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existentialism Line breaks: ex¦ist|en¦tial|ism
Pronunciation: /ɛɡzɪˈstɛnʃ(ə)lɪz(ə)m/

Definition of existentialism in English:


[mass noun]
A philosophical theory or approach which emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will.
Example sentences
  • As a philosopher she reacted to existentialism and logical positivism with a deep belief that philosophy should be about freedom and morality and love and God.
  • He published On Humanism, a letter to Beaufret in which he distanced his own philosophy from French existentialism.
  • The philosophy of existentialism affected and changed the attitude of the Western community to suicide greatly.


Translating Danish existents-forhold 'condition of existence' (frequently used by Kierkegaard), from existential.

Definition of existentialism in:
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