There’s definitely an element of Stoicism in existentialism, particularly in Sartre, and also in Viktor Frankl’s work. The difference is that there is more emphasis on the need for human beings to find a meaning and an individual purpose in what they do. It’s not just a matter of enduring or retreating into an inner realm in which you’re free. In fact, it’s not really about the inner realm at all, because the way you find meaning is not within, but through a purpose in the world, something that’s outside you, something that is greater than you. It could be by creating something, and it could be — and very often is — connections to other human beings, whether it’s comrades, friends, family or the people you come up against in life. And if all else fails — as it tended to in the concentration camps — and all the usual sources of meaning fall apart, there is always the chance of finding a meaning in the suffering itself. This is something that’s very hard to talk about in the abstract, but that was the conclusion that he came to.
Existentialism is a concept which is difficult to define, express and agree upon yet this book tackles the thorny subject head on in a way which is accessible yet thought provoking. Free from jargon, it’s suitable for both novices and more experienced philosophy enthusiasts and provides plenty of food for thought as it examines the universal human need for meaning in life. Art, philosophy and history are all tangled together in a glorious maze of literary prowess leaving the reader to continue the debate in their own mind long after the final page has been turned.
According to the Existentialist philosophy education should impart knowledge about the human condition and the choices that each person has to make in the students. Education is a continuous process of developing consciousness about the freedom to choose the meaning of one's responsibility. The total development of personality through education is given the first priority by the existential philosophers. It aims at self realization. The modern education has made too much of objective knowledge therefore this thought became irrelevant. Value education is vital to acquire total development. Existentialist education is learner– centered. It gives full freedom to the learner to realize his/her essence because freedom is an unavoidable fact in essence seeking understanding. Education should transform being to be. According to existentialist educational philosophy, education should encourage learners to choose what to study. The modern education is designed in this manner. Those learners do not find difficulty in choosing what to study and how to study. Modern education system is based on freedom of choice and the students would be free to select from many available learning situations. It enables them to unleash their own creativity and self –expression. Therefore curriculum must include humanities, ethics and religion. The student should feel free to realize the essence under the guidance of the teacher. According to James Magrini, Existentialism in education offers an alternative to behaviorism, social efficiency, ideas of conservative scholar academics, and vocationalism. Aims of education are grounded in the notion that the students and their unique possibilities are paramount to the task of teaching. Existential education wants to inquiry into life’s difficulties, tensions, and ambiguities.