Existentialism was one of the leading philosophical movements of the twentieth century. Focusing on its seven leading figures, Sartre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty and Camus, this Very Short Introduction provides a clear account of the key themes of the movement which emphasized individuality, free will, and personal responsibility in the modern world.
Drawing in the movement's varied relationships with the arts, humanism, and politics, this book clarifies the philosophy and original meaning of 'existentialism' - which has tended to be obscured by misappropriation. Placing it in its historical context, Thomas Flynn also highlights how existentialism is still relevant to us today.
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Thomas Flynn is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Philosophy at Emory University. He is a specialist in contemporary continental philosophy, aesthetics and social and political philosophy. His previous publications include Sartre and Marxist Existentialism: The Test Case of Collective Responsibility (Chicago 1986) and Sartre, Foucault, and Historical Reason (Vols. I & II; Chicago, 1997, 2005).
1. Philosophy as a Way of Life ; 2. Becoming an Individual ; 3. Humanism, For and Against ; 4. Authenticity ; 5. A Chastened Individualism? Existentialism and Social Thought ; 6. What is Living and What is Dead in Existentialist Thought?