Why Is Existentialism a Humanism?


Martha Robinson

Existentialism is a philosophical concept that has gained immense popularity in recent times. It is a philosophy that primarily focuses on the individual’s experience and freedom, and it has been described by many as a way of life. The concept of existentialism was born out of the need to explore the human experience and to understand the meaning and purpose of life.

What is Existentialism?

Existentialism is a philosophy that originated in the 20th century. According to existentialists, life has no inherent meaning or purpose.

It is up to every individual to create their own meaning and purpose in life. The central idea behind existentialism is that humans are free individuals who must take responsibility for their lives and actions.

Why Is Existentialism a Humanism?

Existentialism is often referred to as a humanistic philosophy because it emphasizes the significance of human beings. Existentialists believe that humans are unique individuals who have the ability to shape their own lives, regardless of external circumstances.

At its core, existentialism promotes personal freedom and autonomy. It encourages individuals to embrace their unique qualities, embrace their fears, take risks, and live life authentically. This philosophy allows individuals to recognize their full potential while also accepting responsibility for their lives.

The Four Main Themes of Existentialism

There are four main themes associated with existentialism:

  • Freedom: Individuals must take responsibility for creating their own lives.
  • Authenticity: Individuals must be true to themselves.
  • Anxiety: Individuals must confront their fears head-on.
  • Death: Death is an inevitable part of life that must be accepted.

The Benefits of Embracing Existentialist Philosophy

Existentialism provides individuals with a sense of purpose and meaning in life. It allows individuals to recognize their freedom and to take responsibility for their lives. This philosophy encourages individuals to embrace their unique qualities and to live life authentically.

In addition, existentialism promotes personal growth by encouraging individuals to confront their fears and anxieties. By facing these emotions head-on, individuals can grow and develop into better versions of themselves.

The Criticisms of Existentialism

Despite its many benefits, existentialism is not without its criticisms. Some argue that it promotes a sense of isolation and loneliness by emphasizing the individual over the collective. Others argue that it is too focused on the negative aspects of life, such as death and anxiety.

However, proponents of existentialism argue that its focus on personal freedom and responsibility ultimately leads to a sense of community. By recognizing our individuality, we can better understand and appreciate others.


Existentialism is a humanistic philosophy that emphasizes the importance of individual freedom and responsibility. It provides individuals with a sense of purpose and meaning in life while also promoting personal growth and development. Although it has its critics, existentialism remains a popular philosophy that continues to shape our understanding of the human experience.