How Many Themes Are There in Existentialism?


Jane Flores

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual existence, freedom, and choice. It originated in the 19th century and has since then evolved into various themes. Let’s explore the different themes of existentialism.

The Theme of Authenticity

One of the most prominent themes in existentialism is authenticity. This theme revolves around the idea that individuals must be true to themselves and their experiences.

Authenticity requires individuals to acknowledge their existence and take responsibility for their actions. In other words, authenticity is about living an honest life that reflects our innermost desires and beliefs.

The Theme of Existence Precedes Essence

Another key theme in existentialism is the idea that existence precedes essence. This means that individuals are not born with a predetermined purpose or essence but rather create it through their experiences and choices. Existentialists argue that individuals are free to choose who they want to be and what they want to do with their lives.

The Theme of Anxiety

Existentialists also emphasize the theme of anxiety, which arises from the awareness of our mortality and freedom. Anxiety stems from the realization that we are responsible for our own lives and decisions, which can sometimes be overwhelming. However, existentialists argue that anxiety can also be liberating as it forces us to confront our own existence and make meaningful choices.

The Theme of Absurdity

The theme of absurdity is another important element of existentialism. It refers to the idea that life has no inherent meaning or purpose, which can lead to feelings of despair or hopelessness. However, existentialists argue that this lack of meaning should not discourage us from living life fully and embracing our freedom.

The Theme of Freedom

Freedom is another central theme in existentialism, as it emphasizes the importance of individual choice and self-determination. Existentialists believe that individuals are free to create their own meaning and purpose in life, rather than being constrained by external factors such as social norms or religious beliefs.

The Theme of Death

Finally, existentialism also explores the theme of death, which is a fundamental aspect of human existence. Existentialists argue that the awareness of our mortality can be a powerful motivator to live life fully and embrace our freedom. By acknowledging the inevitability of death, we can focus on what truly matters in life and make the most of our time.

  • Conclusion: In conclusion, existentialism is a complex philosophical movement that explores various themes related to human existence. From authenticity to freedom, anxiety to absurdity, these themes offer insights into what it means to be human and how we can live meaningful lives. Whether you agree or disagree with the ideas put forth by existentialists, there is no denying that they continue to inspire and challenge us to think deeply about our own existence.