15 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2019
    1. Camus follows Sartre's definition on the absurd, absurd is "That which is meaningless. Thus man's existence is absurd because his contingency finds no external justification".[71] The absurd is created because of the realization of man, who is placed into an unintelligent universe, that human values are not founded on a solid external component; or as Camus himself explains, the absurd is the result of the "confrontation between human need and the unreasonable silence of the world".[74] Even though absurdity is inescapable, Camus does not drift towards nihilism. But the realization of absurdity leads to the question: why someone should continue to live? Suicide is an option that Camus firmly dismisses as the renunciation of human values and freedom. Rather than, he proposes we accept that absurdity is a part of our lives and live with it.
    2. On the other hand, Camus focused most of his philosophy around existential questions. The absurdity of life, the inevitable ending (death) is highlighted in his acts, his belief that the absurd – life being void of meaning, or man's inability to know that meaning if it were to exist – was something that man should embrace, his anti-Christianity, his commitment to individual moral freedom and responsibility are only a few of the similarities with other existential writers.[69] More importantly, Camus addressed one of the fundamental questions of existentialism: the problem of suicide. He wrote "There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide" Camus viewed the question of suicide as arising naturally as a solution to the absurdity of life.[70]
  2. May 2019
    1. Newport’s basic theme: we fell into our habits of using phones, social media, email, web-browsing etc without making conscious decisions about what our priorities were.

      I can wholeheartedly recommend Sarah Bakewell's brilliant book At the Existentialist Café in regards to this book.

      Some of the main existentialists thought it imperative to live through every single experience—including the minute—as though one were for the first time, and humanity were depending on you to interpret it for us.

  3. Apr 2019
    1. Sartre argued that a central proposition of Existentialism is that existence precedes essence, which means that the most important consideration for individuals is that they are individuals—independently acting and responsible, conscious beings ("existence")—rather than what labels, roles, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived categories the individuals fit ("essence"). The actual life of the individuals is what constitutes what could be called their "true essence" instead of there being an arbitrarily attributed essence others use to define them. Thus, human beings, through their own consciousness, create their own values and determine a meaning to their life.[27]
    2. While the predominant value of existentialist thought is commonly acknowledged to be freedom, its primary virtue is authenticity.[6] In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called "the existential attitude", or a sense of disorientation, confusion, or dread in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world.[7] Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophies, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience.[8][9]
    1. If in observing the present state of the world and life in general, from a Christian point of view one had to say (and from a Christian point of view with complete justification): It is a disease. And if I were a physician and someone asked me “What do you think should be done?” I would answer, “The first thing, the unconditional condition for anything to be done, consequently the very first thing that must be done is: create silence, bring about silence; God's Word cannot be heard, and if in order to be heard in the hullabaloo it must be shouted deafeningly with noisy instruments, then it is not God’s Word; create silence! Ah, everything is noisy; and just as strong drink is said to stir the blood, so everything in our day, even the most insignificant project, even the most empty communication, is designed merely to jolt the senses and to stir up the masses, the crowd, the public, noise! And man, this clever fellow, seems to have become sleepless in order to invent ever new instruments to increase noise, to spread noise and insignificance with the greatest possible haste and on the greatest possible scale. Yes, everything is soon turned upside-down: communication is indeed soon brought to its lowest point in regard to meaning, and simultaneously the means of communication are indeed brought to their highest with regard to speedy and overall circulation; for what is publicized with such hot haste and, on the other hand, what has greater circulation than---rubbish! Oh, create silence!” Soren Kierkegaard, For Self-Examination 1851 p. 47-48 Hong 1990
    2. How much that is hidden may still reside in a person, or how much may still reside hidden! How inventive is hidden inwardness in hiding itself and in deceiving or evading others, the hidden inwardness that preferred that no one would suspect its existence, modestly afraid of being seen and mortally afraid of being entirely disclosed! Is it not so that the one person never completely understands the other? But if he does not understand him completely, then of course it is always possible that the most indisputable thing could still have a completely different explanation that would, note well, be the true explanation, since an assumption can indeed explain a great number of instances very well and thereby confirm its truth and yet show itself to be untrue as soon as the instance comes along that it cannot explain-and it would indeed be possible that this instance or this somewhat more precise specification could come even at the last moment. Therefore all calm and, in the intellectual sense, dispassionate observers, who eminently know how to delve searchingly and penetratingly into the inner being, these very people judge with such infinite caution or refrain from it entirely because, enriched by observation, they have a developed conception of the enigmatic world of the hidden, and because as observers they have learned to rule over their passions. Only superficial, impetuous passionate people, who do not understand themselves and for that reason naturally are unaware that they do not know others, judge precipitously. Those with insight, those who know never do this. Soren Kierkegaard, Works of Love, (1847) Hong 1995 p. 228-229

      This section particularly interests me, this is more or less how my brain operates, the trains of thought, the natural inclination to analyze life by thinking, thinking of others, assumptions I make, others make. What is the truth? Is there a truth?

    3. What I really need is to get clear about what I must do, not what I must know, except insofar as knowledge must precede every act. What matters is to find a purpose, to see what it really is that God wills that I shall do; the crucial thing is to find a truth which is truth for me, to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die.
    4. One must first learn to know himself before knowing anything else (γνῶθι σεαυτόν). Not until a man has inwardly understood himself and then sees the course he is to take does his life gain peace and meaning; only then is he free of that irksome, sinister traveling companion — that irony of life, which manifests itself in the sphere of knowledge and invites true knowing to begin with a not-knowing (Socrates) just as God created the world from nothing. But in the waters of morality it is especially at home to those who still have not entered the tradewinds of virtue. Here it tumbles a person about in a horrible way, for a time lets him feel happy and content in his resolve to go ahead along the right path, then hurls him into the abyss of despair. Often it lulls a man to sleep with the thought, "After all, things cannot be otherwise," only to awaken him suddenly to a rigorous interrogation. Frequently it seems to let a veil of forgetfulness fall over the past, only to make every single trifle appear in a strong light again. When he struggles along the right path, rejoicing in having overcome temptation's power, there may come at almost the same time, right on the heels of perfect victory, an apparently insignificant external circumstance which pushes him down, like Sisyphus, from the height of the crag. Often when a person has concentrated on something, a minor external circumstance arises which destroys everything. (As in the case of a man who, weary of life, is about to throw himself into the Thames and at the crucial moment is halted by the sting of a mosquito.) Frequently a person feels his very best when the illness is the worst, as in tuberculosis. In vain he tries to resist it but he has not sufficient strength, and it is no help to him that he has gone through the same thing many times; the kind of practice acquired in this way does not apply here. (Søren Kierkegaard's Journals & Papers IA Gilleleie, 1 August 1835)
    1. The common thread in the literature of the existentialists is coping with the emotional anguish arising from our confrontation with nothingness, and they expended great energy responding to the question of whether surviving it was possible. Their answer was a qualified "Yes," advocating a formula of passionate commitment and impassive stoicism.— Alan Pratt[1]
  4. Feb 2019
  5. Mar 2017
  6. Jun 2016
  7. ou-expo.nicklolordo.com ou-expo.nicklolordo.com
    1. , I think I would have wept over it. Somehow, now that it has happened actually, and to me, it seems far too wonderful for tears.

      I really enjoy this idea, for some reason, as something so unfathomably sad has happened to Dorian, as if his life were a novel (hmhmhm) and he finds it too amusing to be bothered by. Wilde demonstrates the surreal reality that plagues life and continues somewhat of a commentary on how precious one's life is, and how it must not be wasted on conforming when one does not see fit.

    2. Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly,—that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one’s self.

      Wilde uses this dialogue to convey his theory on the meaning of life. "People are afraid of themselves nowadays" is Wilde's call to the oppression of individuals by society. Wilde opens the concept of living as one sees fit - their true identity. This dialogue probably cause issue from early critics of Wilde's work, as it holds a somewhat secular message.

  8. Oct 2015
    1. Freedman also points out how Siddhartha described Hesse's interior dialectic: "All of the contrasting poles of his life were sharply etched: the restless departures and the search for stillness at home; the diversity of experience and the harmony of a unifying spirit; the security of religious dogma and the anxiety of freedom."[8]

      This reminds me of a quote, which I can't currently attribute, that basically says you can have everything in life, but not everything at once. Somewhat obvious, but I think if a person isn't mindful of this idea and is afraid to get out of his comfortable zone, or is held to a set of rigid beliefs, a diverse range of experiences are highly unlikely.