Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual existence, freedom, and choice. It emerged in the 19th century and gained widespread popularity in the 20th century. The founder of existentialism is often debated, but there are three main philosophers who are credited with its development: Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Martin Heidegger.
Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher who lived in the 19th century. He is often considered the father of existentialism because he was one of the first philosophers to explore themes such as freedom, choice, and individuality. In his works, he emphasized the importance of subjective experience and personal responsibility.
One of Kierkegaard’s most famous works is “Fear and Trembling,” which explores the story of Abraham and Isaac from a philosophical perspective. In this work, Kierkegaard argues that faith requires an individual to make a leap of faith beyond reason or logic.
Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher who lived in the 19th century. He is known for his critique of traditional morality and his emphasis on individualism. Nietzsche believed that individuals should create their own values rather than accepting those imposed by society or religion.
One of Nietzsche’s most famous works is “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” which explores themes such as the death of God, the will to power, and the eternal recurrence of the same. In this work, Nietzsche argues that individuals should strive to become “supermen” who create their own values and live according to their own rules.
Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher who lived in the 20th century. He is known for his emphasis on ontology (the study of being) and his critique of modern technology. Heidegger believed that individuals should strive to understand their own being and the fundamental nature of existence.
One of Heidegger’s most famous works is “Being and Time,” which explores themes such as authenticity, temporality, and death. In this work, Heidegger argues that individuals should embrace their own mortality and live in a way that is authentic to their own being.
In conclusion, while the founder of existentialism may be debated, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Martin Heidegger are considered the main philosophers who developed this movement. Each philosopher emphasized individuality, freedom, and choice in their works and contributed to the development of existentialist thought. Their ideas continue to influence philosophy today and provide a unique perspective on the human experience.