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.