By Walter A. Kaufmann
"Kaufmann: Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre
Existentialism isn't a philosophy yet a label for numerous extensively different
revolts opposed to conventional philosophy. lots of the dwelling "existentialists"
have repudiated this label, and a bewildered outsider may good conclude
that the one factor they've got in universal is a marked aversion for each
other. so as to add to the confusion, many writers of the prior have frequently
been hailed as contributors of this stream, and this can be very doubtful
whether they'd have preferred the corporate to which they are
consigned. In view of this, it would be argued that the label
"existentialism" needs to be deserted altogether.
Certainly, existentialism isn't a faculty of concept nor reducible to any
set of tenets. the 3 writers who seem always on each checklist of
"existentialists'' Jaspers, Heidegger, and Sartre-are no longer in contract on
essentials. Such alleged precursors as Pascal and Kierkegaard differed
from all 3 males via being devoted Christians; and Pascal was once a
Catholic of varieties whereas Kierkegaard used to be a Protestant's Protestant. If, as is
often performed, Nietzsche and Dostoevsky are incorporated within the fold, we must
make room for an impassioned anti-Christian and a fair extra fanatical
Greek-Orthodox Russian imperialist. by the point we ponder adding
Rilke, Kafka, and Camus, it turns into undeniable that one crucial feature
shared by way of a majority of these males is their perfervid individualism."
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Additional resources for Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre
But if he is not stupid, he is monstrously un-grateful! Phenomenally ungrateful. In fact, I believe that the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped. But that is not all, that is not his worst defect; his worst defect is his perpetual moral obliquity, perpetual-from the days of the Flood to the Schleswig-Holstein period. Moral obliquity and consequently lack of good sense; for it has long been ac-cepted that lack of good sense is due to no other cause than moral obliquity. Put it to the test and cast your eyes upon the history of mankind.
For forty years together it will remember its injury down to the smallest, most ignominious details, and every time will add, of itself, details still more ignominious, spitefully teasing and tormenting itself with its own imagination. It will itself be ashamed of its imaginings, but yet it will recall it all, it will go over and over every detail, it will invent unheard of things against itself, pretending that those things might happen, and will forgive nothing. Maybe it will begin to revenge itself, too, but, as it were, piecemeal, in trivial ways, from behind the stove, incognito, without believing either in its own right to vengeance, or in the success of its revenge knowing that from all its efforts at revenge it will suffer a hundred times more than he on whom it revenges itself, while he, I daresay, will not even scratch himself.
It is boredom sets one sticking golden pins into people, but all that would not matter. What is bad (this is my comment again) is that I dare say people will be thankful for the gold pins then. Man is stupid, you know, phenomenally stupid; or rather he is not at all stupid, but he is so ungrateful that you could not find another like him in all creation. " That again would not matter, but what is annoying is that he would be sure to find followers–such is the nature of man. And all that for the most foolish reason, which, one would think, was hardly worth mentioning: that is, that man everywhere and at all times, whoever he may be, has preferred to act as he chose and not in the least as his reason and advantage dictated.