Negative and positive dialectics in existential philosophy

Nowadays, many believe that philosophy is only a legitimate pursuit in its negative dialectics, as a method of criticism. I think this attitude neglects the positive contribution that philosophy can make to our self-creation in the world.

Negative dialectics is ripe in existential philosophy. If you want relentless, occasionally brutal, criticism just go read Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heiddeger, Camus or Sartre on a broad array of subjects including Christianity, morality, contemporary culture, politics and philosophy in general. I would say its primary negative dialectic concerns countering unthinking adherence to hollow cultural customs (herd behaviour) and irresponsible personal relations to the world and others.

However, existentialism also points us to a positive dialectics. What it points to is not an objective ‘theory of life’, but a subjective, constructive behaviour in life rooted in the individual’s deepest roots of existence. It demands that the individual fill in all the details. This positive dialect is necessary because we all face unavoidable either/or decisions in life. We cannot stand back from the world and look at it as spectators with a critical, analytical, abstracting eye. We must live it.

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3 Responses to “Negative and positive dialectics in existential philosophy”

  1. What’s Happening? » Blog Archive » Severe Depression Feeling of Intense Sadness and Melancholia Says:

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  2. What’s Happening? » Blog Archive » Music Rocks » Blog Archive » Severe Depression Feeling of Intense … Says:

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  3. Jemo Anhar Urmia Says:

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