Anyone writing about Existentialism ought perhaps to begin by trying to define what is being discussed. Yet one may well feel apologetic for attempting yet another definition of this particular term, since the books on the subject are innumerable, and there is not one of them that does not start with an attempt at a new definition. This is understandable, for there are grave difficulties in the way of .reaching a satisfactory account of the matter. In the body of philosophical writing which could reasonably be called Existentialist, there is a whole number of contrary tendencies, and trying to reduce these to order is apt to lead to no more than an historical account of the whole Existentialist trend in philosophy, starting with Socrates. On the other hand, if one tries to extract the salient point of Existentialism by concentrating on the official statement of its central concept, namely the belief that existence precedes essence, then this does not advance one very far. For the belief itself is not readily intelligible, and in any case it has little point except in the context of the complete system of Sartre’s philosophy. But Sartre cannot be thought to have been the only Existentialist, even though he was the most systematic.
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I. Selection of Standard Texts in Translation
- Buber, Martin. I and Thou (Edinburgh, 1937). Between Man and Man (London, 1947).Google Scholar
- Heidegger, Martin. Existence and Being (London, 1949). Being and Time (London, 1962).Google Scholar
- Kierkegaard, Søren. Concluding Unscientific Postscript (Princeton and O.U.P., 1941). Philosophical Fragments (Princeton and O.U.P., 1941).Google Scholar
- Sartre, Jean-Paul. Existentialism and Humanism (London, 1948). Being and Nothingness (London, 1957). Nausea (London, 1962). Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions (London 1962).Google Scholar
II. STUDIES IN EXISTENTIALIST THOUGHT
- Lowrie, W. A Short Life of Kierkegaard (London, 1943).Google Scholar
- Jeanson, F. Le Problème Moral et la Pensée de Sartre (Paris, 1947).Google Scholar
- Murdoch, I. Sartre, Romantic Rationalist (Cambridge, 1953).Google Scholar
- Copleston, F. C. Contemporary Philosophy (London, 1956).Google Scholar
- Roubiczek, P. Existentialism, For and Against (Cambridge, 1964).Google Scholar
- Warnock, Mary. The Philosophy of Sartre (London, 1965).Google Scholar
- Manser, A. Sartre (London, 1966).Google Scholar