Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emerged in the 20th century, and it deals with the central issue of human existence. At its core, existentialism is concerned with the question of how we can find meaning and purpose in our lives in a world that seems to offer none.
The Fundamental Principles of Existentialism
Existentialism is based on several fundamental principles. Firstly, it asserts that human beings are free and responsible for their own actions and decisions. This means that we have no predetermined nature or destiny, and that we must create our own lives through our choices.
Secondly, existentialism emphasizes the importance of individual experience over abstract theories or systems. It argues that each person’s experience of the world is unique and subjective, and that this experience is what gives life its meaning.
Finally, existentialism acknowledges the inevitability of death as an integral part of life. It argues that we must confront our mortality in order to fully embrace life and find meaning in it.
The Central Issue of Existentialism
The central issue of existentialism is the search for authenticity. Authenticity refers to living a life that is true to oneself, rather than conforming to societal norms or expectations.
According to existentialists, many people live inauthentic lives because they are afraid to confront their own freedom and responsibility. They may conform to societal norms or adopt roles prescribed by others in order to avoid making difficult choices or facing the uncertainty of their own existence.
However, living an inauthentic life ultimately leads to feelings of emptiness and despair. Only by embracing our freedom and taking responsibility for our choices can we find true fulfillment and purpose.
In conclusion, existentialism is a philosophical movement concerned with the central issue of human existence: how we can find meaning and purpose in a world without inherent meaning or purpose. It emphasizes individual experience over abstract theories, and asserts that human beings are free and responsible for their own choices.
The central issue of existentialism is the search for authenticity, or living a life that is true to oneself. By embracing our freedom and taking responsibility for our choices, we can find fulfillment and purpose in life.