Existentialism enjoyed great popularity in the 1940s and 1950s, and has probably had a greater impact upon literature than any other kind of philosophy. The common interest which unites Existentialist philosophers is their interest in human freedom. Readers of Existentialist philosophy are being asked, not merely to contemplate the nature of freedom, but to experience freedom, and to practise it. In this survey, Mary Warnock begins by
considering the ethical origins of Existentialism, with particular reference to Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, and outlines the importance of a systematic account of man's connection with the world as expounded by Husserl. She discusses at length the common interests and ancestry of Existentialism in the works
of Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre, and offers some conclusions about the current nature and future of this committed and practical philosophy. This revised edition includes a postscript reviewing the status of Existentialism in the 1990s, and has a thoroughly updated bibliography.
"Deserves praise on several counts. In the first place, Mrs. Warnock writes from a position of some philosophical detachment towards the thinkers whose work she expounds....yet she also displays an imaginative sympathy with their aims and ideas which makes her criticisms of their work all the more
worthy of attention."--Times Literary Supplement