Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice. It is a way of thinking that seeks to understand the meaning and purpose of human existence.

Being, or existence, is one of the central concepts in existentialism. In this article, we will explore what is being in existentialism.

What Is Being?

Being refers to the state or condition of existing. It is the fundamental nature of human existence.

According to existentialists, being is not just a physical presence but also an internal experience. It involves emotions, thoughts, and beliefs that shape our perception of the world.

Existentialist View on Being

Existentialists believe that being is a unique phenomenon that cannot be fully understood through science or reason alone. They argue that human beings are conscious beings who create their own reality through their actions and choices.

According to Jean-Paul Sartre, a prominent existentialist philosopher, being-in-itself refers to objects or things that exist in the world without consciousness or awareness. Being-for-itself, on the other hand, refers to human consciousness and self-awareness.

Freedom and Choice

One of the key tenets of existentialism is the importance of freedom and choice in human existence. Existentialists believe that individuals are free to choose their own path in life and are responsible for their own actions.

This emphasis on freedom can be seen as both liberating and daunting. On one hand, it allows individuals to create their own meaning in life and pursue their passions without constraint. On the other hand, it also places a heavy burden on individuals to make difficult decisions and take responsibility for their actions.


Another concept closely associated with being in existentialism is anxiety. Anxiety arises from the realization that we are free to choose our own path in life but also responsible for those choices. This can lead to feelings of uncertainty, fear, and even despair.

However, existentialists argue that anxiety can also be a positive force. It can serve as a catalyst for personal growth and self-discovery. By facing our anxieties and taking responsibility for our choices, we can become more authentic and true to ourselves.


In conclusion, being in existentialism refers to the state or condition of existing as a conscious human being. It involves freedom, choice, anxiety, and the quest for meaning and purpose in life. By embracing our own existence and taking responsibility for our choices, we can create a life that is authentic and fulfilling.