You've heard the term "existentialism," but what exactly does it mean? This short article from New Philosopher (Australia) looks to Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir to explain existentialism: http://www.newphilosopher.com/articles/you-are-your-life-and-nothing-else
"Standing on a cliff, a sense of disorientation and confusion cloud you. Not only are you afraid of falling, you also fear succumbing to the impulse of throwing yourself off. Nothing is holding you back. Dread, anxiety and anguish rise to the surface.
"Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard describes this as a case of “existential angst” because here, at the cliff face, you are experiencing your own freedom first-hand. You can do whatever you please – move forward into the yawning abyss or remain where you are. It’s up to you. The realisation that you have absolute freedom to decide the course of your life – jump or don’t jump – is as dizzying as vertigo, explains Kierkegaard, who suggests that we face the same anxiety in all of life’s choices. Every action we take is a choice, decided upon by us and no one else.
"Kierkegaard’s argument that life is a series of choices – and that these choices bring meaning (or not) to our life – is a cornerstone of existentialism. Rather than offloading the responsibility onto society or religion, each individual is solely responsible for making their life meaningful and living it authentically."
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