Existentialism is a philosophical theory that has had a significant impact on various aspects of human life. It is a philosophy that focuses on the individual experience, freedom, and choice.

Existentialism emerged in the 19th century as a reaction to traditional philosophical theories that emphasized rationalism and determinism. This article will explore what existentialism theory is all about and how it influences our lives.

What Is Existentialism?

Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom, and choice. It posits that individuals have complete control over their lives and are responsible for their actions and choices. According to existentialists, humans are not just objects in the world, but they are subjects who create meaning through their experiences.

The Roots of Existentialism

The roots of existentialism can be traced back to the 19th century when philosophers like Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche questioned traditional philosophical theories that emphasized rationality and objectivity. They argued that these theories ignored the subjective experiences of individuals.

The Key Themes of Existentialism

Existentialism has several key themes that define its philosophy. These themes include:

Freedom:

Existentialists believe that individuals have complete freedom to choose their own path in life. They argue that individuals are not predetermined or controlled by external factors but have complete control over their lives.

Choice:

According to existentialists, with freedom comes responsibility. Individuals must make choices about how they want to live their lives, which determines their identity.

Authenticity:

Authenticity refers to individuals being true to themselves and living in accordance with their values and beliefs. Existentialism posits that individuals must be authentic to live a meaningful life.

Individuality:

Existentialists emphasize that individuals are unique and have their own experiences, values, and beliefs. They argue that individuals must embrace their individuality to live an authentic life.

Anxiety:

Existentialists recognize that individuals experience anxiety when they confront the reality of their freedom and the responsibility that comes with it. Anxiety is a natural response to the uncertainty of life.

Death:

Existentialists believe that death is a fundamental part of human existence. They argue that individuals must confront the reality of death to live an authentic life.

The Influence of Existentialism

Existentialism has had a significant impact on various aspects of human life, including literature, psychology, and theology. It has influenced writers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, who explored existential themes in their works.

It has also influenced psychology by emphasizing the importance of subjective experiences in understanding human behavior. Additionally, existentialism has influenced theology by challenging traditional religious beliefs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom, and choice.

The key themes of existentialism include freedom, choice, authenticity, individuality, anxiety, and death. Existentialism has had a significant impact on various aspects of human life and continues to influence our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.