Continental Philosophy


How are existentialism and phenomenology historically related?

Existentialism and phenomenology both begin with the facts of human reality, from the standpoint of the first person. As distinctive traditions of thought, both have roots in the nineteenth century, existentialism going back to Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), and Friedrich Nietsche (1844–1900), and phenomenology originating with Franz Brentano (1837–1917). Strictly speaking, existentialism is older than phenomenology, although some twentieth-century existentialists have sought to base their work on that of more contemporary phenomenologists, rather than their nineteenth-century existentialist predecessors.


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