Essentialism vs Existentialism


Existentialism and essentialism are two philosophical approaches that focus on different aspects of human existence. Existentialists emphasize the individual’s experience of the world, while essentialists focus on the underlying structure of reality.

At its core, existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice, and the inherent meaninglessness of life. Existentialists believe that humans must create their own meaning in life, as there is no inherent meaning in the universe. Essentialism, on the other hand, is a philosophical approach that emphasizes the underlying structure of reality. Essentialists believe that there is an objective reality that exists independent of our perceptions or experiences.

According to the existentialist viewpoint, our lives have no defined goal; we simply exist. The benefit of this thinking is that we have free will in deciding not only our fates, but also our personalities, values, and worldview. Nothing is inevitable for us.

Existentialists see life as a journey with many possible paths, none of which is better or worse than any other. The essentialist worldview, on the other hand, believes that we each have a specific purpose in life that is predetermined and unchangeable. This purpose may be something like our “destiny” or “soul mission.” Essentialists believe that there is only one correct path for each person, and that all other paths are wrong.

So which worldview is correct? Existentialism or essentialism? The answer may depend on how you look at it. Existentialists would say that there is no right or wrong answer, because there is no predefined purpose in life. Essentialists would say that everyone has a specific purpose in life, and that it is essential to find and follow that path.

Both Existentialism and Essentialism are philosophies with different takes on life. Existentialists believe that life has no inherent meaning, while Essentialists believe that everyone has a specific purpose. Existentialists focus on free will, while Essentialists focus on destiny. Ultimately, which worldview you choose is up to you.

Essentialism and existentialism are two conflicting schools of thought in metaphysical theory, which Aristotle dubbed “first philosophy” because it deals with “initial causes and fundamental principles of things.”

The concept of essentialism may be traced back to the Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, all of whom believed in the existence of the soul. According to Plato, when a person dies, their soul transfers into another body. According to Aristotle, certain qualities of a thing may be essential since they would not be what they are without them.

For example, a human being is not a human being without the attribute of ‘rationality’. Existentialism, on the other hand, is a relatively new philosophical movement which began in the 1940s with the publication of Jean-Paul Sartre’s book ‘Being and Nothingness’.

Existentialists believe that there is no such thing as an essence or soul, and that what we call ‘human nature’ is nothing more than a collection of biological drives and instincts. Existentialists also believe that we are completely free to choose our own actions and that we are responsible for the choices we make.

In terms of how they might influence a person’s emotional well-being, Existentialism and essentialism each have advantages and disadvantages. For some people, the existentialist perspective may be freeing in that there are no rules; for others, it may be frightening to believe that they are ultimately responsible for making their own lives meaningful.

Essentialism, on the other hand, provides a sense of stability and order, but can also be confining if someone feels they are not living up to their potential.

Existentialism is a philosophical and psychological movement that stresses the existence of the individual self and the subjective experience of life. It emphasizes the unique experience of the individual, rather than the universal experience. Existentialists believe that humans must create their own meaning in life, as there is no inherent meaning in the universe. This can be a liberating idea, as it means that each person has the power to create their own destiny.

However, it can also be anxiety provoking, as it puts pressure on individuals to find purpose in their lives. Essentialism is a philosophical and psychological movement that stresses the importance of universal truths and objective reality. It emphasizes the existence of objective reality, rather than subjective experience.

Essentialists believe that there is an inherent meaning in the universe, which can be discovered through reason and observation. This can provide a sense of stability and order, as it means that there is a pre-determined path to follow. However, it can also be confining, as it may lead people to feel like they are not living up to their potential.

Essentialism, on the other hand, offers the security of knowing there is a plan in place; but it may also cause people to confine themselves. Sartre referred to this as “mauvaise foi,” or “bad faith,” giving the example of a waiter who is so convinced that he was created to be a waiter that he refuses to explore his opportunities elsewhere. In Sartre’s own words: “What I am interested in concerning men is not what they are; rather, it’s what they can become.”

It could be argued that, in a world where the future is so often uncertain, Existentialism offers a more realistic view of human nature than Essentialism. We are not limited by our essential qualities, but by our imagination and ability to choose our own path. Existentialism encourages us to embrace our freedom and responsibility, and to make the most of our lives.

Some methods in psychology have historically supported essentialism, the idea that certain aspects of our lives are predetermined at least to some extent. The biological or medical approaches provide a wide basis for understanding mental illness through neuropsychology, genetics, and evolutionary theory.

We’ve discovered, for example, that similar to breast cancer and Parkinson’s disease, some mental disorders are considered highly hereditary. These concepts are extremely beneficial since they aid us in our physiological understanding of how mental illness affects our bodies and the creation of preventative strategies against it.

However, existentialism provides a unique perspective that can be applied to psychology. Existentialists believe that our lives are not predetermined, but rather that we create our own meaning and define our own existence. This means that we have the power to choose how we want to live our lives, and this can be a very empowering belief. Existentialists also believe that humans are essentially good, despite the fact that we may do bad things at times. This is because they believe that we have the ability to choose what is right or wrong, and that we are ultimately responsible for our actions.

So, which perspective is correct? Existentialism or essentialism? The answer may depend on who you ask. But one thing is for sure: both perspectives have something to offer us in terms of understanding the human condition.


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