Skip to Content

Examples of Existentialism in Philosophy

One of the classic examples of existentialism in philosophy is Waiting for Godot, a play by Samuel Beckett. In this work, Estragon, the main character, suggests that life is too short to waste time waiting for Godot to arrive. He uses the metaphor of freezing to suggest that human beings do not have time to wait around. Instead, they must take their own paths before it is too late.


There are many philosophical schools and sub-schools that embrace existentialist ideas, but few are more popular today. Existentialism is a stance that rejects the abstract theories and simplistic formulas that tend to obscure the reality of human experience. Rather than a universalistic theory of human existence, existentialists emphasize the individuality of the individual and the value of emotion. Ultimately, they believe that life is a process of discovery, and we cannot grasp it through a single theory.

The philosophical approach of existentialists emphasizes action, decision, and freedom, rather than universal principles. Existentialism believes that human freedom and responsibility is the only way to rise above the absurd state of our existence. It rejects all forms of determinism and the idea that we are destined to suffer. While these are incredibly broad-reaching and controversial concepts, they still represent the core of the philosophy.

An exemplar of existentialism is the book “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka. In this short story, Gregor awakens one day to find himself transformed into a giant bug. Gregor suffers an existential crisis and believes that his life has no meaning. For this reason, the writer describes life as a “frozen moment” and argues that human beings have little time to dwell on these feelings.

Existential dread

Whether you are a student of existentialism or not, you’ve probably read about existential dread. This state of mind is often described as a loss of hope, and it’s a reaction to the breakdown of one’s identity. For example, when someone invests himself or herself into being something, such as a singer, they may be in this state of dread.

Existentialists have identified and lived through a tension inherent in authentic existence. In the process, they may be unable to resolve the conflict between the animal and the rational. Nietzsche and Sartre, for example, emphasize this tension. Another major theme of existentialist philosophy is the tension between facticity and transcendence. The two concepts of transcendence are entwined in the existentialism tradition, but there’s no single, overarching theory that describes them.

Related Topic:  Free Will Philosophy

There are numerous examples of existential dread in literature and philosophy. In the 1950s, Sartre moved away from existentialism and towards philosophy. He did so to understand the possibility of revolutionary politics. For Nietzsche, the world is broken and the human being is not the cause of it. As a result, he rejected the determinism and materialism of modern society. There are no absolutes, but there are some absolutes, and existential dread is one of them.

Sartre and Camus were friends until they fell out. Both had written several existential works, including The Stranger. Camus rejected the label of existentialist, but thought his works aimed at confronting the absurd. Camus cited the Greek myth of Sisyphus to illustrate this point. Sisyphus, for example, is condemned to roll a rock up a hill, and this is a metaphor for our daily lives.

Existential anguish

What is existential anguish in philosophy? Existentialism is a philosophy that claims life has no meaning, but nevertheless, there is still freedom of choice and responsibility for our actions. An example of an existential anguish in philosophy is the man who stands at the cliff’s edge. In Kierkegaard’s classic example, he describes the feeling of angst as “the dizziness of freedom.”

In the early days of existentialism, existentialists did not necessarily believe in a deity. They believed that there was no ‘truth’ to life and that the only values humans had were those they felt they were entitled to. The world, to these existentialists, was so empty of meaning and order that humans were free to make the most horrible choices. However, the enlightened minds of today might not be so inclined.

The existence of man is inextricably bound up with the absurdity of human life. It is the absurdity of life and the stories that religion and philosophy have created to make sense of it that is alienating. Sartre’s phrase, “The Existence precedes the essence,” refers to the ambiguity of human existence before it is defined. This is a very powerful concept. This idea is essential to understanding what the meaning of life is.

Related Topic:  The Focus of Modern Philosophy

The existence of a deity or an object is a key feature of existential anguish. The lack of such a source of meaning makes it impossible to establish an objective moral law. For this reason, existentialists reject any notion of God or the existence of God’s “guarantor.” In addition to this, the absence of a God or an objectivity in human existence results in abandonment.

Existential crisis

The existential crisis is a psychological episode in which a person asks, “What is the meaning of life?” The term first appeared in the written record in the 1930s, as Jews were facing the threat of the Nazi regime. Later, existential crisis became an adjective that referred to a person’s internal conflict over existence. Increasingly, existential crisis has become a focus of mental-health research.

As an irrational reaction to the prevailing philosophical theory, existentialists have found it impossible to explain their own crisis, citing the historical, political and social context of their own existence. The collapse of twentieth-century European history and the political turmoil of the post-communist period ushered in the rise of existentialist philosophy. Authenticity, or a sense of meaninglessness, must be derived from the way a person lives his life, and this can only be achieved through the authenticity of human behavior.

A person’s existential crisis may occur during a life transition. They may be moving from childhood to adulthood or from adulthood to senior living, for example. They may also be experiencing a major life event such as divorce or death. Whatever the reason, an existential crisis can be a powerful motivating force to make changes. The mind set that an individual uses to overcome this crisis is very important. When the individual is struggling with a life transition, it’s important to keep in mind that overcoming an existential crisis will not be an easy task.

Existential response to nihilism

There are a number of ways to respond to nihilism, and the existential response to nihilism is an example of this. One approach is to define existence before defining essence, which goes back to Ancient Greek philosophy. According to Aristotle, essence is a characteristic set of attributes that is associated with a thing. A boat, for example, has a sailing function, while a knife has a cutting function.

Related Topic:  Philosophy of Nursing Examples

The existential response to nihilism is often linked to the modern crisis. Its proponents point to the implications of the work of Copernicus, Newton, and Darwin as evidence of the inevitability of the universe. For example, they say that in a lawful universe, there is no need for a god. This idea makes religion and faith irrelevant, and consigns the religious view to the trash heap.

In the twentieth century, philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche warned against the dangers of nihilism, warning that the highest human values would eventually destroy them. A key argument against this view is that if we have no meaning in life, then we will be lost. Therefore, the highest values in life will eventually be useless. Nietzsche believed that the only true value is a sense of amor fati.

Existential response to Heidegger

Heidegger argues that the most original thought about existence comes from wisdom and that man’s conception of a savior among the centuries is its biggest enemy. Similarly, death is the most original form of Existence, which threatens the entire universe. This in turn leaves man terminally affected by destruction and death. Ultimately, this response is a form of anti-semitism.

Heidegger uses the example of a workman, a stone, and a table to illustrate the idea that anything accessible to humans can be related to it. For example, the workman is a workman, because the stone is relevant to all of the work that he performs. This workman is also Dasein, because without existence, the table and the stone would not exist. The table is an object that he does not have any distance from, but is entangled with the state or entity it is associated with.

Similarly, the existentialist says that existence is a projection, and that this projection carries risk, limitation, and renunciation. The act of projection is the ultimate act of inauthenticity, and that the descent from person to thing is a necessary part of being human. This is why a person cannot be a mere thing, and an existence without a body cannot be a true experience.