Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns matters of value, thus comprises the branch of philosophy called axiology. Ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil and wrong, virtue and vice and crime; as a field of intellectual inquiry, moral philosophy is related to the fields of moral psychology, descriptive ethics, value theory. Three major areas of study within ethics recognized today are: Meta-ethics, concerning the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions, how their truth values can be determined Normative ethics, concerning the practical means of determining a moral course of action Applied ethics, concerning what a person is obligated to do in a specific situation or a particular domain of action The English word "ethics" is derived from the Ancient Greek word ēthikós, meaning "relating to one's character", which itself comes from the root word êthos meaning "character, moral nature".
This was borrowed into Latin as ethica and into French as éthique, from which it was borrowed into English. Rushworth Kidder states that "standard definitions of ethics have included such phrases as'the science of the ideal human character' or'the science of moral duty'". Richard William Paul and Linda Elder define ethics as "a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behavior helps or harms sentient creatures"; the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy states that the word "ethics" is "commonly used interchangeably with'morality'... and sometimes it is used more narrowly to mean the moral principles of a particular tradition, group or individual." Paul and Elder state that most people confuse ethics with behaving in accordance with social conventions, religious beliefs and the law and don't treat ethics as a stand-alone concept. The word ethics in English refers to several things, it can refer to philosophical ethics or moral philosophy—a project that attempts to use reason to answer various kinds of ethical questions.
As the English philosopher Bernard Williams writes, attempting to explain moral philosophy: "What makes an inquiry a philosophical one is reflective generality and a style of argument that claims to be rationally persuasive." Williams describes the content of this area of inquiry as addressing the broad question, "how one should live". Ethics can refer to a common human ability to think about ethical problems, not particular to philosophy; as bioethicist Larry Churchill has written: "Ethics, understood as the capacity to think critically about moral values and direct our actions in terms of such values, is a generic human capacity." Ethics can be used to describe a particular person's own idiosyncratic principles or habits. For example: "Joe has strange ethics." Meta-ethics is the branch of philosophical ethics that asks how we understand, know about, what we mean when we talk about what is right and what is wrong. An ethical question pertaining to a particular practical situation—such as, "Should I eat this particular piece of chocolate cake?"—cannot be a meta-ethical question.
A meta-ethical question is abstract and relates to a wide range of more specific practical questions. For example, "Is it possible to have secure knowledge of what is right and wrong?" is a meta-ethical question. Meta-ethics has always accompanied philosophical ethics. For example, Aristotle implies that less precise knowledge is possible in ethics than in other spheres of inquiry, he regards ethical knowledge as depending upon habit and acculturation in a way that makes it distinctive from other kinds of knowledge. Meta-ethics is important in G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica from 1903. In it he first wrote about. Moore was seen to reject naturalism in his Open Question Argument; this made. Earlier, the Scottish philosopher David Hume had put forward a similar view on the difference between facts and values. Studies of how we know in ethics divide into non-cognitivism. Non-cognitivism is the view that when we judge something as morally right or wrong, this is neither true nor false. We may, for example, be only expressing our emotional feelings about these things.
Cognitivism can be seen as the claim that when we talk about right and wrong, we are talking about matters of fact. The ontology of ethics is about value-bearing things or properties, i.e. the kind of things or stuff referred to by ethical propositions. Non-descriptivists and non-cognitivists believe that ethics does not need a specific ontology since ethical propositions do not refer; this is known as an anti-realist position. Realists, on the other hand, must explain what kind of entities, properties or states are relevant for ethics, how they have value, why they guide and motivate our actions. Normative ethics is the study of ethical action, it is the branch of ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one ought to act, morally speaking. Normative ethics is distinct from meta-ethics because normative ethics examines standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions, while meta-ethics studies the meaning of moral language and the metaphysics of moral facts.
Normative ethics is distinct from descriptive ethics, as the latter is an empirical investigation of people's moral beliefs. To put it another way, descriptive ethics would be concerned with determining what proportion of people believe th
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, cultural critic, poet and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy, he became the youngest to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24. Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems. In 1889 at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward, a complete loss of his mental faculties, he lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900. Nietzsche's body of work touched a wide range of topics, including art, history, tragedy and science, his writing spans philosophical polemics, cultural criticism and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony. His early inspiration was drawn from figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Richard Wagner and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism. He developed influential concepts such as the Übermensch and the doctrine of eternal return. In his work, he became preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social and moral contexts in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health. After his death, his sister Elisabeth became the curator and editor of Nietzsche's manuscripts, reworking his unpublished writings to fit her own German nationalist ideology while contradicting or obfuscating Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. Through her published editions, Nietzsche's work became associated with Nazism. Nietzsche's thought enjoyed renewed popularity in the 1960s and his ideas have since had a profound impact on 20th and early-21st century thinkers across philosophy—especially in schools of continental philosophy such as existentialism and post-structuralism—as well as art, psychology and popular culture.
Born on 15 October 1844, Nietzsche grew up in the small town of Röcken, near Leipzig, in the Prussian Province of Saxony. He was named after King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, who turned 49 on the day of Nietzsche's birth. Nietzsche's Carl Ludwig Nietzsche, a Lutheran pastor and former teacher, they had two other children: a daughter, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, born in 1846. Nietzsche's father died from a brain ailment in 1849; the family moved to Naumburg, where they lived with Nietzsche's maternal grandmother and his father's two unmarried sisters. After the death of Nietzsche's grandmother in 1856, the family moved into their own house, now Nietzsche-Haus, a museum and Nietzsche study centre. Nietzsche attended a boys' school and a private school, where he became friends with Gustav Krug, Rudolf Wagner and Wilhelm Pinder, all of whom came from respected families. In 1854, he began to attend Domgymnasium in Naumburg; because his father had worked for the state the now-fatherless Nietzsche was offered a scholarship to study at the internationally recognized Schulpforta.
He transferred and studied there from 1858 to 1864, becoming friends with Paul Deussen and Carl von Gersdorff. He found time to work on poems and musical compositions. Nietzsche led a music and literature club, during his summers in Naumburg. At Schulpforta, Nietzsche received an important grounding in languages—Greek, Latin and French—so as to be able to read important primary sources, his end-of-semester exams in March 1864 showed a 1 in German. While at Pforta, Nietzsche had a penchant for pursuing subjects, he became acquainted with the work of the almost-unknown poet Friedrich Hölderlin, calling him "my favorite poet" and composing an essay in which he said that the mad poet raised consciousness to "the most sublime ideality." The teacher who corrected the essay gave it a good mark but commented that Nietzsche should concern himself in the future with healthier, more lucid, more "German" writers. Additionally, he became acquainted with Ernst Ortlepp, an eccentric and drunken poet, found dead in a ditch weeks after meeting the young Nietzsche but who may have introduced Nietzsche to the music and writing of Rich
Paul Johannes Tillich was a German-American Christian existentialist philosopher and Lutheran Protestant theologian, regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century. Among the general public, he is best known for his works The Courage to Be and Dynamics of Faith, which introduced issues of theology and modern culture to a general readership. In academic theology, he is best known for his major three-volume work Systematic Theology in which he developed his "method of correlation", an approach of exploring the symbols of Christian revelation as answers to the problems of human existence raised by contemporary existential philosophical analysis. Tillich was born on August 20, 1886, in the small village of Starzeddel, Province of Brandenburg, part of Germany, he was the oldest of three children, with two sisters: Elisabeth. Tillich's Prussian father Johannes Tillich was a conservative Lutheran pastor of the Evangelical State Church of Prussia's older Provinces; when Tillich was four, his father became superintendent of a diocese in Bad Schönfliess, a town of three thousand, where Tillich began secondary school.
In 1898, Tillich was sent to Königsberg in der Neumark to begin his gymnasium schooling. He was billeted in a boarding house and experienced a loneliness that he sought to overcome by reading the Bible while encountering humanistic ideas at school. In 1900, Tillich's father was transferred to Berlin, resulting in Tillich switching in 1901 to a Berlin school, from which he graduated in 1904. Before his graduation, his mother died of cancer in September 1903, when Tillich was 17. Tillich attended several universities — the University of Berlin beginning in 1904, the University of Tübingen in 1905, the University of Halle-Wittenberg from 1905 to 1907, he received his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Breslau in 1911 and his Licentiate of Theology degree at Halle-Wittenberg in 1912. During his time at university, he became a member of the Wingolf in Tübingen and Halle; that same year, 1912, Tillich was ordained as a Lutheran minister in the Province of Brandenburg. On 28 September 1914 he married Margarethe Wever, in October he joined the Imperial German Army as a chaplain during World War I.
Grethi deserted Tillich in 1919 after an affair that produced a child not fathered by Tillich. Tillich's academic career began after the war. On his return from the war he had met Hannah Werner-Gottschow married and pregnant. In March 1924 they married, she wrote a book entitled From Time to Time about their life together, which included their commitment to open marriage, upsetting to some. From 1924 to 1925, Tillich served as a Professor of Theology at the University of Marburg, where he began to develop his systematic theology, teaching a course on it during the last of his three terms. From 1925 until 1929, Tillich was a Professor of Theology at the Dresden University of Technology and the University of Leipzig, he held the same post at the University of Frankfurt from 1929 to 1933. Paul Tillich was in conversation with Erich Przywara. While at the University of Frankfurt, Tillich gave public lectures and speeches throughout Germany that brought him into conflict with the Nazi movement; when Adolf Hitler became German Chancellor in 1933, Tillich was dismissed from his position.
Reinhold Niebuhr visited Germany in the summer of 1933 and impressed with Tillich's writings, contacted Tillich upon learning of his dismissal. Niebuhr urged Tillich to join the faculty at New York City's Union Theological Seminary. At the age of 47, Tillich moved with his family to the United States; this meant learning English, the language in which Tillich would publish works such as the Systematic Theology. From 1933 until 1955 he taught at Union Theological Seminary, where he began as a Visiting Professor of Philosophy of Religion. During 1933–34 he was a Visiting Lecturer in Philosophy at Columbia University; the Fellowship of Socialist Christians was organized in the early 1930s by Reinhold Niebuhr and others with similar views. It changed its name to Frontier Fellowship and to Christian Action; the main supporters of the Fellowship in the early days included Tillich, Eduard Heimann, Sherwood Eddy and Rose Terlin. In its early days the group thought. Although not Communist, the group acknowledged Karl Marx's social philosophy.
Tillich acquired tenure at the Union Theological Seminary in 1937, in 1940 he was promoted to Professor of Philosophical Theology and became an American citizen. At Union, Tillich earned his reputation, publishing a series of books that outlined his particular synthesis of Protestant Christian theology and existential philosophy, he published On the Boundary in 1936. His collections of sermons would give Tillich a broader audience, his most heralded achievements though, were the 1951 publication of volume one of Systematic Theology which brought Tillich academic acclaim, the 1952 publication of The Courage to Be. The first volume of the systematic theology series prompted an invitation to give the
Williams College is a private liberal arts college in Williamstown, United States. It was established in 1793 with funds from the estate of Ephraim Williams, a colonist from the Province of Massachusetts Bay, killed in the French and Indian War in 1755; the college was ranked first in 2017 in the U. S. News & World Report's liberal arts ranking for the 15th consecutive year, first among liberal arts colleges in the 2018 Forbes magazine ranking of America's Top Colleges. Williams is on a 450-acre campus in Williamstown, in the Berkshires in rural northwestern Massachusetts; the campus contains more than 100 academic and residential buildings. There are 349 voting faculty members, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1; as of 2017, the school has an enrollment of 57 graduate students. The college competes in the NCAA Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference, competes in the conference as the Ephs. Following a liberal arts curriculum, Williams College provides undergraduate instruction in 25 academic departments and interdisciplinary programs including 36 majors in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences.
Williams offers an entirely undergraduate instruction, as there are two graduate programs in development economics and art history. The College maintains affiliations with the nearby Clark Art Institute and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, has a close relationship with Exeter College, Oxford University. Undergraduate admission is selective, with an acceptance rate of 12.1% for the Class of 2022. The college has produced many prominent alumni, including 8 Pulitzer Prize winners, a Nobel Prize Laureate, a Fields medalist, 3 chairmen of the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 10 billionaire alumni, 71 members of the United States Congress, 22 U. S. Governors, 4 U. S. Cabinet secretaries, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a President of the United States, 3 prime ministers, CEOs and founders of Fortune 500 companies, high-ranking U. S. diplomats, foreign central bankers, scholars in academia and media figures, numerous Emmy and Grammy award winners, professional athletes. Other notable alumni include 39 Rhodes Scholars, 17 Marshall Scholarship winners, numerous Watson Fellows and Fulbright scholarship recipients.
Colonel Ephraim Williams was an officer in the Massachusetts militia and a member of a prominent landowning family. His will included a bequest to support and maintain a free school to be established in the town of West Hoosac, provided the town change its name to Williamstown. Williams was killed at the Battle of Lake George on September 8, 1755. After Shays' Rebellion, the Williamstown Free School opened with 15 students on October 26, 1791; the first president was Ebenezer Fitch. Not long after its founding, the school's trustees petitioned the Massachusetts legislature to convert the free school to a tuition-based college; the legislature agreed and on June 22, 1793, Williams College was chartered. It was the second college to be founded in Massachusetts. At its founding, the college maintained a policy of racial segregation, refusing admission to black applicants; this policy was challenged by Lucy Terry Prince, credited as the first black American poet, when her son Festus was refused admission on account of his race.
Prince, who had established a reputation as a raconteur and rhetorician, delivered a three-hour speech before the college's board of trustees, quoting abundantly from scripture, but was unable to secure her son's admission. More recent scholarship, has highlighted there are no records within the college to confirm this event occurred, Festus Prince may have been refused entry for an insufficient mastery of Latin and French, all of which were necessary for successful completion of the entrance exam at the time, which would most not have been available in the local schools of Guilford, where Festus was raised. In 1806, a student prayer meeting gave rise to the American Foreign Mission Movement. In August of that year, five students met in the maple grove of Sloan's Meadow to pray. A thunderstorm drove them to the shelter of a haystack, the fervor of the ensuing meeting inspired them to take the Gospel abroad; the students went on to build the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the first American organization to send missionaries overseas.
The Haystack Monument near Mission Park on the Williams Campus commemorates the historic "Haystack Prayer Meeting". By 1815, Williams had only two buildings and 58 students and was in financial trouble, so the board voted to move the college to Amherst, Massachusetts. In 1821, the president of the college, Zephaniah Swift Moore, who had accepted his position believing the college would move east, decided to proceed with the move, he took 15 students with him, re-founded the college under the name of Amherst College. Some students and professors decided to stay at Williams and were allowed to keep the land, at the time worthless. According to legend, Moore took portions of the Williams College library. Although plausible, the transfer of books is unsubstantiated. Moore died just two years after founding Amherst, was succeeded by Heman Humphrey, a trustee of Williams College. Edward Dorr Griffin was appointed President of Williams and is credited with saving Williams during his 15-year tenure. A Williams student, Gardner Cotrell Leonard, designed the gowns he and his classmates wore to graduation in 1887.
Seven years he advised the Inter-Collegiate Commission on Academic Costume, which met at Columbia University, established the current system of U. S. academic dress. One reason gowns were adopted in the late nineteent
Book of Job
The Book of Job is a book in the Ketuvim section of the Hebrew Bible, the first poetic book in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. Addressing the problem of theodicy – the vindication of the justice of God in the light of humanity's suffering – it is a rich theological work setting out a variety of perspectives, it has been praised for its literary qualities, with Alfred Lord Tennyson calling it "the greatest poem of ancient and modern times". The Book of Job consists of a prose prologue and epilogue narrative framing poetic dialogues and monologues, it is common to view the narrative frame as the original core of the book, enlarged by the poetic dialogues and discourses, sections of the book such as the Elihu speeches and the wisdom poem of chapter 28 as late insertions, but recent trends have tended to concentrate on the book's underlying editorial unity.1. Prologue in two scenes, the first on Earth, the second in Heaven 2. Job's opening monologue, three cycles of dialogues between Job and his three friends First cycleEliphaz and Job's response Bildad and Job Zophar and Job Second cycleEliphaz and Job Bildad and Job Zophar and Job Third cycleEliphaz and Job Bildad and Job 3.
Three monologues: A Poem to Wisdom Job's closing monologue and Elihu's speeches 4. Two speeches by God, with Job's responses 5. Epilogue – Job's restoration; the prologue on Earth introduces Job as a righteous man, blessed with wealth and daughters. The scene shifts to Heaven. Satan answers. God gives Satan permission to take Job's wealth and kill all of his children and servants, but Job nonetheless praises God: "Naked I came out of my mother's womb, naked shall I return: the Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. God allows Satan to afflict his body with boils. Job sits in ashes, his wife prompts him to "curse God, die," but Job answers: "Shall we receive good from God and shall we not receive evil?" Job laments the day of his birth. His three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad console him; the friends do not waver in their belief that Job's suffering is a punishment for sin, for God causes no one to suffer innocently, they advise him to repent and seek God's mercy. Job responds with scorn: his interlocutors are "miserable comforters", since a just God would not treat him so harshly, patience in suffering is impossible, the Creator should not take his creatures so to come against them with such force.
Job's responses represent one of the most radical restatements of Israelite theology in the Hebrew Bible. He moves away from the pious attitude as shown in the prologue and began to berate God for the disproportionate wrath against him, he sees God as, among others and suffocating. He shifts his focus from the injustice that he himself suffers to God's governance of the world, he suggests that the wicked have taken advantage of the needy and the helpless, who remain in significant hardship, but God does nothing to punish them. The dialogues of Job and his friends are followed by a poem on the inaccessibility of wisdom: "Where is wisdom to be found?" it asks, concludes that it has been hidden from man. Job contrasts his previous fortune with an outcast, mocked and in pain, he protests his innocence, lists the principles he has lived by, demands that God answer him. Elihu intervenes to state that wisdom comes from God, who reveals it through dreams and visions to those who will declare their knowledge.
God speaks from a whirlwind. His speeches neither explain Job's suffering, nor defend divine justice, nor enter into the courtroom confrontation that Job has demanded, nor respond to his oath of innocence. Instead they contrast Job's weakness with divine wisdom and omnipotence: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?" Job makes a brief response. In 42:1–6 Job makes his final response, confessing God's power and his own lack of knowledge "of things beyond me which I did not know", he has only heard, but now his eyes have seen God, "therefore I retract/ And repent in dust and ashes." God tells Eliphaz that he and the two other friends "have not spoken of me what is right as my servant Job has done". The three are told to make a burnt offering with Job as their intercessor, "for only to him will I show favour". Job is restored to health and family, lives to see his children to the fourth generation. Job appears in the
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher and an important figure of German idealism. He achieved wide recognition in his day and—while influential within the continental tradition of philosophy—has become influential in the analytic tradition as well. Although Hegel remains a divisive figure, his canonical stature within Western philosophy is universally recognized. Hegel's principal achievement was his development of a distinctive articulation of idealism, sometimes termed absolute idealism, in which the dualisms of, for instance and nature and subject and object are overcome, his philosophy of spirit conceptually integrates psychology, the state, art and philosophy. His account of the master–slave dialectic has been influential in 20th-century France. Of special importance is his concept of spirit as the historical manifestation of the logical concept and the "sublation" of contradictory or opposing factors: examples include the apparent opposition between nature and freedom and between immanence and transcendence.
Hegel has been seen in the 20th century as the originator of the thesis, synthesis triad, but as an explicit phrase it originated with Johann Gottlieb Fichte. Hegel has influenced many writers whose own positions vary widely. Karl Barth described Hegel as a "Protestant Aquinas" while Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote that "all the great philosophical ideas of the past century—the philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche, German existentialism, psychoanalysis—had their beginnings in Hegel." He was born on August 27, 1770 in Stuttgart, capital of the Duchy of Württemberg in southwestern Germany. Christened Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, he was known as Wilhelm to his close family, his father, Georg Ludwig, was Rentkammersekretär at the court of Duke of Württemberg. Hegel's mother, Maria Magdalena Louisa, was the daughter of a lawyer at the High Court of Justice at the Württemberg court, she died of a "bilious fever". Hegel and his father caught the disease, but they narrowly survived. Hegel had Christiane Luise. At the age of three, he went to the German School.
When he entered the Latin School two years he knew the first declension, having been taught it by his mother. In 1776, he entered Stuttgart's gymnasium illustre and during his adolescence read voraciously, copying lengthy extracts in his diary. Authors he read include the poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock and writers associated with the Enlightenment, such as Christian Garve and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, his studies at the Gymnasium were concluded with his Abiturrede entitled "The abortive state of art and scholarship in Turkey". At the age of eighteen, Hegel entered the Tübinger Stift, where he had as roommates the poet and philosopher Friedrich Hölderlin and the philosopher-to-be Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling. Sharing a dislike for what they regarded as the restrictive environment of the Seminary, the three became close friends and mutually influenced each other's ideas. All admired Hellenic civilization and Hegel additionally steeped himself in Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Lessing during this time.
They watched the unfolding of the French Revolution with shared enthusiasm. Schelling and Hölderlin immersed themselves in theoretical debates on Kantian philosophy, from which Hegel remained aloof. Hegel at this time envisaged his future as that of a Popularphilosoph, i.e. a "man of letters" who serves to make the abstruse ideas of philosophers accessible to a wider public. Although the violence of the Reign of Terror in 1793 dampened Hegel's hopes, he continued to identify with the moderate Girondin faction and never lost his commitment to the principles of 1789, which he would express by drinking a toast to the storming of the Bastille every fourteenth of July. Having received his theological certificate from the Tübingen Seminary, Hegel became Hofmeister to an aristocratic family in Bern. During this period, he composed the text which has become known as the Life of Jesus and a book-length manuscript titled "The Positivity of the Christian Religion", his relations with his employers becoming strained, Hegel accepted an offer mediated by Hölderlin to take up a similar position with a wine merchant's family in Frankfurt, to which he relocated in 1797.
Here, Hölderlin exerted an important influence on Hegel's thought. While in Frankfurt, Hegel composed the essay "Fragments on Religion and Love". In 1799, he wrote another essay entitled "The Spirit of Christianity and Its Fate", unpublished during his lifetime. In 1797, the unpublished and unsigned manuscript of "The Oldest Systematic Program of German Idealism" was written, it was written in Hegel's hand, but thought to have been authored by either Hegel, Schelling, Hölderlin, or an unknown fourth person. In 1801, Hegel came to Jena with the encouragement of his old friend Schelling, who held the position of Extraordinary Professor at the University there. Hegel secured a position at the University as a Privatdozent after submitting the inaugural dissertation De Orbitis Planetarum, in
Existentialism is the philosophical study that begins with the human subject—not the thinking subject, but the acting, living human individual. It is associated with certain 19th and 20th-century European philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief in that beginning of philosophical thinking. While the predominant value of existentialist thought is acknowledged to be freedom, its primary virtue is authenticity. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called "the existential attitude", or a sense of disorientation, confusion, or dread in the face of an meaningless or absurd world. Many existentialists have regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophies, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience. Søren Kierkegaard is considered to have been the first existentialist philosopher, though he did not use the term existentialism, he proposed that each individual—not society or religion—is responsible for giving meaning to life and living it passionately and sincerely, or "authentically".
Existentialism became popular in the years following World War II, thanks to Sartre who read Heidegger while in a POW camp, influenced many disciplines besides philosophy, including theology, art and psychology. The term "existentialism" was coined by the French Catholic philosopher Gabriel Marcel in the mid-1940s. At first, when Marcel applied the term to him at a colloquium in 1945, Jean-Paul Sartre rejected it. Sartre subsequently changed his mind and, on October 29, 1945, publicly adopted the existentialist label in a lecture to the Club Maintenant in Paris; the lecture was published as L'existentialisme est un humanisme, a short book that did much to popularize existentialist thought. Marcel came to reject the label himself in favour of the term Neo-Socratic, in honor of Kierkegaard's essay "On The Concept of Irony"; some scholars argue that the term should be used only to refer to the cultural movement in Europe in the 1940s and 1950s associated with the works of the philosophers Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Albert Camus.
Other scholars extend the term to Kierkegaard, yet others extend it as far back as Socrates. However, the term is identified with the philosophical views of Sartre; the labels existentialism and existentialist are seen as historical conveniences in as far as they were first applied to many philosophers in hindsight, long after they had died. In fact, while existentialism is considered to have originated with Kierkegaard, the first prominent existentialist philosopher to adopt the term as a self-description was Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre posits the idea that "what all existentialists have in common is the fundamental doctrine that existence precedes essence", as scholar Frederick Copleston explains. According to philosopher Steven Crowell, defining existentialism has been difficult, he argues that it is better understood as a general approach used to reject certain systematic philosophies rather than as a systematic philosophy itself. Sartre himself, in a lecture delivered in 1945, described existentialism as "the attempt to draw all the consequences from a position of consistent atheism".
Although many outside Scandinavia consider the term existentialism to have originated from Kierkegaard himself, it is more that Kierkegaard adopted this term from the Norwegian poet and literary critic Johan Sebastian Cammermeyer Welhaven. This assertion comes from two sources; the Norwegian philosopher Erik Lundestad refers to the Danish philosopher Fredrik Christian Sibbern. Sibbern is supposed to have had two conversations in 1841, the first with Welhaven and the second with Kierkegaard, it is in the first conversation that it is believed that Welhaven came up with "a word that he said covered a certain thinking, which had a close and positive attitude to life, a relationship he described as existential". This was brought to Kierkegaard by Sibbern; the second claim comes from the Norwegian historian Rune Slagstad, who claims to prove that Kierkegaard himself said the term "existential" was borrowed from the poet. He believes that it was Kierkegaard himself who said that "Hegelians do not study philosophy'existentially'.
Sartre argued that a central proposition of Existentialism is that existence precedes essence, which means that the most important consideration for individuals is that they are individuals—independently acting and responsible, conscious beings —rather than what labels, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived categories the individuals fit. The actual life of the individuals is what constitutes what could be called their "true essence" instead of there being an arbitrarily attributed essence others use to define them. Thus, human beings, through their own consciousness, create their own values and determine a meaning to their life. Although it was Sartre who explicitly coined the phrase, similar notions can be found in the thought of existentialist philosophers such as Heidegger, Kierkegaard: The subjective thinker’s form, the form of his communication, is his style, his form must be just as manifold as are the opposites. The systematic eins, drei is an abstract form that must run into trouble whenever it is to be applied to the concrete.
To the same degree as the subjective thinker is concrete, to the same degree his form must be concretely dialectica