What Is Existentialism in Brief?


Jane Flores

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice. It originated in the 19th century and gained popularity in the 20th century, particularly after World War II. This philosophy is often associated with Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Albert Camus.

One of the key ideas in existentialism is that humans are free beings who must create their own meaning in life. According to this philosophy, there is no inherent meaning or purpose in life – it is up to each individual to find their own meaning. This can be a liberating but also daunting idea.

Existentialists believe that individuals must take responsibility for their own actions and choices. They reject the idea of fate or external forces determining one’s destiny. Instead, each person has the power to shape their own life through their decisions.

Another important concept in existentialism is authenticity. This means living in a way that is true to oneself and one’s values rather than conforming to societal expectations or norms. In order to achieve authenticity, individuals must be self-aware and reflective.

Existentialism also emphasizes the importance of personal experience and subjective perception. It rejects the idea of objective truth or reality and instead focuses on individual perspectives and interpretations.

Overall, existentialism encourages individuals to embrace their freedom and create their own meaning in life through personal responsibility, authenticity, self-awareness, and subjective perception.

To summarize:

  • Existentialism – A philosophical movement emphasizing individual existence, freedom, and choice.
  • Key Ideas:
    • Humans are free beings who must create their own meaning in life.
    • Individuals must take responsibility for their actions and choices.
    • Authenticity is important for living a meaningful life.
    • Personal experience and subjective perception are emphasized over objective truth.
  • Takeaways:
    • Embrace your freedom and create your own meaning in life.
    • Take responsibility for your actions and choices.
    • Be authentic and true to yourself.
    • Reflect on your experiences and subjective perspectives.


Existentialism is a complex philosophy that challenges individuals to take control of their lives, embrace their freedom, and find their own meaning in life. By rejecting external forces and societal norms, existentialism encourages individuals to be true to themselves and live authentic, fulfilling lives. Understanding the key ideas of this philosophy can help individuals reflect on their own lives and make meaningful choices.