How short can a story be and still have the characteristics of a story? Hemingway gave us an example. His shortest story consists of six words only: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” He called it his best work. Life is composed of stories, lived and told. Stories have a beginning and an end. If […]

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Sartre’s existentialism is a philosophy that tries to face the implications of a universe without purpose. We are therefore personally responsible for what we are and what we do. There are no values external to the human being and no given human nature which defines or obligates us. Radically speaking, man chooses his values and […]

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“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.”

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Kierkegaard is a Danish philosopher who lived from May 5, 1813 to November 11, 1855. He is the grandfather of Existentialism, and a forerunner of psychoanalysis, because he bring together psychology, philosophy, and religion, and focuses it all on the individual. He analyses complex feelings like fear, and examines them in relation to existential and religious choices.

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The following excerpt from Soren Kierkegaard’s  book “The Sickness Unto Death” (1849) shows different ways in which we try to choose our existence, and how we end up in despair.  Kierkegaard defines the human being as a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, the temporal and the eternal, and of freedom and necessity. We […]

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Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus (Chapter Four) Le Mythe de Sisyphe (1942; English translation 1955) The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment […]

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Jean-Paul Sartre: “Existentialism and Humanism.” Translated by Philip Mairet (Brooklyn: Haskell House Publishers Ltd., 1977), pp. 23-56. First published in French in 1946 under the title “L’Existentialisme est un humanisme.” Note: The occasion upon which the author developed the fundamental ideas published in this book was a lecture delivered at the Club Maintenant. He repeated […]

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