Sartre and Sankhya-Yoga-a comparative study

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As the new millennium dawns, there are still millions of individuals that continue their intellectual and emotional pilgrimages to find the meaning of life. It is often difficult to pose the question seriously in order to warrant a formidable answer when the Dmeaning of lifeD is taunted as the wrong approach. But what, in fact, do we mean when we ask the question, DWhat is the meaning of life?D Typically, the lay person seeks to find their niche in society either through a sense of accomplishment or through a sense of contribution. Thus people desire to determine the meaning of their lives and not the mere abstract notion of DlifeD as Existence. Philosophers throughout the ages have approached the question from an intellectual perspective. It is my endeavor to elucidate the great Existentialist movement and its contribution to the intellectual approach in attempting to find out the meaning to this human predicament. Existentialism was a widely discussed term and enjoyed a brief period of popularity during the post-war era. This philosophical movement, mainly through the works of Jean Paul Sartre, reached its peak during the 1940Ds. However, Sartre was not the first to touch on this fundamental question of human existence. Before him there were individual thinkers who had unconventionally responded to this essential question and explored existentialist themes, thereby paving the way for Sartrean Existentialism in the mid-twentieth century. Among the most well known predecessors, Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Jasper, and Martin Heidegger are especially noted. Jean Paul Sartre, one of the most famous existentialists, indeed inherited many ideas from his predecessors. His personal experiences, combined with his philosophical training eventually made his existential theory an Atheistic Humanism, stressing choice, commitment and responsibility..
Supervisor: Archana Barua