LUMINA Volume 22 No. 1


by Dr. Wale Olajide

The essential themes of existentialism as a philosophy of declaration in human existence made famous and inherited from its classical heritage in the West are clear. The affirmation of the subjective or the individual as the starting point of any meaningful and useful philosophy; the rejection of outlandish speculative or transcendental metaphysics; the insistence that there are no a priori values for man to choose from and consequently that he must in freedom invent his own values, the affirmation that existence precedes essence, the nature and significance of choice, the pride of place given to revolt in the face of an absurd and meaningless life that leads particularly nowhere after an inevitable death and the celebration of suicide as the only serious problem in philosophy. These fundamental conclusions are robustly treated by both theistic and atheistic existentialist philosophers such that we can safely say that they represent the existential philosophical heritage from the West.

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