What Are Three Beliefs of Existentialism?


Martha Robinson

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that focuses on individual existence and freedom. It emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility and choice, the search for meaning in life, and the inevitability of death. Here are three fundamental beliefs of existentialism:

1. Existence precedes essence

One of the core beliefs of existentialism is that individuals are not born with a predetermined nature or purpose. Instead, we create our own essence through our choices and actions. This means that we have the freedom to determine who we are and what we become.

This belief is often contrasted with essentialism, which holds that individuals have an inherent nature or essence that determines their identity and destiny. According to existentialists, essentialism denies human freedom and reduces individuals to mere objects.

2. Authenticity is essential

Another important belief of existentialism is the value of authenticity. Authenticity refers to living in accordance with one’s true self rather than conforming to societal norms or expectations.

Existentialists argue that individuals often fall into inauthenticity by adopting false values or identities imposed on them by society. They believe that authenticity requires self-reflection, self-awareness, and a willingness to take responsibility for one’s choices.

3. The absurdity of life

Finally, existentialism acknowledges the absurdity of human existence. The universe is vast and indifferent, and human life lacks any inherent meaning or purpose.

However, this does not mean that life is meaningless or worthless. Rather, existentialists argue that individuals must create their own meaning in life through their choices and actions.

This belief can be seen as a call to embrace the uncertainty and unpredictability of life rather than seeking absolute certainty or security.


In summary, existentialism emphasizes individual freedom, authenticity, and the search for meaning in an inherently absurd world. By recognizing the limitations of human existence, existentialists encourage individuals to take responsibility for their lives and create their own purpose.