Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Existentialism and Perspectivism Essay

Existentialism and Perspectivism Essay

When an average person on the street is asked what the truth is he/she would probably say that truth is a concept that is different for everyone. This answer would be totally correct, because we, the modern humans, could never define what truth was if even such great philosophers as Nietzsche and Sartre had different opinions on this matter. Moreover, the mentioned above philosophers as well as other wise men always found it complex to come to an accord when discussing philosophical matters. In my short essay I would like to give a short insight into two philosophical streams that are Existentialism and Perspectivism as well as compare their outlook on the concept of “truth”.


To begin with I would like to briefly describe Existentialism. It is a philosophical movement that places the main emphasis on the existence of a human being. Existentialism calls attention to freedom of action and freedom of choice. According to this movement one is always free to act in any way he/she wills. In addition, one should not consider the feelings of others on the way of perusing this freedom, because every person is considered to be alone in the world and is not expected to give consideration to those around him. Such attitudes are well described in books by Sartre and Camus (Craig, 18).

When it comes to defining truth, Existentialism has couple of points. To begin with, “truth” is defined by a man individually. It is considered that to view the world is already the truth. This is because in Existentialism truth is something that is based on facts and not on emotions. Though, the truth can be used in a good way or bad way, so to say acting in good or bad faith. Thus, in the concept of truth it is once again pointed out that every individual has a freedom of choice. It is interesting that Existentialism considers an act to be good and something to be true if it is performed in a way that the entire human race would be represented. This seems to be enough to attest an act as a moral one (Craig, 15).

The next philosophy I would like to discuss is Perspectivism. The main idea of Perspectivism is that there are many different perspectives, so to say many conceptual schemes of every concept and action. Every human being possesses the ability of looking at the world with different perspectives and he/she is adopting one of these perspectives depending on the situation. The way one looks at the world and its happenings is the way he/she resolves his/her judgment and understanding of truth (Craig, 535). This means that all the ways of looking at the world have a right to exist and not only that, but also no perspective is more correct or sane than its rival. It this way it can be said that Perspectivism is alike with Relativism that also considered that all the things and opinions are relative and may be looked at from different perspectives, though these philosophies are rather different (Craig, 534).

From the philosophies discussed above it can be seen that the concept of “truth” tends to be rather unclear. Existentialism and Perspectivism are two very different streams in philosophy, though the way these streams look at “truth” are a little similar. Existentialism considers truth to be everything a person sees around, Perspectivism allows many sides of an object or action to be true. Therefore, both of these streams, when defining truth, leave freedom of choice and do not limit it by strict criteria.
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