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Existentialism for Dummies (For Dummies)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  147 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Have you ever wondered what the phrase "God is dead" means? You'll find out in Existentialism For Dummies, a handy guide to Nietzsche, Sartre, and Kierkegaard's favorite philosophy. See how existentialist ideas have influenced everything from film and literature to world events and discover whether or not existentialism is still relevant today. You'll find an introduction ...more
ebook, 388 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by For Dummies (first published January 1st 2008)
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This book was the equivalent of taking the blue pill from Morpheus in the movie The Matrix. Not pleasant, but very necessary if I'm going to be the author of my own life.

"Live dangerously." --Fredrick Nietzsche
A friend and colleague of mine, Jonathan Vick, recommended I peruse these pages. Like Jonathan, I consider myself an existentialist. I don't always agree with the tenets (i.e. I choose not to dwell on anxiety) but overall this school of thought impels me to become a better human being.

Although this book was well-written, carefully researched, and easy to understand, it left out the beautiful rapturous side of being an existentialist. Living in existentialism is inspiring, lyrical, filled with gr
Shaimaa Suleiman
Sep 25, 2012 Shaimaa Suleiman rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who like to start from scratch
Shelves: fun-reads
I like to think of this book as an appetizer; it makes you yearn for more. I have not read it thoroughly, though. It sort of became a bit repetitive and I thought I'd had enough!
Jan 25, 2015 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea existentialism was so complex. I'm glad I started with a "for dummies" book. The authors introduce the concepts through the perspective and writings of the major existentialist authors: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus. Some of the content was very thought-inspiring. I found the following quote to be quite profound and I pondered it for days:
"Kierkegaard, in his Concept of Anxiety, talked about his understanding of the story of the fall from grace,
Jun 28, 2014 Farah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
"A Reference for the Rest of Us!"

Having been curious about the philosophical movement and only knowing about it vaguely as it incorporates itself into our lives through film and literature and abstractly as I find myself asking the questions that existentialism takes upon its hands to answer. I decided it was time for another "For Dummies" book that I figured would be the go-to-book where everything I needed to know about existentialism and nothing less would be. But I soon found out that it wo
Read this awhile back, can't remember when, I was really young though, and the idea of meaningless blew my mind and made me depressed for years. After reading this book, was when it first clicked with me.

I don't think I even finished it, I had it in Ebook form. Probably really mediocre as an introduction to existentialism unless you are a complete idiot like I was Sophomore year of high school.
Jayme Allen
Jun 21, 2014 Jayme Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eminently readable, light-hearted, while still being informative. By design, information is repeated, which can get a bit tedious. I suppose it helps ram home the content, however. If you can't spare the time and effort to decipher Camus, Sartre, and Heidegger (and who can?) it's well worth picking this up.
Crystal Scurr
Jul 27, 2011 Crystal Scurr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
About calibre of other "Dummy" books I've read. A good refresher for the points I remembered but "lost" over the years. Feel more comfortable talking about existentialism again. That isn't a bad thing!
Mar 01, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good - very readable -- got the overview plus some details I was hoping for -- have the basis for following up with specific authors/thinkers
Nov 21, 2015 EvaM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Definitely worth reading, this book will make you question a lot of things and also will leave you anxious thinking. Enjoy!
Nov 17, 2015 Cédric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Bukowski arranged for his tombstone to read simply,"Don't try." Acceptance or surrender? Maybe a bit of both."

Liz Echavarria
Jan 17, 2013 Liz Echavarria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I recommend this book for anyone interested in learning the basics about Existentialism.
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“This happened not once, but twice — first with Martin Heidegger's magnum opus, Being and Time, and then with his pupil Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness. (We discuss Sartre in the next section.)” 0 likes
“This is one of the reasons atheistic existentialists have been so at odds with the church. The church keeps raising eyes to heaven, and the existentialists keep lowering eyes back down. And they do bring your eyes way down. Their stories are often about ugly realities and scandalous people. They don’t force you to look at these things because they want to wallow in misery or debasement. Rather, they want you to recognize that any meaning, value, truth, or beauty can be found only here, in this imperfect and often ugly world. They want you to look at it honestly,without varnish, without covering up its ills, without romanticizing it, and without the filter of an ultimate moral judgment upon it. They say you must learn to see it this way because your task is to find a way to accept and live in this imperfect place — the earth and the human world you’re part of. You must recognize that this is the only home you have or will ever know.” 0 likes
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