Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Oct 12, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 144 pages
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Existentialism was one of the leading philosophical movements of the twentieth century. Focusing on its seven leading figures, Sartre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty and Camus, this Very Short Introduction provides a clear account of the key themes of the movement which emphasized individuality, free will, and personal responsibility in the modern world. Drawing in the movement's varied relationships with the arts, humanism, and politics, this book clarifies the philosophy and original meaning of 'existentialism' - which has tended to be obscured by misappropriation. Placing it in its historical context, Thomas Flynn also highlights how existentialism is still relevant to us today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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User Review  - malrubius - LibraryThing

Good stuff. Clearly written. Covers the basics. I learned a lot. I didn't grasp all of it for lack of background in philosophy. Read full review


1 Philosophy as a way of life
2 Becoming an individual
for and against
4 Authenticity
5 A chastened individualism? Existentialism and social thought
6 Existentialism in the 21st century
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About the author (2006)

Thomas Flynn is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Philosophy at Emory University. He is a specialist in contemporary continental philosophy, aesthetics and social and political philosophy. His previous publications include iSartre and Marxist Existentialism: The Test Case of CollectiveResponsibility /i(Chicago 1986) and iSartre, Foucault, and Historical Reason /i(Vols. I and II; Chicago, 1997, 2005).