Good existentialism primer

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Good existentialism primer

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1soam
Aug 21, 2006, 9:53am

I've been looking to read more existentialism lately after putting it down for awhile (aside from literary philosphy). Last night I ordered Existentialism by Robert Solomon. I picked it over Existentialism: from Dostoevsky to Sartre by Walter Kaufman. Figuring this type of book will give me a better overview than the others I have. Anyone else have any favorites?

2Brent
Sep 26, 2006, 4:05pm

Sartre's 1946 essay "Existentialism Is a Humanism" is one of my favorite introductions. I have some other titles in mind which I'll try to post later today.

3klorio First Message
Oct 31, 2006, 7:35pm

Irrational man : a study in existential philosophy
by William Barrett is a good introduction.

4Benjaminista
Nov 17, 2007, 1:16pm

5Meh_ssdd
Dec 11, 2007, 5:38pm

I'm very interested in the writings of Walter Kaufmann. I know that his notes and commentary were very helpful in my reading of Basic Writings of Nietzsche (Modern Library) and Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for None and All. After I clear my stack, I intend to pick up a few of his works.

6Naren559
Oct 30, 2008, 5:10pm

Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning

7rubicon528
Aug 11, 2009, 8:27am

Not everyone likes the 'Dummies' series of books but they are generally an easy to read good introduction:

Existentialism for Dummies by Christopher Panza

8Naren559
Aug 11, 2009, 11:59am

Thank-you; I just ordered it from Amazon.

9rubicon528
Aug 12, 2009, 5:35am

Good Naren559 I hope you find it useful. Would be great to have some feedback on it.

10Naren559
Aug 14, 2009, 2:37pm

Amazon just notifed me that it's on the way, I look forward to discussing it.

11leahmarjorie
Aug 26, 2009, 5:08am

Contemporary Philosophy and Religious Thought is an engrossing read and fairly comprehensive overview of the theistic branch of existentialist philosophy. Would highly recommend it.

12Naren559
Aug 29, 2009, 12:26pm

Also, just about anything from Paul Tillich.

13DHunt
Oct 12, 2009, 3:33pm

It has been a while since I've read "Existential Philosophers: Kierkegaard to Merleau-Ponty" but I remember it as a good introduction to just about all the thinkers discussed. Besides the two philosophers in the title, there are chapters on Jaspers (by Richard Grabau), Heidegger (by Karsten Harries), Marcel (by Edward Ballard), Satre (William McBride), and Camus (by Thomas Hanna). There's an introductory essay by George Schrader, the editor; and the Carr chapter on Merleau-Ponty is particularly well written. The chapters range from 37 pages to 70 pages.

14Naren559
Oct 28, 2009, 8:02pm

For those, who seem to be intimidated by approaching existentialism directly (e.g. texts, etc.), the novels, by Camus, Sartre and, especially Irvin Yalom, might approach more of an appreciation of existential concepts. Also, there are movies (available on DVD) such as It's a Wondeful Life, Dicken's Christmas Carol, When Nietzsche Wept, Stranger than Fiction, Tootsie, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The Teaching Company has a series of lectures available: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life.