Philosophy of life
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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 personal philosophy, way of life or Lebensphilosophie whose focus is resolving the existential questions about the human condition.
- 1 The human situation
- 2 Main answers to the existential question
- 3 Religion as an attempt to overcome the existential predicament
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Academic journals
The human situation
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The human situation appears to be a struggle between what is (existence) and what ought (essence) to be.
- Normative situations – Alternatives, Choice, Freedom, Values, Standards, Ideals, Obligation, Responsibility
- Existential predicament – Finitude, Alienation, Anxiety, Guilt, Ambivalence, Thrownness
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 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 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.
- Timothy Fetler, Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion Charts Sun Press
- William James and other essays on the philosophy of life, Josiah Royce
- Existential philosophy, Paul Tillich
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