The Five Core Existentialist Themes

1005 Words5 Pages
1. What are the five core existentialist themes and how are they exemplified in the philosophy of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Camus?
The five core existentialists themes include: individualism and subjectivity; freedom and responsibility; existence and essence; anguish and absurdity; authenticity. Existentialism gets rid of the one-size-fits-all notion that philosophy revolved around in the prior years. Its individualism and subjectivity allows for each individual person to choose what is best for them when it comes to how to live. Existentialism gives people immense freedom. We are allowed to choose as we please. But, with choices comes responsibility; thus, we cannot blame others for our choices that come as a result of our unbounded freedom. Before existentialism, there was a preconceived notion that our existence dictates our essence. We are born into the roles that God assigns to us. Existentialists view it to be the other way around. It was a common them for existentialist philosophers to believe that we are born with a clean slate and we must fill that slate in. We exist before we make our essence. This sense of freedom although it may be liberating, it can also lead to feelings of anguish. Knowing that you are in charge of giving your life direction and meaning can make you feel a sense of absurdity. Thus, we are responsible to give it meaning. Another existentialist theme is to be authentic. You must choose your own path, if not then you are deemed
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