- 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.
Origin: French existentialisme ; from existenciel
- existentialist adjective, noun
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- exˌis·tenˈtial·ist adjective & n.
existentialism - Cultural Definition
A movement in twentieth-century literature and philosophy, with some forerunners in earlier centuries. Existentialism stresses that people are entirely free and therefore responsible for what they make of themselves. With this responsibility comes a profound anguish or dread. Søren Kierkegaard and Feodor Dostoyevsky in the nineteenth century, and Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, and Albert Camus in the twentieth century, were existentialist writers.