Friedrich Nietzsche on Investigating Philosophy
 Existentialist saw the term "existentialism" as essentially meaningless, but still it does refer to certain conventions and views that link different thinkers. Existentialism first declares that existence is prior to essence. The primary difference between existentialism and certain philosophic systems is the relation each sees between fact and value. The positivist approach holds that with the elimination of religious superstition and metaphysical ignorance, for instance, new values or even old ones have been spontaneously generated from a body of facts. Existentialism reacts, then, to the inadequacy of scientifically oriented philosophies to explain the genesis of values. The positivist approaches place an emphasis on modern logistic methods on the one hand and the explicit restriction of the fact that logic works on on the other hand. For the existentialist, however, it is only within the confines of reality that good and evil can originate, and values are thus created only by the free act of a human agent who takes this or that to be food or bad in the light of his attempt to give significance and order to an otherwise meaningless world. Freedom is the important element included by the existentialist but meaningless to the positivist, for whom there are only two necessities--mathematical and mechanical. Existentialism is as much a reaction against the claims of scientific philosophies as

 
 
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