What Does Existentialism Say About the Meaning of Life?


Martha Robinson

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emerged in the 20th century and deals with questions related to the meaning of life, existence, and human freedom. It’s a complex and diverse philosophy that has influenced many fields, including literature, psychology, and sociology. In this article, we’ll explore what existentialism says about the meaning of life.

The Absurdity of Life

One of the core ideas of existentialism is the concept of “the absurd.” This refers to the idea that human beings are constantly searching for meaning in a universe that is ultimately meaningless. According to existentialist thinkers like Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, life is inherently absurd because there is no inherent purpose or meaning to it.

The Search for Meaning

Despite this inherent absurdity, humans still search for meaning in their lives. This search can take many forms – some people find meaning through religion or spirituality, while others find it through relationships or creative pursuits. However, according to existentialism, these attempts at finding meaning are ultimately futile because there is no objective purpose to life.

Individual Freedom

Existentialism also emphasizes the importance of individual freedom. According to this philosophy, individuals have complete freedom to create their own meaning in life. This means that we are responsible for our own choices and actions – there is no higher power or external force guiding us.


In conclusion, existentialism suggests that the meaning of life is ultimately up to each individual to decide for themselves. While this may seem daunting or even nihilistic at first glance, it can also be empowering – we have complete control over our own lives and can create our own purpose and meaning. The key takeaway from existentialism is that we should embrace our individual freedom and make the most out of our time on this earth.