Existentialism essentially reflects the crisis of a superficial world view world view and a belief in progressive development of a society inherent in liberalism, which gave way under the pressure of the last turbulent century. Having emerged as a pessimistic world view, existentialism tried to answer the question “How should a human live after the liberal illusions have been shattered by historical disasters.”
Existentialism is a reaction to the rationalism of the enlightenment and classical German philosophy to Kantian ism and positivism which was widespread at the turn of the century.Existentialists maintain that rational thought has the existential feature of proceeding from the principle of antithesis of subject and object.As a result the rationalist considers all reality, including humans, only as an object of investigation and practical manipulation and resultantly have an ‘impersonal’ approach. Therefore existential thought is an antithesis to impersonal scientific thought.
So philosophy was set against science by the existentialists. Heidegger believed that the subject of philosophy is “being” whilst that of science is “existing”. “Existing” belongs to the empirical world, and should not be confused with “being”. What is “Being”? Being is comprehended by humans not through rational thinking, but directly through personal experience.The existent therefore incarnates the unbreakable unity of object and subject and this cannot be comprehended by either rational scientific thinking nor by speculative thinking.In everyday life, Humans are not always aware of themselves as existing, for this they must find border line situations, for example facing death.
When they have realised themselves as existing, humans gain freedom for the first time. Freedom in existential thought means that humans should not be a thing which is shaped under the influence of natural or social necessity, but they should mould themselves by their every act and deed. Thus free humans take responsibility for what they have done and do not try to justify themselves by ‘circumstances’. Sense of guilt for what is going on around them is the sense of a true human. (Berdyagev). So freedom essential reflects a protests against conformism and time serving typical of a philistine who believes that as a servant in the gigantic bureaucratic machine they are unable to change anything in the chain of events. This is why A.S. Neill’s ‘Summerhill‘ is so interesting as an educational establishment.
So indeed this is why existentialists believe humans must be held responsible for everything that occurs in history.This explanation of freedom is subjective as it discusses freedom on a purely ethical basis and not on a social plane.
Existentialism offers a method of immediate intuitive cognition of reality, based mainly on Husserl’s theory and partially on Bergson’s intuition ism. Existentialists such as Marcel, Camus and Heidegger in his later thought believed that by its very method of cognition, Philosophy is closer to art than to science.Existential thought exerted a profound influence on Western literature and arts, creating the differing social and political views held by various groups of existentialists.
The Pythagorean were followers of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras of Samos (Circa 580 to 500 BC) . this school had and still has a great influence, making valuable contributions to the development of astronomy, mathematics and music. However, by absolutising abstract quality and divorcing it from material objects, the Pythagorean developed the conclusion that quantitative relations constitute the essence of things.This gave rise to the Pythagorean mathematical symbolism and mysticism of numbers, which was full of superstitions and combined with Pythagorean’s faith in the soul’s transmigration.
It is tempting to dismiss most of Pythagorean thought as mere fantasy, but they offer a key to the understanding of a powerful current of intellect and emotions.Influencing Plato and Aristotle, this school was the first to develop mathematics as an abstract deductive science.Thinking everything was number,they perceived the relations and laws of musical harmony in number and number formed everything in nature.The elements of number were the elements of everything and the entire cosmos is harmony and number.However, in discovering right angle triangle laws, they proved that when the legs of a right angles triangle are of the same length there is no common unit of measure of which the legs and hypotenuse are integral multiples.Therefore, the hypotenuse is imcommensurable with the legs. A conflict of the creed of “the cosmos is harmony and number”The logical empiricist philosophy of the Pythagoreans is a stark contrast to that of the new image of science expounded by the Existentialists.What they both deal with are the two central problems of the theory of knowledge, namely meaning and truth.In Hume’s ‘treatise of human nature‘, Hume develops the problems of the empirical approach by developing threefold distinctions between language, ideas and expression. “All perceptions of the mind resolve themselves into two kinds, Impressions and Ideas”
Impressions are the immediate objects of awareness when we perceive or introspect. Ideas are objects we become aware of in our mental activities other than introspection and perception.When we reflect,remember,imagine and create, essentially we are distinguishing between simple and complex ideas.
The history of science is not so anarchistic as Feyerbend would have us believe. It is not constituted of bare facts. Science holds no bare facts, but facts which enter into knowledge and are therefore ideational. Paradigms become dis proven or proven, changed or altered, evolved into new ones.
What therefore, is order?
The question of order clearly goes beyond the confines of science.Order though, plays an incalculably significant role in the totality of human thought and action.When ideas change in a fundamental way, they tend to produce a radical change to society and this reaches into every area of life.Radically new ideas are generally incommensurable with what went before.
Society is left with a crisis that encompasses and all one once believed in is now judged irrelevant, improper or even immoral.
Order is neither solely object nor subject, but in both.It can be seen to lie between orders of a low degree and chaotic orders of an infinite degree of which randomness is a limit.Indeed there is no place for the concept of disorder, only randomness. A randomness of orders of an infinite degree that are free from significant correlations and suborders of low degree. Structure is an inherently dynamic notion and is comprehended through a hierarchy of ratio, which may be apprehended in a perceptive act of intuitive reason.
Sequential order gives way to generative order, in the world of fractals.The creation and creative perception of nature.Investigating implicate order , we find super implicate order,which organises lower ones whilst being affected by them. In this way implicate order is in fact a subtle generative order. Consciousness is a generative and implicate order and mind and matter are related because these orders for the grounds of all experience. Science, nature , society and consciousness for an overall generative order.Because of “being” there is order, because of order there is the cosmos, because of order there is chaos.