CONCEPT OF human EXISTENCE
CONCEPT OF HUMAN EXISTENCE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Jacob Friedrich Fries considered the development of philosophical idealism by philosophers like as Hegel, Fichte, and Schelling to be a major flaw. According to Fries, the philosophical tendency should have continued in the Kantian tradition.
According to Coqueston (248), his simple rationale for this is that “we must investigate the nature, laws, and scope of knowledge before we can tackle problems about the object of knowledge.”
What Fires says is that the question of the Corkinty of an item of knowledge can be handled by analysing its nature, laws, and scope. In this regard, Fries shares a connection with the father of British empiricism, John Locke.
As a result, Fries and his co-believers were among the first opponents and sceptics of metaphysical idealism. Another critic was Christian Hermann Weisse, who said that Hegel overestimated the significance of logic in attempting to deduce reality from abstract forms of being.
Immanuel Herman Fichte, the son of the famed idealist, emphasised the individual human individuality on his own. Fichte was vehemently opposed to Hegel's desire to submerge the individual in the universal, where personality, the end of creation assored of immortality, was depicted as a period in the life of universal spirit.
As a result, the chain reaction against idealism persisted and reached Kierkegaard on film. Ludwig Wittgenstein (quoted in Pattison, 1) described this Dane as “by far the most profound Thinkers of the last century.”
Soren Kierkegaard, the founder of modern existentialism
According to Omorveghs (39), this is a loose philosophical framework that concerns with “win, concrete existence as opposed essence.”
With the advent of this theory, philosophy's focus switched from the study of metaphysical realities, as available in conventional philosophy of the ancient and mediaeval periods, to the study of man's being and the tangible or concrete realities of life.
Kierkegaard's job was to disprove Hegskanism, also known as speculative philosophy, as it was distorted by absolute idealism. According to Copleston (335), Hegelianism's philosophy portrayed human existence in such a way that “man realises his true self or essence in proportion as he transcends his particularity and becomes a spectator of all time and existence as a moment in the life of universal thought.”
The preceding strategy cleansed the food experience of existritialism, causing him to react with scarce sympathy for this radiculity. According to Copleste (336), Kierkegaard developed his philosophical concepts in such a way that it fended to become “a clarification of issues and an appeal to choose, an attempt to get new to see their existential situation and the great alternatives with which they are faced” in his reaction.
This clarification is crucial because, as Copestone (338) puts it, “the important problems of any human being are never resolved by mere thought or speculation, but by this act of choice, on the level of existence rather than on that of detached, objective reflection.”
Kierkegaard often holds that philosophy should be concerned with concerns that confront individuals as living beings rather than abstract conceptions. According to Etim (1), questions like “who am I? What is the purpose of life? How can I live a fulfilling and helpful life?
How can I stay there for myself and others? What exactly does freedom mean to me? “How will I put my freedom to use?” Kierkegaard goes on to say that human existence is more than just an existence; it is a genuine human existence with a paschal relationship with his maker.
The authenticity of these distinct existences prompted Kierkegaard to pose concerns such as “How should a Christian live authentically?”
How does one live a personal relationship with God and respond truthfully to the rigours of that relationship in the same way that…… did? What does it mean to have a trustworthy relationship with God?
According to this definition, existential philosophy is concerned with the ultimate question of the meaning of human existence. In general, existentialists seek to find the meaning and authenticity of…… existence.
As a result, the purpose of this book is to investigate Soren Kierkegaard's approach to the topic of the meaning of human existence and the question addressing the question: what does it truly mean to exist as a human being?
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The subject of human existence has sparked numerous debates. Some viewed it from the standpoint of its absurdity and meaninglessness. Most of these people are atheists like Martin Heidegger, including Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre who, like Hegel, downplayed the essence of human existence.
However, there is another set of existentialists that consider human existence to be a worthwhile endeavour. Soren Kierkegaard, the major founder of current existentialism, is one of them.
According to Lescoe (9), these philosophers expounded specific existential doctrines aimed at “analysing the basic structures of human existence and calling individuals to an awareness of their existence in its essential freedom.”
The challenge of human existence is inextricably linked to the concept of freedom. Its usage and abuse create and destroy man, accordingly. This is due to the fact that freedom continues to be the pivot around which man exerts himself.
His relationship to this determines whether he is an authentic or inauthentic individual. Thus, determining the meaningfulness or meaninglessness of life is extremely subjective, but it is decided by the level of commitment that one invests when he attempts to assert himself through the exercise of freedom.
Another point to consider here is whether it is possible to live truthfully when one has no authentic relationship to the community, which Kierkegaard refers to as the crowd.
And there are existential approaches to natural phenomena like death, dread, anxiety, despair, and suffering. It also considers the issue of freedom and choice, man's search for existential significance, and Kierkegaard's explanation of man's stages on the life path.
In order to elucidate some of these perplexing questions, the researcher seeks to disclose what Kierkegaard regards as the gauge or standard of meaningful human existence.
In this light, the work is a confrontation of man with the raw reality of his freedom and duty, through which he makes the best of his life as an individual.
1.3 AIM OF THE STUDY
It is a huge tragedy of human existence that many people go through life without fully realising their individual potential. On the other side, Fred Baver remarks that some people are so focused on making a livelihood that they forget to live.
This study was inspired by the aforementioned discoveries. The researcher wishes to awaken those who have yet to give in or enjoy the latest possibilities in them, while those who have lost hope in realising meaning out of human existence as exemplified by their excessive obsession or addiction to working so hard are reminded that Kierkegaard was correct when he said,
“until man actualized his essential self in God, his life is full of anxiety” (Ibe 43). It is with confidence that this understanding or wisdom will cause all to regard life's hardships as things designed to make life better rather than bitter.
Thus, the goal of this work is to make everyone realise that human existence is valuable insofar as it is addressed subjectively through personal experiences, an adequate feeling and use of freedom, and solemn and true fear of the creator.
1.4 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
Human daily struggles have a significant impact on all levels and leave us with so many complexity that we eventually fall into the disposition of ‘following the trends' for existential survival. Human authenticity flaws in practically every aspect of human existence or civilization cause man to be a near-perfect replica of himself or herself.
Typically, our daily problems exclude us from engaging in self-realization in order to truly comprehend ourselves and deal with questions that impugn our very character in order to realise our purpose in an ever-changing and ever-complicated world.
Man frequently focuses on the thoughts of others at the expense of his distinctive character. Man is otherwise absorbed in the mass, surrendering his identity to abstract objective or societal control, rather than being a real individual who answers the question of freedom, meaning, and meets the existential phenomenon of death, sorrow, dread, despair, absurdity, and so on.
Kierkegaard's objection to this trend, as well as his replies to the question “what does it mean to be existing as a human being?” influence the stimulating question guiding this inquiry into his concept of human existence. Thus, the rationale for this research is justified in light of its impact on waking modern man to the reality of himself as an existent entity.
1.5 IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
Existential philosophy is based on the idea that man must first exist before assuming responsibility for establishing meaning or essence for his existence. The task of producing meaning can be described as immense. To be able to exert such responsibility, man must be at his best.
As a result, issues about the human person arise. Questions such, “Who is a human being?” What is it like to be alive? Or, what is the purpose of man's existence? Is there complete freedom of choice for man? In this way, this research is important to man as he strives to realise himself. As a result, the relevance of this work can be summarised as follows:
It assists man in realising his purpose for being, thereby shaping his own life via self-realization and reflection by removing oneself from the throng.
Kierkegaard proposed three stages in life that would benefit modern man in coming to the actualization of his essence with the understanding that to exist is to be an individual who strives, considers alternatives, chooses, decides, and makes a commitment more importantly, for ensuring existential commitment, worthy of making the individual sound, critical focused, brave, courageous, and analytically minded in making decisions for his very life.
It is also relevant to modern man in re-orienting the modern world on the fact that self-realization and valuation are only possible if man makes personal decisions based on deep personal reflection and free exercise of his will power while being willing to accept responsibility for his subjective decisions rather than objective crowd following.
Also, keep in mind the scope of epistemology, which is concerned with the nature, scope, and criterion of knowing. The research makes an epistemic contribution by exposing knowledge that qualifies such a judgement about human nature.
It also rouses the dormant man to accept responsibility and develop his essence or purpose, even in the face of existential peril.
1.6 METHODOLOGY OF STUDY
To provide this work with the necessary philosophical underpinning, the researcher consulted a wide range of Kierkegaard research materials. The result of that effort is the accumulation of in-depth knowledge of existentialists' view of human existence.
However, the Kierkegaardian technique is strictly followed. As the investigation proceeds, some relevant comments or insights from others are used as needed.
As a result, the book incorporates philosophical approaches of analysis, critique, and prescription. Analytical in terms of how it connects existential ideas to subjective experiences.
It is critical in that it does not accept all of Kierkegaard's assumptions; rather, it evaluates his good points while criticising the unwholesome aspects of his ideas or teachings about human existence.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this work is ultimately derived from Kierkegaard's attempt to give purpose to human existence through real uniqueness. This entails his concepts of the individual and the way of existence of the individual. Furthermore, the focus of this inquiry includes Kierkegaard's existential philosophy, specifically his concept of human existence and, by extension, his theory as it relates to modern man.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The Definition of Human
What exactly is Existentialism?
Existentialism as a philosophical endeavour is viewed differently by different thinkers. Existentialism, according to R. C. Solomon, “is the explicit conceptual manifestation of an existential attitude-a spirit of ‘the present age'.”
It is a philosophical realisation of a self-conscious life in a “broken world”… a world into which we are “thrown” or “condemned” but “abandoned” and “free”…a world that appears indifferent, if not “absurd”…” (ix), existentialism is defined as “an attitude that begins with a disoriented individual confronted with a confused world that he cannot accept.”
(24 Olawonyin). G. O. Ozumba, for one, defines existentialism as “the philosophy of human existence…concerning the individual in the uniqueness of his existence.” As a result, it abandons logic, universality, abstraction, and objectivity in favour of privacy, particularity, unpredictability, and subjectivity.
” (87-88). Idang (99) agrees, writing, “it would seem, man with his problems, is the main focus of existentialism.” It is a style of philosophising, a way of looking at the world, particularly at man and his place in the universe.
” Existentialism, according to Aqulanna (147), “is concerned with the ambiguities and paradoxes that constitute man's inner being.”
According to the preceding, existentialism is a philosophical outlook that emphasises man's dilemma and emphasises man's existence as an individual rather than an abstract being.