Chapter

A chastened individualism? Existentialism and social thought

in Existentialism

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780192804280
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191775932 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780192804280.003.0005

Series: Very Short Introductions

A chastened individualism? Existentialism and social thought

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‘A chastened individualism? Existentialism and social thought‘ surveys the development of social responsibility in existentialist thought. Previous proponents of ‘authenticity’ like Nietzsche and Kierkegaard did not really address social responsibility and Heidegger was dramatically misled by National Socialism. After World War II, ideas of collective responsibility and ethical limits to the political were developed. Sartre and other existentialists supported communism, until dissuaded by Soviet imperialism. Marcel stressed the need to move from an abstract to a concrete thinking and foster others' freedom. De Beauvoir applied existentialism to feminism, as a way to overcome oppression, although this necessitated cooperation among free agents.

Keywords: communism; existentialism; feminism; individualism; responsibility; thinking

Chapter.  6445 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: 20th-Century Philosophy

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