Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice. It emerged in the 20th century as a response to the crisis of meaning and purpose in modern society. In this article, we will explore the curriculum in existentialism and what it entails.

What is Existentialism?

Existentialism is a philosophical approach that emphasizes the individual’s unique experience of existence. It holds that life has no inherent meaning or purpose and that individuals must create their own meaning through their choices and actions. Existentialist thinkers focus on questions related to human existence such as death, freedom, and authenticity.

The Curriculum in Existentialism

The curriculum in existentialism varies depending on the institution and program offering it. However, there are some core themes and concepts that are central to most existentialist curricula.


Phenomenology is a branch of philosophy that focuses on how individuals experience the world around them. In existentialist curricula, phenomenology plays a crucial role as it helps students develop an understanding of how they perceive reality.


Authenticity is a key concept in existentialism, emphasizing the importance of living an authentic life. Students learn about how societal pressures can prevent individuals from being true to themselves and how they can overcome these pressures to live an authentic life.


Freedom is another important concept in existentialism. Students learn about the different ways in which individuals can exercise their freedom to create meaning in their lives.


Anxiety is a common theme in existentialist curricula as it highlights the feeling of dread that arises when individuals confront their own mortality. Students learn about how anxiety can be both paralyzing and motivating, pushing individuals towards action.

The Importance of Incorporating These Themes in Existentialist Curricula

Existentialism is a highly relevant and important philosophical movement in modern society. By incorporating the themes of phenomenology, authenticity, freedom, and anxiety in existentialist curricula, students can develop a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Phenomenology Helps Develop Empathy

Phenomenology helps students develop empathy towards others as it encourages them to understand how individuals experience reality differently. This can help students appreciate diversity and become more compassionate towards others.

Authenticity Encourages Self-Reflection

Authenticity encourages students to reflect on their values and beliefs, leading to greater self-awareness. This can help individuals better understand their own motivations and goals.

Freedom Encourages Creativity

By emphasizing the importance of freedom, existentialist curricula encourage creativity and innovation. Students learn that they have the power to create their own meaning in life, leading to greater personal fulfillment.

Anxiety Can Be Motivating

While anxiety can be paralyzing, it can also be motivating. By learning how to confront their fears and anxieties, students can develop resilience and become more proactive in pursuing their goals.


In conclusion, the curriculum in existentialism emphasizes individual freedom and choice. It encourages self-reflection, empathy towards others, creativity, and resilience. By incorporating these themes into their education, students can gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.