Definition of existentialism in English:

existentialism

noun

  • [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.

    • ‘I remember back in summer, when I was taking my course in existentialism, we discussed the topic of death.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The episode is heavy on action and detective work, light on philosophy and existentialism.’
    • ‘The non-Christian version of existentialism is attributable to Martin Heidegger and Jean Paul-Sartre.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The argument was directed at the individualist ontology of existentialism in favour of a more communitarian one.’
    • ‘Here, existentialism belied the positivist socio-political attitudes of the official regimes and motivated political opposition.’
    • ‘Although he is indeed a co-father of existentialism with Kierkegaard, for some reason he has not generally been acknowledged as such.’
    • ‘As much as fascism, Nietzsche foreshadowed modernism, existentialism and postmodernism.’
    • ‘Most of the words spoken seem like an abstract treatise on existentialism and determinism.’
    • ‘He read deeply on the subject of existentialism, having long conversations with Jean-Paul Sartre.’
    • ‘The next three chapters examine the religious existentialism of Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, and Nietzsche.’
    • ‘He is unable to escape, to articulate, or to textualize his experientially learned nascent existentialism.’
    • ‘How one might convert the insights of Sartre's existentialism into a guide for action, however, is not at all obvious.’
    • ‘It is full of those little moments of impotency, existentialism and half-baked philosophical epiphanies that happen to us all.’
    • ‘This time they look not to Judeo-Christian lore, but to Nietzsche and existentialism.’
    • ‘Marx may be described as a humanist, and in this century humanism has been given expression, in both secular and religious forms, in the philosophy of existentialism.’
    • ‘On the other hand, Sartre articulates the fundamental statement of existentialism in this way: life precedes what is of the essence.’
    • ‘Sartre's existentialism drew its immediate inspiration from the work of the German philosopher, Martin Heidegger.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

existentialism

/ɛɡzɪˈstɛnʃ(ə)lɪz(ə)m/