Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice. It emerged in the 20th century as a response to the growing sense of alienation and disconnection in modern society.

The central themes of existentialism are complex and often difficult to understand, but they have had a profound impact on modern thought and culture. In this article, we will explore the major themes of existentialism and their significance.

Existence precedes essence

One of the key tenets of existentialism is that existence precedes essence. This means that individuals are not born with predetermined characteristics or values, but rather they create them through their actions and choices. In other words, we are not defined by our biology or social status, but rather by the choices we make in life.


Freedom is another important theme in existentialism. According to this philosophy, individuals have complete freedom to make their own choices in life.

However, this freedom comes with responsibility for those choices. We must take responsibility for our actions and accept the consequences that come with them.


Authenticity is also a central theme in existentialism. It refers to the idea that individuals should strive to live in accordance with their true selves, rather than conforming to societal norms or expectations. This requires self-awareness and introspection, as well as a willingness to challenge established beliefs and values.


Anxiety is another important theme in existentialism. According to this philosophy, individuals experience anxiety because they are aware of their own mortality and the inherent uncertainty of life. This anxiety can be overwhelming at times, but it can also serve as a motivator for personal growth and self-discovery.


In conclusion, existentialism is a complex philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom, responsibility, authenticity, and the anxiety that comes with the uncertainty of life. While these themes may seem daunting, they offer a unique perspective on the human experience and can help us better understand ourselves and our place in the world. By embracing these themes, we can live more fulfilling and meaningful lives.