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Publisher's Summary

Existentialism offers enduring lessons and insight on how to understand ourselves and improve our lives.

Your existence is not the result of a predetermined set of events; it’s the direct result of your thinking and your actions, and therefore, according to Soren Kierkegaard, Frederick Nietzsche, Albert Camus, and other existentialist philosophers, you have the freedom to control the outcome of your existence - sophisticated "philosophy meets psychology" self-help for the 21st century.

As Kierkegaard and his ilk made clear in their respective works, human beings are moody creatures. Rather than understanding moods such as anxiety and depression as afflictions that can be treated only with a pill, the existentialists regard these troublesome feelings as instructive, something revealing about what it means to be human. The existentialists believed that how we negotiate our emotional ups and downs plays an important hand in the lives we sculpt for ourselves.

While offering listeners a useful primer on existentialism as an animating body of thought, Marino distills and delivers the life-altering and, in some cases, life-saving insights Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Camus, and other existentialists articulate for becoming more emotionally attuned human beings. Enhancing our sense of meaning in the midst of an uncertain world, Marino interjects gripping anecdotes from his own experiences to demonstrate how we can use existentialist thought to ignite truly transformative experiences.

©2018 Gordon Marino (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good overview of Kierkegaard for modern minds

I’ve been wanting to learn more about the Christian existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard, and thought (based on the publisher’s description) this would be a good place to start. It was better even than I expected. While it is a general introduction to what existentialism has to say about our current, personal challenges — it does tease out some ethical teachings, as well, but Marino freely admits that the existentialists have been slim on the rights and responsibilities of societies and of individuals toward others — it depends heavily and foremost on the writings of Kierkegaard, and then uses Nietzsche, Camus, Sartre, and Doesteeyvki to fill in or contrast Kierkegaard’s thought. But the book’s strength lies in approaching the issues of modern life —anxiety, depression and despair, mortality, faith — first (rather than as a straight survey of each philosopher’s teaching) and seeing what the existentialists have to offer as a lens or filter for our sojourn through this life, regardless of a life hereafter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great philosophy overview

starts slow, ends strong. overview of the literature and philosophy, not a "manual for living"

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religious rant.

was looking for a survival guide on a philosophical concept. got a religious rant from a cult follower of some Danish philosopher. wish i got a dollar for everytime he said that guys name.

0 of 12 people found this review helpful