What Are the Problems With Existentialism?


Jane Flores

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice. It’s a school of thought that deals with the meaning and purpose of human existence.

However, like every other philosophy, existentialism too has its fair share of criticisms and problems. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the problems associated with existentialism.

Problem 1: Nihilism

One of the biggest critiques of existentialism is that it can lead to nihilism – the belief that life is meaningless. The emphasis on individual freedom can make people feel disconnected from society and their fellow human beings. This feeling of isolation can lead to a sense of despair, making individuals question the point of their existence.

Problem 2: Lack of Objective Standards

Existentialists believe that individuals create their own meaning in life. While this may sound empowering, it can also be problematic as it leaves no room for objective standards or values. Without objective standards, people are left to define what is right or wrong for themselves, which can lead to moral relativism.

Problem 3: No Universal Purpose

Another criticism of existentialism is that it fails to provide a universal purpose for human existence. Existentialists argue that individuals must create their own purpose in life, but this creates an issue where there is no overarching goal or purpose for humanity as a whole.

Problem 4: Overemphasis on Individuality

Existentialists place great importance on individuality and personal freedom. However, this emphasis on individuality can sometimes go too far and lead to selfishness and disregard for others. It’s important to strike a balance between personal freedom and social responsibility.

Problem 5: Lack of Guidance

Existentialism offers no clear guidance on how to live one’s life or make choices. While this may sound liberating, it can also be overwhelming and confusing for individuals who are trying to navigate their existence. Without guidance, people may struggle to find direction and purpose in their lives.


In conclusion, existentialism has its fair share of problems and criticisms. While the emphasis on individual freedom and choice is empowering, it can also lead to nihilism and moral relativism.

The lack of objective standards and universal purpose can also be problematic, as can the overemphasis on individuality. However, despite these criticisms, existentialism remains a popular and influential philosophical movement that continues to shape our understanding of human existence.