more from Isaiah Berlin

Single Idea 7677

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 1. Existentialism]

Full Idea

The central sermon of existentialism is essentially a romantic one, namely, that there is in the world nothing to lean on.

Gist of Idea

Central to existentialism is the romantic idea that there is nothing to lean on


Isaiah Berlin (The Roots of Romanticism [1965], Ch.6)

Book Reference

Berlin,Isaiah: 'The Roots of Romanticism' [Pimlico 2000], p.142

A Reaction

He tracks this back to Kant's view that our knowledge of the world arises out of our own minds. So what is there to lean on? Rational consistency? Natural human excellence? God? Pleasure? Anonymous duty? I like the second one.