Teacher(s): Kresten Lundsgaard-Leth
In the Folk High School Class Existential Philosophy we will consider the quarrels of becoming an individual in the world, through the lenses of existentialist thinkers such as Sartre, Heidegger, Arendt, Augustine, Socrates, de Beauvoir and Nietzsche. We will also draw upon thinkers (such as Descartes, Wittgenstein, and Martha Nussbaum) that have different and even opposite ideas about the nature of the self as well as the world and see if we can get into a genuine dialogue about what it means to exist.
The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once noted that to »become human does not come that easily«. But what does it mean to be a human being – and how can we understand the human world?
From the point of view of existential philosophy, an existing human being cannot be understood as a being with a predetermined essence. Unlike the way in which an acorn must necessarily become an oak three, thus, a human does not automatically turn into anything nearly as specific. Instead, human beings – at least in part – become who they are because of the way they choose to live.
Exclusively human phenomena such as anxiety, hope, consciousness, despair, irony, and humor ultimately hinges on this both terrifying and wondrous indeterminateness of human existence.