Overview of Existentialism

Existentialism is a philosophical theory characterized by a search for the meaning of existence/being. The norm of authenticity (Crowell, 2010) is the governing norm in this search. The considered aspects of existence are several: the problematic character of the human situation, the phenomena of this situation, the intersubjectivity that is inherent in existence, the general meaning of Being, and the therapeutic value of existential analysis (Abbagnano, 2014).


The key philosophical problem is the nature of human condition (Burnham, Papandreopoulos), and because the world is irrational and absurd the individual has to choose how to live in it (Moore, Bruder, 2011, 152). The humans have to direct their existence towards authenticity.

Abbagnano, Nicola. 2014. "Existentialism." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica.
Burnaham, Douglas and Papandreopoulos, George. www.iep.utm/existent/
Crowell, Steven, "Existentialism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .
Moore, Brooke Noel, and Kenneth Bruder. 2011. Philosophy, the Power of Ideas. Eighth ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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