Existentialism offers enduring lessons and insight on how to understand ourselves and improve our lives.
Your existence is not the result of a pre-determined 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 twenty-first-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 only be treated 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 readers 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.
Gordon Marino is a professor of philosophy and director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. A recipient of the Richard J. Davis Ethics Awards for excellence in writing on ethics and the law, Marino is the author of Kierkegaard in the Present Age, coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard, editor of Modern Library’s Basic Writings of Existentialism and Ethics: The Essential Writings, and editor of The Quotable Kierkegaard. His articles have been published widely, including in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and American Poetry Review.