Existentialism is a philosophical movement that originated in the 20th century. It emphasizes individual existence, freedom, and choice. One of the most common questions asked about existentialism is whether it believes in meaning.
What is Existentialism?
Existentialism is a philosophical movement that believes that individuals create their own meaning in life. It emphasizes individual freedom, choice, and responsibility. According to existentialists, individuals are not determined by their past or environment but are free to make choices and shape their own destiny.
Does Existentialism Believe in Meaning?
The question of whether existentialism believes in meaning is complex. On one hand, existentialists believe that individuals create their own meaning in life. They don’t believe in an objective or universal meaning that applies to everyone.
However, this doesn’t mean that existentialists don’t believe in meaning at all. In fact, they argue that creating meaning is an essential aspect of human existence.
According to Jean-Paul Sartre, a famous existentialist philosopher, “Man is condemned to be free”. This means that individuals have the freedom to create their own values and meanings in life.
Existentialist Perspective on Meaning
Existentialists believe that individuals must take responsibility for creating their own values and meanings. They argue that this responsibility can be daunting but also liberating because it allows individuals to live authentically.
According to Søren Kierkegaard, another influential existentialist philosopher, individuals must make a leap of faith into the unknown to find meaningful existence. This means taking risks and accepting the possibility of failure or rejection.
In conclusion, while existentialism doesn’t believe in an objective or universal meaning of life, it does emphasize the importance of creating one’s own meaning through individual choice and responsibility. Existentialists argue that this responsibility can be both daunting and liberating but is essential for living an authentic and meaningful existence.