What Are the Basic Ideas of Existentialism?


Martha Robinson

Existentialism is a philosophical concept that emphasizes individual existence, freedom, and choice. It is a way of thinking that focuses on the subjective experience of individuals and their unique perspective on the world. The following are some of the basic ideas of Existentialism:

1. Authenticity

One of the key concepts in Existentialism is authenticity. It refers to the idea that individuals should live their lives according to their own values and beliefs rather than conforming to societal norms or expectations. This means that people should take responsibility for their own lives and make choices based on what they truly believe in.

2. Freedom

Another important idea in Existentialism is freedom. It suggests that individuals have complete freedom to make choices, and they must take responsibility for those choices. This idea emphasizes personal accountability and encourages people to be proactive in shaping their lives.

3. Anxiety

Existentialists also believe that anxiety is an inherent part of human existence. This anxiety arises from the realization that individuals must make choices in a world without predetermined meaning or purpose. This can be overwhelming for some people, but it is seen as an opportunity to create one’s own meaning in life.

4. Death

Death is another central theme in Existentialism. It reminds individuals of their mortality and encourages them to live fully in each moment by making meaningful choices that reflect their values and beliefs.

5. Authentic Relationships

Existentialists also place great value on authentic relationships between individuals. They believe that genuine connections with others are essential for finding meaning and purpose in life.


In summary, Existentialism emphasizes individual freedom, authenticity, personal responsibility, and meaningful relationships with others as essential components of a fulfilling life. By embracing these ideas, individuals can create their own sense of purpose and find meaning in a world that may seem chaotic or meaningless at times.