Reality's absurdity to Existentialists

By Christopher Wink | Apr 15, 2007 | Existentialism

There are likely few more important issues for philosophy than the question of existence, a subject that has been covered in innumerable ways by every successful intellectual. Perhaps one of the more popular means for understanding this world is to see it through the veil of the absurd.

Legendary Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) had something to say on that concept. An avid critic of the structure of religion in Denmark, Kierkegaard wrote often of organized religious dogma, crediting its absurdity and contradiction with keeping its followers distanced from God. A century later Parisian philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) voiced his own thoughts on individual experiences which, he wrote, was absurd because of disconnect from each other.

Countless thinkers have noted absurdity throughout reality, but moreover, the entire notion of life is absurd. To establish existence, emergence must occur. For most of us, our existence began with our birth, our emergence from our parents. Something must precede every beginning, so from where did existence itself emerge? This is the game philosophers play and because there can be no answer, it is, to be sure, absurd. Any form of reality then, must also be absurd.

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Reality’s absurdity to Existentialists

By Christopher Wink | Apr 15, 2007 | Existentialism

There are likely few more important issues for philosophy than the question of existence, a subject that has been covered in innumerable ways by every successful intellectual. Perhaps one of the more popular means for understanding this world is to see it through the veil of the absurd.

Legendary Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) had something to say on that concept. An avid critic of the structure of religion in Denmark, Kierkegaard wrote often of organized religious dogma, crediting its absurdity and contradiction with keeping its followers distanced from God. A century later Parisian philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) voiced his own thoughts on individual experiences which, he wrote, was absurd because of disconnect from each other.

Countless thinkers have noted absurdity throughout reality, but moreover, the entire notion of life is absurd. To establish existence, emergence must occur. For most of us, our existence began with our birth, our emergence from our parents. Something must precede every beginning, so from where did existence itself emerge? This is the game philosophers play and because there can be no answer, it is, to be sure, absurd. Any form of reality then, must also be absurd.

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Logical paradox in Kierkegaard

By Christopher Wink | Jan 30, 2007 | Existentialism

I have never been confused for a great thinker. Philosophy is a world of thought, unprovoked and often aimless, an unlikely home for someone like me. I think I enjoy it anyway. I enjoy it because I have assignments that ask me to define an existential paradox.

This is no simple task, one page limit or not. I can now say that I have read Fear and Trembling by 19th century Danish philosophy Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), and I managed to understand enough to be forced into thought. Still, I am not uncomfortable with admitting that I was forced to do some additional research to even begin to define an existential paradox, and I will try my very best to convey whatever it is I learned.

Any paradox is simply a phrase that seems contradictory to intuition but may be true. In his 1980 essay entitled System and Structure, which appeared in Communication and Exchange, English writer Anthony Wilden defined an existential paradox as a “conscious or unconscious intentionalization… about life which denies the usually accepted categories of truth and falsity about ‘reality.” I didn’t know what this meant when I first read it. I probably still don’t.

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Existential men of de Beauvoir

By Christopher Wink | Apr 17, 2007 | Existentialism

In 1947 French author and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) published The Ethics of Ambiguity, arguably the most accessible explanation of a host of existential ideas and themes. A notable member of a notable age in French philosophy, Beauvoir had a close relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) and was a contemporary of Albert Camus (1913-1960) and fellow Parisian Simone Weil (1909-1943). In Ethics, one of Beauvoir’s more memorable techniques was to characterize a series of men with certain existential qualities in order to make the themes easier to understand through their personification.

In one way or another, almost all of the personalities form and fall into one or another, but one is particularly interesting in the problems it encounters, the serious man. This man is enraptured in the very spirit of seriousness, considering his values bigger than his personage, certainly an example of Sartre’s concept of bad faith.

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Absurdity in Camus

By Christopher Wink | Apr 17, 2007 | Existentialism

Albert Camus is no small figure in twentieth century philosophy. Born in Algeria to a working-class family, to many, Camus is a central figure who, despite his disapproving, has become the face of existentialism. Because of his importance, his assertion that suicide is the ultimate philosophical question is no small matter.

In the late 1930s Camus (1913-1960) began writing of reality’s absurdity, expounding on the subject in his legendary Myth of Sisyphus and continuing the theme in works like The Stranger and others. Camus’s paradox of the absurd took on the idea that, while we do much to convince ourselves otherwise, with the universe in mind, our lives are unquestionably insignificant.

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Chris Wink: what's in a name?

In today's climate, your name is your brand. Own it - or else become Mark.

In today's climate, your name is your brand. So own it - or become Mark.

The Internet is changing what it means to have a name.

I have already posted that this very blog that so begins the great push to lay claim to Web real estate, the most valuable of which lies on your name.

Your marketability, your presence, particularly as employers, friends and intimates increasingly go to Google or other search engines to better understand or know about us, will only become more dependent on your space online.

Chris Wink is original enough name that I cherish it, but I am hardly alone. Take a google search of my name and you see others, particularly, as previously posted, the founder of the Blue Man Group. But it goes deeper. Beyond confusion, you can become guilty by name association. Today, a friend forwarded me something, news from abroad that is accessible now as only a local paper was as recent as 15 years ago.

A namesake of mine arrested for a few thousands of dollars worth of vandalism. It’s a small enough a crime to warrant an employer to confuse his actions with my own.

A 17-year old youth has been arrested after about £5,000 damage was estimated that could have been caused in another school break-in.Police named Christopher Wink as having been charged with burglary at Bayside School between Sunday and Monday. “Entry was forcibly gained,” said a Police spokesman.

It is only another reminder that I need to make apparent who I am, branding my own name as I would any other product.

Number of Views:3733

Philadelphia police fire back

Yesterday Philadelphia police shot and critically wounded a 24-year-old man whom they say pulled a gun on them, the Inquirer reported.
There have been 11 shootings at police in which the cops fired back in the last year. Four of the civilians were killed. It isn’t a recent phenomenon.
In a city that hasn’t overcome the imprisonment of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal, and such high profile deaths as Officer Chuck Cassidy in recent memory, none of this can be good.
As previously posted, just two weeks ago, a man, also accused of pulling a gun on cops, was shot on the Allegheny Avenue subway platform of the Broad Street Line, my stop.
Number of Views:1121

A blog for the Village of Arts and Humanities

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It is difficult for me to believe, sometimes, that it has been nearly 18 months since I first started working with the students at the Village of Arts and Humanities, a multimedia recreation center at 11th and Alder Streets in North Philadelphia’s Fairhill. It was last December when I first started working with high schoolers there on filming and video editing, coming into what was already a fairly established program.

Today, in working with the kids, I really got to thinking how we haven’t done enough to publicize their work, to let others see the short videos they’ve made.

So, in just a few short hours, ditching the outdated Web site of the nonprofit, together with a couple of the kids, we made a WordPress blog, outfitted with several of their videos uploaded on the class’s new Youtube account.

More to follow, but I’m awfully proud of the work and was surprised just how excited a few of them were to have their Myspace accounts linked. New media has teaching capabilities to be sure, but there are elements that seem to be needed.. like Myspace.

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What jokes cross the editorial line?

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No one needs to remind a self-aware student journalist about the dangers of satire. Every April brings with it new stories of high school and college publications biting it hard after trying their hand at April Fool’s Day issues.

Most usually, the beef comes about with expectations. Young journalists try their best to be as professional as possible and then, infrequently, perhaps even just once a year, they bring out the cutting remarks and find themselves accused of libel or the sort.

So, at The Temple News, we tend to avoid such events. Still, our news blog, Broad & Cecil, remains a forum for plenty of sarcasm and editorializing. It was launched in September, having endured more than half a year without any controversy to note.

So far.

Last week, The Temple News reported on Frank Baldino, a university Board of Trustees member, whose company, Cephalon Inc., of which he is founder and CEO, is being accused of anti-competitive business practices and sued for allegedly making a deal with another pharmaceutical company delaying the production of a generic brand of his firm’s sleep-related drug Provigil.

In today’s print edition, there will be a follow up. While the story was being passed around, some staffers got to embellishing the situation. The result was a brief 20 second clip, lampooning Baldino with a mock cut-out and cartoon voice impersonation.

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Number of Views:961