This is an extract from a short text by Gordon Allport (Becoming, 1955) subtitled: Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality. In these passages, the human being is seen as characterized by a process of individuation (personal) and socialization (tribal). According to the vision of the human being held by Gordon Allport: “All his life. […]

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Abraham Maslow has become famous as a psychologist for his “hierarchy of needs.” He focuses more on the healthy personality, rather than on forms of psychopathology. He belongs to the tradition of existential-humanistic thinking in America. These extracts from texts written in the middle of the 20th century have not lost any of their insight […]

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The following essay by Georg Lukács on Existentialism was written in 1949, and translated by Henry F. Mins. Georg Lukács is a Marxist thinker who criticizes existentialism: it is a compromise between idealism and materialism, it elevates nihilism to an existentialist attitude, and it turns freedom into a fetish. Source: Existentialism Tout se passe comme si […]

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Anxiety/dread/angst is unfocused fear. If a man stands on the edge of a tall building or cliff and looks over the edge, he experiences a focused fear of falling. At the same time, the man feels a terrifying impulse to throw himself intentionally off the edge. That experience is anxiety or dread because of our complete freedom to choose to either throw oneself off or to stay put. The mere fact that one has the possibility and freedom to do something, even the most terrifying of possibilities, triggers immense feelings of dread. This is our “dizziness of freedom.”

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The photo above was taken during Heidegger’s Paris visit in 1955. The photo shows him with Lacan and their wives in Lacan’s house in Guitrancourt, near Paris. During the visit in Paris, Heidegger delivered the lecture ‘What is Philosophy?’ at Cerisy-la-sale. Left to right: Heidegger, Axelos, Lacan, Jean Beaufret (recipient of the Letter on Humanism), Elfriede Heidegger, Sylvia […]

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Martin Heidegger was an important German philosopher in the 20th century, who is famous for his theories on existentialism and phenomenology. He was associated with existentialism, despite his efforts to distance himself from it. He had a strong influence on the French existentialist Jean Paul Sartre, for instance. He developed a phenomenological critique of Kant […]

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Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is one of the most important philosophers of the last 200 years. He foresaw the downfall of Europe, even though he died in 1900, and he influenced many thinkers in the 20th century. He is commonly seen as an existentialist philosopher, but he can be viewed easily  as a precursor to postmodernity as […]

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