How to party like an existentialist?

In the article below, a hint of the concept of partying of the famous existentialist couple de Beauvoir and Sartre. To face life absurdity, partying is a key, making the world more playful whereas too much seriousness turns it rigid.

For the full article, click on the link below:

The first traffic jam on Broadway

I’ve owned the book Time and Free Will by French philosopher Henri Bergson (1859-1941) since university days – but regretfully never quite got around to fully reading it. It still resides on my bookshelf, awaiting the day… I was also interested in American polymath William James, and did at that time read some of his […]

The first traffic jam on Broadway

Albert Camus vs Jean-Paul Sartre

In this post published on Medium, James Cussen describes the relationship between Camus and Sartre, the “intellectual superstars” of post-war France. As I am interested in the French Existentialism, which is a recent interest to me, this article shows the real relationship between the two men, beneath the surface.

From intellectual competition to political feuds, their friendship accompanied their philosophical and literary works.

For more details, click on the link below for the full article. A pleasure to read!

Showcase: Simone de Beauvoir on feminism and existentialism

Considered as a pioneer of feminist philosophers, Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) was one of the most important French existentialist philosophers and writers. Working alongside other famous existentialists such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, de Beauvoir wrote excessively on ethics, feminism, fiction, autobiography, and politics.

In The Ethics of Ambiguity, she developed an existentialist ethics that condemned the “spirit of seriousness” in which people too readily identify with certain abstractions at the expense of individual freedom and responsibility.  In The Second Sex, she produced an articulate attack on the fact that throughout history women have been relegated to a passive acceptance of roles assigned to them by society. Freedom, responsibility, and ambiguity are main concepts of existentialist philosophy shown in her works.

Her influences include French philosophy from Descartes to Bergson, the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, the historical materialism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and the idealism of Immanuel Kant and G. W. F Hegel. Her most famous and influential philosophical work, The Second Sex (1949), remains to this day a central text in the investigation of women’s oppression and liberation.

Showcase: Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin (15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German philosopher, and a cultural critic, combining elements of German Idealism, Romanticism, Marxism, and Kabbalah. He was associated with the Frankfurt School.

Benjamin was early on keen on art. He saw in photography a democratic form of art. He considered that the photographic reproduction of an artwork (a poster or a postcard for example) was of higher social value than the original (only viewed in a gallery) because the artwork in question could be possessed and enjoyed (very democratically) by the art lover in a time and place that suits them. He sensed that a copy was of higher social significance on postmodern thought and has influenced (in one way or other) a number of late-20th-century art movements, including Pop art and Conceptual art.

Whereas high art needed the intervention of an art expert or critic to explain its true meaning, Benjamin was an admirer of Hollywood cinema because the sound film could be enjoyed collectively by the public without the need for a critic to explain its meaning: “the greater the decrease in the social significance of an art form,” he said of the Hollywood film, “the sharper the distinction between criticism and enjoyment by the public.”

In the same frame of thought, Benjamin helped explain urbanization in terms of an historical and ideological shift from a culture of production to a culture of consumption and commodification.

Showcase: Gilles Deleuze

Gilles Deleuze was a 20th century French philosopher (1925-1995) who, from the early 1950s until his death in 1995, wrote on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. His most popular works were the two volumes of Capitalism and SchizophreniaAnti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), both co-written with psychoanalyst Felix Guattari. His work has influenced a variety of disciplines across the humanities, including philosophy, art, and literature, as well as movements such as post-structuralism and postmodernism.

Here is a list of my posts on Gilles Deleuze:

Gilles Deleuze on the world and space dilemma

Gilles Deleuze and his views on people

Gilles Deleuze on desire, becoming an Idiot and dismantling systems

The Idiot: Deleuze’s political concept to crack the system’s wall

Le nomade, le migrant et le sédentaire chez Gilles Deleuze et Félix Guattari Reading WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? (17): Spectres and Personae (Deleuze and Derrida)

The body in philosophy

White Man vs white men

Yoga or the deleuzian Body without Organs !

How the War Made Wittgenstein the Philosopher He Was ‹ Literary Hub

A century ago, Ludwig Wittgenstein changed philosophy forever.

Wittgenstein’s field of interest is mainly language, communication, and the truth behind people’s interactions and understanding each other’s.

He said “What we can’t tell, should kept silent”; something to remind us the limit of language and the limit of the world.

In his quest for limits, he decided to enrol in the WWI to experience life when faced to death and that changed him for good.

This article describes the troubled and troubling thinker that he is and the main ideas of his theory:

“How the War Made Wittgenstein the Philosopher He Was ‹ Literary Hub”

J-P Sartre: La conscience est intentionnalité

La conscience et le monde sont donnés d’un même coup : extérieur par essence à la conscience, le monde est, par essence, relatif à elle. C’est que Husserl voit dans la conscience un fait irréductible qu’aucune image ne peut rendre. Sauf, peut-être, l’image rapide et obscure de l’éclatement. Connaître, c’est « s’éclater vers », s’arracher à la moite intimité gastrique pour filer, là-bas, par-delà soi, vers ce qui n’est pas soi, là-bas, près de l’arbre et cependant hors de lui, car il m’échappe et me repousse et je ne peux pas plus me perdre en lui qu’il ne se peut diluer en moi : hors de lui, hors de moi. Est-ce que vous ne reconnaissez pas dans cette description vos exigences et vos pressentiments ? Vous saviez bien que l’arbre n’était pas vous, que vous ne pouviez pas le faire entrer dans vos estomacs sombres et que la connaissance ne pouvait pas, sans malhonnêteté, se comparer à la possession. Du même coup, la conscience s’est purifiée, elle est claire comme un grand vent, il n’y a plus rien en elle, sauf un mouvement pour se fuir, un glissement hors de soi ; si, par impossible, vous entriez « dans » une conscience, vous seriez saisi par un tourbillon et rejeté au-dehors, près de l’arbre, en pleine poussière, car la conscience n’a pas de « dedans » ; elle n’est rien que le dehors d’elle-même et c’est cette fuite absolue, ce refus d’être substance qui la constituent comme une conscience. Imaginez à présent une suite liée d’éclatements qui nous arrachent à nous-mêmes, qui ne laissent même pas à un « nous-mêmes » le loisir de se former derrière eux, mais qui nous jettent au contraire au-delà d’eux, dans la poussière sèche du monde, sur la terre rude, parmi les choses ; imaginez que nous sommes ainsi rejetés, délaissés par notre nature même dans un monde indifférent, hostile et rétif ; vous aurez saisi le sens profond de la découverte que Husserl exprime dans cette fameuse phrase : « Toute conscience est conscience de quelque chose. » […] Que la conscience essaye de se reprendre, de coïncider enfin avec elle-même, tout au chaud, volets clos, elle s’anéantit. Cette nécessité pour la conscience d’exister comme conscience d’autre chose que soi, Husserl la nomme intentionnalité.

Jean-Paul Sartre, « Une idée fondamentale de la phénoménologie de Husserl : l’intentionnalité », Situations [1947], Gallimard, 2010, p. 10-11.?

J. Krishnamurti Freedom from the Known-Book summary

Jiddu Krishnamurti “Freedom from the known” is a hand-book meant to transform the human life by projecting the mistakes humans are committing, in various fields of social, political, religious, personal and relationships. Krishnamurti has focused on changing the perspective or thinking of an individual. We mostly live our life based on old beliefs, ideals, truth, […]

J. Krishnamurti Freedom from the Known-Book summary