Existentialism takes the human subject -- the holistic human, and the internal conditions as the basis and start of the conceptual way of explaining life. Taking idealism From Descartes, Kant, and Hegel, then building upon it, existentialist thinkers strip away the external and look at questions that surround human existence, and the conditions of that existence, rather than hypothesizing or dreaming of different forms of being. Thus, the inward philosophical emotions, angst, dread, self-doubt, self-esteem, etc. are experiences of the historical process, and the process of learning and moving through "existence" into a less fragile, more concrete, way of self-actualization. The existentialist concept of freedom is the manner in which internal values are set and interact with external historical trends. Rather than humans being primarily rational, they make decisions when and if they find meaning (Solomon)
Existentialism asserts that people actually make decisions based solely on the meaning to them rather than some sort of logical, or concrete form of nature. Existentialism takes the human subject -- the holistic human, and the internal conditions as the basis and start of the conceptual way of explaining life. Taking Hegel's idealism and building upon it, existentialist thinkers strip away the external and look at questions that surround human existence and the conditions of that existence, rather than hypothesizing or dreaming of different forms of being. Thus, the inward philosophical emotions, angst, dread, self-doubt, self-esteem, etc. are experiences of the historical process, and the process of learning and moving through "existence" into a less fragile, more concrete, way of self-actualization (Marino).
Again, building upon Hegel's idea of freedom and individual freedom and spirit, but does require that even though society and religion teach that there is external structure and order in life, it is up to the individual to capture the essence of the historical trend and look for order. In general, then, like for Hegel, it is not enough for the existentialist to understand the truths of fact and science, instead, it is important to take the historical themes of society and interpolate and integrate them into a self-perception and thematic outline of progression through life (Beiser).
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Heidegger and Sadler. The Essence of Truth: On Plato's Cave Allegory and Theaetetus. New York: Continuum Press, 2005.
Huard, R. Plato's Political Philosophy. New York: Penguin, 2006.
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Plato. The Republic. Trans. C. Reeve. New York: Hackett, 2004.
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