Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emerged in the 20th century, which emphasizes individual freedom and choice. It is a theory that focuses on the existence of human beings, their individuality, and their unique experiences. In this article, we will discuss what existentialism theory is all about and its main ideas.
What is Existentialism Theory?
Existentialism is a philosophical theory that emphasizes individual existence, freedom, and choice. It posits that individuals are free to determine their own meaning in life because there are no inherent or objective meanings to human existence. In other words, individuals create their own meaning through their actions and choices.
Existentialism has its roots in the works of philosophers such as Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche. However, it was Jean-Paul Sartre who popularized existentialism in the mid-20th century with his seminal work “Being and Nothingness.” According to Sartre, humans are “condemned to be free,” which means that they have no predetermined purpose or essence.
Main Ideas of Existentialism
- Individual Freedom: One of the main ideas of existentialism is individual freedom. This means that individuals have the power to choose their own path in life and create their own meaning.
- Authenticity: Another important idea of existentialism is authenticity.
This refers to being true to oneself and not conforming to societal norms or expectations.
- Angst: Angst or anxiety is another key concept in existentialism. It refers to the feeling of unease or dread that arises from the realization of one’s mortality and lack of inherent purpose in life.
- Existence precedes essence: This is a fundamental idea in existentialism which means that individuals do not have a predetermined purpose or essence. Instead, they create their own essence through their actions and choices.
Applications of Existentialism
Existentialism has had a significant impact on various fields such as literature, psychology, and art. Many writers and artists have used existentialist themes in their works to explore the human condition and individual freedom.
In psychology, existential therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping individuals find meaning and purpose in life. It emphasizes personal responsibility and encourages individuals to take control of their own lives.
Existentialism is a philosophical theory that emphasizes individual freedom and choice. It posits that individuals create their own meaning in life through their actions and choices.
Some of the key ideas of existentialism include individual freedom, authenticity, angst, and the concept that existence precedes essence. Existentialism has had an impact on various fields such as literature, psychology, and art.