ADVANTAGES

As a cultural movement, existentialism belongs to the past. As aphilosophical inquiry that introduced a new norm, authenticity, forunderstanding what it means to be human—a norm tied to adistinctive, post-Cartesian concept of the self as practical, embodied,being-in-the-world—existentialism has continued to play animportant role in contemporary thought in both the continental andanalytic traditions. The Society for Phenomenology and ExistentialPhilosophy, as well as societies devoted to Heidegger, Sartre,Merleau-Ponty, Jaspers, Beauvoir, and other existential philosophers,provide a forum for ongoing work—both of a historical,scholarly nature and of more systematic focus—that derives fromclassical existentialism, often bringing it into confrontation withmore recent movements such as structuralism, deconstruction,hermeneutics, and feminism. In the area of gender studies Judith Butler(1990) draws importantly on existential sources, as does Lewis Gordon(1995) in the area of race theory (see also Bernasconi 2003). Matthew Ratcliffe (2008) develops an existential approach to psychopathology.

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