Funda Time !

( The following is an excerpt from my term paper in the humanities (Ethics and Society) course.Waiting for the mood to build up to write a new post is a tad too boring.Of course,some would argue that copy-pasting your project report as a blog is no less irksome,but humor me.Till the time I gear up for something more colorful,bite on some philosophical fundae.Bon voyage! )

Ethics of societal behaviour-an endo-existential investigation

We all grow up around people .From time immemorial ,man has chosen his evolutionary instincts to be in accordance with a collocation of people, a society to share common interests with, and be bound by the regulations of .It is no new-fangled concept, therefore, that man is indeed a social being. What is interesting, however, is observing the influence this “survival-in-a –society” necessity has on the actions and thoughts of a person. When some situation throws up a conflict between the inherent feelings and the social-bound expressions, it makes up for a fascinating analysis, made more so since it is something which engulfs us all in its domain. From prominent existential philosophers like Heidegger to some layman like your wife, each person tries to explore the relationship of an individual with his surroundings, and the repercussions thereof. It is that basic an attribute.

The analysis I intend to present here stems from my personal reflections of the discrepancy I have noticed in the behavior of people in different social groups, and in their personal space (or with people close to them).Indeed, such is the universality of this discrepancy that a majority of the investigations put forward in this paper have been framed keeping or imagining myself as the subject. It would do well to view this paper more as a work of psychoanalysis than a discussion. Having said that ,the topic raises certain very relevant ethical issues, which I do plan to take up in the course of this analysis.

It would be pertinent here to define and discuss Existentialism before we take up a full-fledged study of how surroundings interact with people viz-a-viz their behavioral aspects. Existentialism is a school of philosophy that tries to explore human “existence” and how he tries “to project meaning in a disinterested world of in-itselfs”. Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche, considered the forerunners of existentialism, focused on subjective human experiences rather than the objective Axioms that philosophers generally discussed. Later existentialists like Franz Kafka and Martin Buber followed the thought, laying stress on the individual and the circumstances around him. Existential philosophers generally believed that life is meaningless and empty, and that the character of the individual existence is to fill that empty canvas of life with the colors available to him-the primary motif the human existence strives to achieve is to make that empty life meaningful by their own specific needs, virtues and priorities. Early existentialist principles gave rise to intellectual thoughts such as existential nihilism, which denies life of any meaning, virtue or purpose, and moral nihilism, which asserts that there are no absolute moral values in this world which can be perfectly assessed on the basis of rationale and logic. As such, existentialists assert that a person is the master of his own creativity.This concept of individual freedom is central to existentialist thought. Existentialists maintain that the human existence must always be defined as the individual person combined with the concrete circumstances of his life.("Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia"-I am myself and my circumstances-José Ortega y Gasset,1914). Sartre likewise believed that human existence is not an abstract matter, but is always situated ("en situación").A person’s life and works are based solely upon how he views the world (essentially) outside him,a world whose meaning exists in the relative sense only,and through the interaction of our “being” with it.This idea was picked up and developed in great detail by Martin Heidegger(1889-1976),a renowned German philosopher considered by many as one of the most authentic authorities on existentialism.