- Existentialism is defined as a philosophical theory that focuses on free will and personal responsibility.
A philosophical theory focusing on free will is an example of existentialism.
a philosophical and literary movement, variously religious and atheistic, stemming from Kierkegaard and represented by Sartre, Heidegger, etc.: it is based on the doctrine that concrete, individual existence takes precedence over abstract, conceptual essence and holds that human beings are totally free and responsible for their acts and that this responsibility is the source of their feelings of dread and anguish
Origin of existentialismFrench existentialisme ; from existenciel
A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.
- (philosophy, not countable) A twentieth-century philosophical movement emphasizing the uniqueness of each human existence in freely making its self-defining choices.
- The heyday of existentialism occurred in the mid-twentieth century.
- (philosophy, countable) The philosophical views of a particular thinker associated with the existentialist movement.
- Sartre's existentialism is atheistic, but the existentialism of Marcel is distinctly Christian.