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Journal of Continental Philosophy

Volume 1, Issue 2, 2020

Nicola Abbagnano, Daniele FulviOrcid-ID
Pages 260-276

Existentialism as Philosophy of the Possible

In this paper Abbagnano outlines his conception of “positive existentialism” as a philosophy of freedom and of responsible choice, in opposition to any form of dogmatism. In our everyday existence, we constantly face possibilities, meaning we are always required to make choices between the different alternatives we are presented with. Abbagnano thus argues that philosophy must provide a criterion for our existential choices, which he identifies in the possible itself. Existentialism is then understood as that philosophy which establishes valid criteria according to which human beings can choose, and that can reduce the possibility of error and constitute norms and rules of conduct. Abbagnano maintains that choosing wisely and freely means that the choice one makes in a specific moment can and should be renewed and repeated under any circumstance. Accordingly, our task is to establish criteria that will not lead us to irreparable error, but will allow us to implement a practice of always renewable choices.

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