he believed that ‘dwelling poetically’ on mortality would reveal what it means to be. Existentialists differed over whether existence should be seen as a brute fact, or a gift.

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