chapter  3
24 Pages

Existentialism and the unconscious subject

Existentialism in a postmodern world The term ‘existentialism’ is so ambiguous that it has essentially become a meaningless word. It is associated with a number of disparate philosophical doctrines, social-political movements and artistic sensibilities, that it becomes slippery to pin down its core philosophical tenets to such a degree that an undertaking of this kind would be no less rendered moot. We may nevertheless say that existentialism is a form of phenomenological philosophy that relies on certain refl ective methods of studying human consciousness instantiated in the individual, society and culture, which emerged as a popular general movement characteristic of twentieth-century European thought represented across many disciplines including literature, the humanities and the social sciences.