Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice. It is a way of thinking that focuses on the individual’s subjective experience, rather than objective reality. Existentialism emerged in the 20th century, and one of its most significant figures was Søren Kierkegaard.
Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher who lived in the 19th century. He is widely considered to be the father of existentialism philosophy. Kierkegaard’s ideas were instrumental in shaping modern existentialist thought.
Kierkegaard believed that individuals must take responsibility for their own lives and choices. He argued that life has no inherent meaning or purpose, and that individuals must create their own meaning through their actions and decisions.
Kierkegaard’s philosophy emphasized the importance of personal experience, emotion, and faith. He believed that individuals should live authentic lives, free from societal expectations or pressures.
The Roots of Existentialism:
Existentialism emerged as a philosophical movement in the 20th century, but its roots can be traced back to earlier thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger.
Nietzsche argued that traditional morality had lost its relevance in modern society. He believed that individuals should create their own values and meanings for their lives.
Heidegger, on the other hand, focused on the individual’s relationship to being. He believed that existence itself was a fundamental question for philosophy.
These early ideas influenced later existentialist thinkers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus.
Jean-Paul Sartre was a French philosopher who lived in the 20th century. He is often considered to be one of the most important existentialist thinkers after Kierkegaard.
Sartre’s philosophy emphasized individual freedom and responsibility. He argued that individuals must create their own meaning and purpose in life.
Sartre believed that existence precedes essence. In other words, individuals exist first and then define themselves through their actions and choices.
Albert Camus was a French philosopher who lived in the 20th century. He was a contemporary of Sartre, and his ideas were closely related to existentialism.
Camus believed that life had no inherent meaning or purpose, but that individuals could find meaning through their experiences and relationships with others.
Camus argued that individuals must accept the absurdity of life without becoming nihilistic or giving up on hope. He believed that the struggle to find meaning was what made life worth living.
The Legacy of Existentialism:
Existentialism has had a significant impact on philosophy, literature, and popular culture. Its emphasis on individual freedom and responsibility has influenced many areas of thought and culture.
Existentialist ideas can be seen in works of literature like Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground” and Albert Camus’ “The Stranger.” They have also influenced films like “The Seventh Seal” by Ingmar Bergman and “Blade Runner” by Ridley Scott.
In conclusion, Søren Kierkegaard is widely considered to be the father of existentialism philosophy. His ideas about individual responsibility and authenticity have had a lasting impact on philosophy, literature, and popular culture.