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existential
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existential
as in:  existential philosophy


It was a moment of existential angst when nothing made sense any more.
  relating to existentialism; a philosophical movement that assumes each person is free to determine what is essential in his/her existence rather than that being determined by a god and/or authority figures
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existential existentialism existentialist
Notes:
Existentialist belief is varied. All such beliefs stress the need for each individual to find their own way, but most stress that there is no rational way of finding it. Atheistic existentialists often stress isolation of the individual in a hostile or indifferent universe. Some stress life without meaning. Others stress loss of a shared morality, uninhibited exercise of power, and/or hedonism.

Existentialism is often associated with philosophers and writers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Jaspers, Marcel, Sartre, Camus, Dostoevsky and Kafka.
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Samples:
  • It was a moment of existential angst when nothing made sense any more.
  • Kierkegaard is widely regarded as the founder of modern existentialism.
  • In Notes from the Underground, Dostoyevsky expressed that Christian love can save humanity from the destruction of existentialism, but it cannot be understood rationally.
  • After yesterday’s Waiting for Godot disaster, Ezra’s next assignment had been for them to break up into groups and write their own existentialist plays.
    Sara Shepard  --  Pretty Little Liars

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  • I was beginning to think that I was the subject of some existentialist experiment in permanently delayed gratification when Dr. Maria showed up on Friday morning, sniffed around me for a minute, and told me I was good to go.
    John Green  --  The Fault in Our Stars
  • In the age of existentialism and thereafter, the story of lost children has been all the rage.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • Our little existentialist in the making.
    Ted Dekker  --  BoneMan’s Daughters
  • From the very first time he had undressed Amanda, fumbling his way in the darkness, tangled in the rags of her existentialist disguise, trembling with anticipation as he felt the protuberances and interstices that he had so often imagined without ever knowing them in all their splendid nakedness, he had assumed that she had sufficient experience to avoid making him a father at twenty-one and herself an unwed mother at twenty-five.
    Isabel Allende  --  The House of Spirits
  • Zayd (like most everyone in the three-hundred-seat lecture hall for Existentialism) thinks Reginster is about the coolest human being anywhere.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • And if we can manage a few closing comments on Sartre and Existentialism, our plan can be put into operation.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World

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  • Existentialist even.
    John Ringo  --  Live Free or Die
  • "But there you were, believing in nothing, grabbing whatever little kick came along, exactly like the rest—an ’existentialist,’ as my mother calls herself.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • Existentialist was another way of saying, "silly and out there."
    Sara Shepard  --  Pretty Little Liars
  • Because Kierkegaard became an existentialist and Marx became a materialist?
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • Existentialism, inspired by the Danish philosopher, flourished widely in the twentieth century.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • But we are going to concentrate on the French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre, who lived from 1905 to 1980.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • Lots movements are going off in all directions We’ll start with one very important direction, and that is existentialism.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • Existentialist philosophy has had radical significance for many people all over the world.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • His existentialism became especially popular in the forties, just after the war.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • You were going to talk about existentialism.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • Sartre said that ’existentialism is humanism.’
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • But Sartre’s allegiance was to what we might call an atheistic existentialism.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • Simone de Beauvoir attempted to apply existentialism to feminism.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • Existentialism also had a great influence on literature, from the forties to the present day, especially on drama.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • You mean the history of philosophy stops with Sartre and existentialism?
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • Hilde had been especially taken with what Alberto said about Sartre and existentialism.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • In examining how a person confronts the wholesale devastation wrought by disease, Camus can set his existentialist philosophy into motion in a fictional setting: the isolation and uncertainty caused by the disease, the absurdly random nature of infection, the despair felt by a doctor in the face of an unstoppable epidemic, the desire to act even while recognizing the pointlessness of action.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
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Associated words [difficulty]:   existential [5]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Philosophy, Classic Literature, Human Behavior, Logic & Reasoning
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