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By Archie R. Magarao

If man knows himself, he will have a better choice of life. It is essentially knowing oneself. We aspire for wisdom: enlightened knowledge= practical knowledge which has something to do with doing. Madaling maging tao, pero mahirap magpakatao.

All of us are human beings but not everyone is a human person. Humanity versus personhood. Humanity is common to all men. Personhood is unique to every man. What is personhood?

Gabriel Marcel
Existentialist Philosopher Being and Having Man= body (object) + subject

just a mere object. Every human person is therefore a subject and must be treated as a subject not as object.

Man is an embodied subjectivity not

Marcels Primary and Secondary Reflections

Primary Reflection: I have a body. (Abstract)
Secondary Reflection: I am my body. (concrete) Marcels theses:
Existence is co-existence Reflection is intimately related to human experience To be oneself is to have and to be.

Movements of reflection
1. Looking back: retrospection 2. Looking through 3. Looking within: introspection

I just dont have a body, but I am my body, -Gabriel Marcel

1. Personal Existence: I, My


Even if we join in union or in a community we still have our individuality. Heightens our capacity for solitude
Born alone
Meeting People

Die alone

Yet people around us will make us happy but never pin your life on them for they will leave you afterwards for they have their own life too.
Marcel How much of yourself is yourself? How much of yourself is others self?

2. Co-existence
We all exist with others.
Being through others: existence through others Being with others: considering others Being for others: living for others We are not just here for ourselves but also for others.

Soren Kierkegaard
Father of Existentialism Reacted against the crowd mentality Individual existence= individual uniqueness=individuality He focused on existence.

What is existence?
To stand out from the crowd. Concrete expression of ones being. Inward movement extare (Kierkegaard): to stand out against inauthentic existence. Inauthentic existence=crowd mentality forgetting to decide for oneself and forgetting your self.

Kierkegaard cont.
In life there is no middle ground. It is an either/or existence. Sticking in the middle means inauthentic existence; it is a fear of taking responsibility.

Kierkegaards Stages of Existence

Aesthetic stage
Sense is ones priority, pleasure, wants Experience of objective uncertainty, which is external to oneself.

Kierkegaards Stages of Existence

Ethical Stage
Following norms Less decision, more imposition ought

Kierkegaards Stages of Existence

Religious stage
discernment: it requires not just an intellectual accent but doing a leap of faith. Leap of Faith: either-or: everything is at stake How much did you wage? Submitting oneself to God absolutely. yes to God: commitment, discernment: should be done every now and then.

Kierkegaard on Truth
Truth is subjective: it is found in the self > fiat of Abraham It is inwardness not an outside movt. Introspection: looking within Increasing self-knowledge Making oneself as a way of others self-knowledge.

A most leading existentialist thinker second to Martin Heidegger. Existence precedes essence. man is not born with fixed essence. Man is devoid of any definition. Man is devoid of any nature. MAN CONSTITUTES HIS BEING!
He defines his nature, essence, individuality.

Jean-Paul Sartre
Man only has a constitutive essence not a definitive essence (Essentialists). An atheist existentialist philosopher. I define myself, I constitute my essence. When I constitute my essence, I therefore exist. Life has not value if I I have a definitive essence because definitivity means determination. Question: If I am determined, how can I be fully responsible for myself?

If I am determined, I am not the author of my life and I am not I control of it. I cannot therefore be myself if I am determined. What is the meaning of my life then if I am already determined? Human nature cannot be defined in advance because it is not thought out in advance People as such merely exist, and only later do we become our essential selves. To say that existence precedes essence means that people exist, confront themselves, emerges in the world and define themselves afterwards. First, we simply are and then we are simply that which we make ourselves.

1st Way of existing:

Being-in-itself (len-soi): I exist, just the same way anything else is, as simply being there.

Cannot be otherwise; already defined by

ones own essence; cannot be other than oneself. Ex. A tree will always be a tree.

2nd way of existing:

Being-for-itself (le pour-soi): existing as a conscious subject.
Can be otherwise; ones essence is to be There is an ability for existing. There is transformation. There is choice. There is freedom. Man is pregnant with possibilities.

Sartres Absolute Freedom

If man wants to be free and fully human, he has to eliminate God. God is a limiting concept.
By Sartres making God as a concept, he never even established Gods reality of existence. He believed that if there is no God, then there will be no given human nature precisely because there is no God to have a conception of it.

Sartre on Freedom
Humanity: pre-given Personhood: what you make out of your humanity: the meaning you create in your humanity. ABSOLUTE FREEDOM = ABSOLUTE RESPONSIBILITY Man is condemned to be free. Sartre What is mans essence? To exist. Hence, to be free.

Absurdist philosopher. French thinker Two divisions of Camus: early and later Camus Novels: myth of Sisyphus, the Plague

Early Camus
There are only two movements in life: upward and downward or you go up and you down. Life is a routine. Life is therefore predictable. If life is a routine and predictable, therefore life is absurd (meaningless). If life is absurd, then you better end up your life.

Later Camus
Yes, life is absurd but it is in the absurdity of life that we find meaning. Albert Camus There must be meaningful in life that is why we continue living. The absurdity of life pshes us to look for meaning in life. The absurdity reveals the meaning of life itself. The pursuit of life itself is meaningful.

What is freedom?

Freedom: being bound to ones essence. What is ones essence? Ones faithfulness to what one chooses and commits. Ones exercise of freedom should produce peace not guilt.

Freedom is not freedom to do what one wants. Freedom is doing or acting on what one chooses and decides. One is not free when one acts against ones choice. Since, freedom is choosing, one certainly chooses only what is good provided that such good is not an apparent good.

2 movements of freedom:
Freedom from: freedom from deviations; free from certain limitations
Freedom to: (affirmative action) freedom to do something in relation to ones choice.

Freedom is not just a state of being but my being itself. I am my freedom cause I am freedom. = ones identity = freedom you destroy my freedom and you destroy me. Freedom means growing and deep The persons level of freedom is determined by the persons level of self-knowledge.


Human growth = freedom

I know myself because I am free. I am growing cause I am free. I am freedom.


In freedom, I take up a present and in doing so I draw together my past and transform it, changing its meaning, freeing and detaching myself from it only to be committed to a future. But my choice is always based on a certain givenness, my nature and history. The significance of my nature and history which I am does not limit my access to the world, but on the contrary is my means of entering into communication with it. It is by engaging myself with the present that I can move forward, by living the world that I understand others. Nothing determines me from outside, not because nothing acts upon me, but, on the contrary, because I am from the start outside myself and open to the world. (MerleauPonty, Phenomenology of Perception,456).
Dr. Manuel Dy, professor emeritus of Ateneo University

1st: Freedom is the source which makes human behavior possible. 2nd: Freedom itself is the dynamic drive that propels the human being towards the liberation of his total being from any form of alienation. 3rd: Freedom is made possible by being co-conditioned by a sense of justice.


Stages of love
Attraction stage: usually physical attraction. What meets the eyes. Why do like me? You are sexy, etc.

Erotic factor There is an appeal An appeal is an invitation. If there is an invitation, there will be a response. A response may be yes or no -from the beginning the loving-relationship is determined by the OTHER!

Getting to know stage

A consequence of responding to the invitation or appeal. It is the stage where one enriches the knowledge about the Other. There is progression in knowing the other person. Why do you love me? Ans. You are kind, loving, caring, etc. LOVE IS DETERMINED BY YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE PERSON/ BELOVED. You have to grow in knowledge of the person you are loving.=before deciding to love the person you first know the person.

Getting to know stage cont

wanting to know but also wanting to accept what you know. Love is not blind. You cannot just blindly accept something which you will later on make an issue. NO ONE IS TRIGHT FOR YOU BUT YOU MAKE YOURSELF ROGHT FOR THE OTHER PERSON. Knowing presupposes the decision to love the other. LOVE IS NOT ABOUT VIRGINITY. It is turning away from yourself to the other. SEX IS NOT THE GREATEST EXPRESSION OF LOVE. SACRIFICE IS AN EXPRESSION OF LOVE.

Love is a decision!!! Love is not mere feeling for feelings fluctuates. BECAUSE OF WHAT I KNOW OF THE PERSON, I, THEREFORE, DECIDE TO LOVE THE PERSON. Ex. Marriage vows: in sickness and in health till death do us part. LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL BECAUSE IT IS A DECISION. Youve got to love me for what I am.

3 movts of love
The MAKING BE of the other: allowing the growth of the other within the loving relationship; you contribute in the growth of the person. Loving is inspiring to be good. LET ME BE! The person will change if the loving relationship is conducive enough to permit such change.
The LETTING BE of the other: love is consenting the others freedom. It is saying yes to the freedom of the beloved. Love is not taking away the freedom of the other. Love is not selfish.

3 movements of love
The LETTING GO of the other: letting go of the beloved when the time is right for loving is respecting the beloveds freedom. Set me free!
Allowing the beloved to be.

ADDITIONAL POINTS ON THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF LOVE: -When I love the other, I am saying, I want you to become what you want to be. I want you to realize your happiness freely. -the other by his love has made me fully but also by myself, not just by being what I am but also by being what I can become when I am with him. LOVE IS CREATIVE.

PHENOMENOLOGY OF DEATH (Heideggerian approach)

What is death? Why are we afraid to die?

The individual person is completely free at the time of his/her death. DEATH IS THE FULFILLMENT OF MANS FREEDOM AND BEING.

Martin Heidegger on Death

The being of man is a being-in-the-world. Man is primordially directed towards the world and has the power-to-be in the world. His being in the world consists in being alongside with things, the ready-tohand and the present-at-hand, what Heidegger calls concern ; and in being with others, solitude. The being of man is Dasein, There-being.

By being in the world, by being involved in it, Dasein has the power to be. Once thrown in the world, Dasein realizes its own possibilities, it constantly actualizes its potentialities of existence. As such man is always ahead-of-himself; in his being he is always ahead of himself, ahead of what he actually is. Being thrown in the world, he discovers himself there absorbed in the things and people, and constantly realizing his own possibilities for being. This is what Heidegger calls CARE.

Dasein as project always comports itself towards its potentiality for being. There is always something still outstanding in man. As long as man exists in the world, his potentiality for being is never exhausted. According to Heidegger, there is always something to be settled yet in man. Man, as long as he IS, has never reached his wholeness. Man always has an unfinished character.

Man reaches his wholeness in death. In death, man loses his potentiality for being, he loses his there. There is no more outstanding in man, everything is finished, settled for him. HE IS NO LONGER THERE.

Experience of death
Our first experience of death is the death of others. Death is a not-yet which will be. Death is mine. No one can substitute me in my death. I am a being-towards-death, hence, I have to care.

Everyday being-towardsdeath-Inauthenticity
The they hides death by saying, People die one of these days one will die too, in the end; but right now it has nothing to do with us. The they realizes that death is something indefinite that must arrive ultimately, but for the moment, the they says, it has nothing to do with us. It is something not yet present-at-hand, and therefore offers no threat. The they says, one dies, but the one is nobody, no one will claim that it is I. The they levels off death, makes it ambiguous, and hides the true aspects of this potentiality, the mineness, non-relational, and that which cannot be outstripped.

Authentic beingtowards-death
The authentic response of man in his awareness of being-towards-death is not of evasion, of covering up deaths true implications, nor of giving new explanations for it. Man must face the possibility of his death as his possibility, the possibility in which his very existence is an issue. Facing this possibility is not actualizing it for that is suicide and suicide demolishes all the potentialities of man instead of bringing then into a whole totality. Death is not one that man can have at his disposal.

The authentic being-towards-death is anticipation of this possibility: understanding it as the possibility of impossibility of any existence at all for him. Death individualizes man. In accepting death as the possibility, man frees himself. Death should not be taken as an isolated point in life of man. Rather, it is to be taken as the culminating point of his life, the point where he finally reaches a fulfillment, a totality.