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The Existentialist View of Freedom

In the world of philosophy, few concepts are as captivating and thought-provoking as freedom. From the existentialist perspective, freedom is not a social or a political construct but an intellectual, existential condition that defines us. Rooted in the belief that individuals are responsible for creating their own meaning in life, existentialism offers a unique perspective through which we can examine the nature of freedom. Throughout this blog post, we will delve into the existentialist view of freedom, exploring its core tenets, implications, and the impact it can have on our day-to-day lives.

Beyond the absence of constraints, existentialism challenges the typical, generalised notion of freedom. Instead, it implies that true freedom lies in the recognition of our inherent responsibility to make the choices that will shape our existence moving forward. According to existentialist thinkers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, ‘’we are condemned to be free’’, meaning that we are burdened with the weight of our choices and the consequences that may arise. Existential freedom is not a passive state, but an active engagement with the world’s people and possibilities. It involves embracing the ambiguity of life and our arbitrary successes and failures. It also involves acknowledging that we are not predetermined beings with our lives meticulously planned from birth. We are constantly evolving individuals. This freedom is not without its challenges as it demands that we confront the anxiety and apprehension that arise from our personal awareness of our own mortality and the vastness of possibilities before us that we will only get a chance to see during this lifetime.

For existentialists, freedom is tied to the concept of authenticity. To be truly free, one must live in accordance with their own values, beliefs, and their individual desires, rather than conforming to generalised societal expectations and influences. Authenticity requires a deep introspection and a willingness to confront the complexities and self-inflicted contradictions we bestow upon ourselves. In the pursuit of authenticity, existentialists advocate for the fundamentals of self-awareness and deep reflection. By pondering over our values, fears, motivations, likes, loves, and hatreds, we can get in touch with our true selves and make choices that cause us to think about our idiosyncrasies. The process of self-discovery is not without its challenges as it will mean breaking away from the ordinariness of today’s society, questioning beliefs you already have and embracing the discomfort of uncertainty.

There is a duality in existence. Existentialist freedom is inseparable from the concept of responsibility. Freedom comes with the weight of choice, where we are responsible for the consequences of our actions and words. Existentialists argue that we cannot escape this responsibility, as even the act of not choosing is, in itself, a choice. The responsibility can be both daunting but still liberating. It empowers us to create meaning within our lives and to shape it in a way that we want to live it. It also creates a certain feeling of anxiety when we are faced with choices, however existentialists argue that it is through embracing responsibility that we can find pure fulfilment.

The existentialist view of freedom challenges us to transcend the traditional understanding of freedom as an absence of constraints. You are limitless. It invites us to embrace responsibility and the full-time job that is just existing as a human. By choosing authenticity, confronting our fears, and accepting the importance and consequences of our choices, we can voyage on an expedition of self-discovery and create a life that we envision as our own. In this endless horizon of existential freedom, we hold the power to shape our existence and find meaning in a world that often seems drained of it. What does the world mean to you? What is your purpose? It could be to raise children, to see the world, to help people and animals, to make someone else’s day. Whatever it is that makes you, you, capture that essence and radiate it.




Nov 11, 2023

absolutely fantastic, impeccable and outstanding. Most certainly a re-read on numerous occasions. Truly brilliant and thoroughly enjoy the mental stimulation given by your writings…. WOW 😊


Leianne Davies
Leianne Davies
Nov 11, 2023

Amazingly written, insightful, thought provoking piece of excellence ❤️

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