The new existentialism is an ideological breakthrough, something entirely novel. In constructing it, Wilson drew on the canonical legacy and the insights he liked in the “old” existentialism. But he did so in order to highlight the failure of past philosophies when it came to fashioning a method or tool truly capable of teaching us how to live well and make the most of our potential.
Wilson’s philosophical proposition is bold because it invites us to chart a terrain still considered the reserve of the gods or of fate; it is heroic because its goal is the most elevated, challenging thing that man can aspire to; rebellious because it faces down thousands of years of emasculating teaching and beliefs that undervalue us, lucid because it requires our full attention and awareness, and honest because it presents each of us with our self, free of mediators and outside judges. We become the architects of our own characters and lives.