The existential and postmodern individual



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Texas A&M University


The theories of existentialism and postmodernism seem like very different ideas at first glance. Existentialism is a philosophy of individuals, while postmodernism is a theory focused more on society and less on individual existence. In this thesis, I will show that both of these ideas can be merged together to be seen as an individual philosophy. Using theories from each philosophical camp, I will describe both the existential and postmodern being. I will explain characteristics of these individuals and explain how they function in society. I will use several philosophers to explain this such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault, and finally, I will discuss The Stranger by Albert Camus. In The Stranger, the main character, Monsieur Meursault, exhibits the qualities of both types of individuals. I will use him as an example of the type of person that emerges from the philosophical ideas of existentialism and postmodernism. I analyze Meursault through the eyes of both the existentialist and the postmodernist, and conclude that Meursault personifies the traits and characteristics that are specific to these philosophies.