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Philosophical Contributions by Soren Kierkegaard and Jean-Paul Sartre Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 3rd, 2019

The writings of Soren Kierkegaard addressed different interests and topics. However, his focus on personal problems that were associated with human freedom, religious faith and the concept of self-determination gave him much recognition. He was opposed to the idealism concepts propagated by Hegel since according to him, they were out of touch with the reality related to human conditions.

It was a reality that was characterized by uncertainties, questions that lacked answers, and confounding emotions. His philosophy made human beings believe that the foundations of the world were unreasonable. In addition, he argued that the existence of God and the plans he had for the world were not sensible, and that the world was indeed absurd

He was associated with the birth of existentialism and strongly opposed the idea of an objective and science-oriented world. He instead emphasized on subjective individuals who made personal choices. He believed that choices were not supposed to be based on scientific proof, but call for a leap of faith.

This meant that the choices were supposed to be determined by the understanding of the individuals rather than objectivity and reason. In relation to Christianity, his ideas were not universally accepted because Christians believed in the power of God and the existence of the world. However, his view that the only way to know God was through a personal leap of faith was believed by most of the Christians .

Jean-Paul Sartre was among the prominent existentialist philosophers. He was influenced by the writings of Soren. Unlike other German philosophers who separated human existence from the exercise of choice, he believed that choice was an important part of human existence. He further believed that it did not only affect individuals who made the choices but all mankind.

The existentialist philosophy that he believed in was concerned about individuals in an absurd and meaningless manner. The concept that existence preceded essence implied that subjectivity formed the basis of considering ones being in the world. Sartre argued that the concept of existence preceding essence was explained more coherently by atheists. If God did not exist, human reality still existed. He argued that human beings were responsible for defining what they wanted to become.

The process of free will and choice helped individuals to define themselves. Human beings constructed meaning in the world in the manner they liked because there was nothing that prevented them from becoming what they wished to become. However, they carried the responsibility of the actions they involved themselves in. According to Sartre, one of the purposes of schools was to help students identify who they were and the potentials they had.

Sartre presented another perspective by arguing that when human beings made choices, they did it for all humanity. Everything they did was portrayed as an image of what they believed they wanted to be as human beings. It was therefore right to assume that the social and political struggles that took place in the 20th century were important in helping people understand that their actions had social implications.

The thoughts of the two philosophers can be applied differently to the current emphasis on diversity. Human beings are characterized by diversity which means that they have the freedom to do what they wish.

This can be related to the thoughts of Sartre who argues that human beings have the freedom to do what they want to do but they should be prepared to deal with the consequences. The ideas of Soren apply to the current emphasis on diversity in that the choices individuals make should not be necessarily exposed to scientific proof as long as they understand them.

References

Braley, J., Layman, J., & White, R. (2003). Foundations of Christian School Education. New York: Purposeful Design Publications.

Dunn, S. (2004). Philosophical Foundations Of Education:Connecting Philosophy To Theory And Practice. New York: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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