53+ Best Existentialism Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Existentialism is a system of ideas made famous by Jean Paul Sartre in the 1940s in which the world has no meaning and each person is alone and completely responsible for their own actions, by which they make their own character. Profoundly inspirational existentialism quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

If you’re searching for positive philosophy quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of profound ethics quotes, amazing nihilism quotes and top Taoism quotes.

Famous Existentialism Quotes

Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal. Jean-Paul Sartre

Try again. Fail again. Fail better. Samuel Beckett

There is scarcely any passion without struggle. Albert Camus

I can’t go on, I’ll go on. Samuel Beckett

Let us do something, while we have the chance!…Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for one the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! Samuel Beckett

The world is, of course, nothing but our conception of it. Anton Chekhov

We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing. Charles Bukowski

No shepherd and one herd! Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse. Friedrich Nietzsche

existentialism quotes

We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact. Jean-Paul Sartre

I took a test in Existentialism. I left all the answers blank and got 100. Woody Allen

The road to creativity passes so close to the madhouse and often detours or ends there. Ernest Becker

Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level. Ernest Becker

Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance. Jean-Paul Sartre

We fear death, we shudder at life’s instability, we grieve to see the flowers wilt again and again, and the leaves fall, and in our hearts, we know that we, too, are transitory and will soon disappear. When artists create pictures and thinkers search for laws and formulate thoughts, it is in order to salvage something from the great dance of death, to make something last longer than we do. Hermann Hesse

There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it. Richard Dawkins

From the very beginning, existentialism defined itself as a philosophy of ambiguity. Simone de Beauvoir

The rightful claim to dissent is an existential right of the individual. Friedrich Durrenmatt

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Existentialism does not offer to the reader the consolations of an abstract evasion: existentialism proposes no evasion. On the contrary, its ethics is experienced in the truth of life, and it then appears as the only proposition of salvation which one can address to men. Simone de Beauvoir

What I really need is to get clear about what I must do, not what I must know, except insofar as knowledge must precede every act. What matters is to find a purpose, to see what it really is that God wills that I shall do; the crucial thing is to find a truth which is truth for me, to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die. Søren Kierkegaard

There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point? The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it. Richard Dawkins

He was free, free in every way, free to behave like a fool or a machine, free to accept, free to refuse, free to equivocate; to marry, to give up the game, to drag this death weight about with him for years to come. He could do what he liked, no one had the right to advise him, there would be for him no Good or Evil unless he thought them into being. Jean-Paul Sartre

The crucial thing is to find a truth which is truth for me, to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die. Søren Kierkegaard

Inspirational Existentialism Quotes

In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true is true or becomes true, within certain limits to be found experientially and experimentally. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended. In the network’s mind there are no limits. John C. Lilly

A freedom which is interested only in denying freedom must be denied. And it is not true that the recognition of the freedom of others limits my own freedom: to be free is not to have the power to do anything you like; it is to be able to surpass the given toward an open future; the existence of others as a freedom defines my situation and is even the condition of my own freedom. I am oppressed if I am thrown into prison, but not if I am kept from throwing my neighbor into prison. Simone De Beauvoir

To assume that one’s existential task is completed when the individual is brought into right relation with society, that is, when the individual has been socialized, is to absolutize society and confuse society with God. Merold Westphal

Knowledge of that which concerns us infinitely is possible only in an attitude of infinite concern. Paul Tillich

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. Carl Sagan

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. Umberto Eco

It’s not always easy to distinguish between existentialism and a bad mood. Matthew Woodring Stover

Remember, no matter where you go, there you are. Confucius

All human actions are equivalent and all are on principle doomed to failure. Jean-Paul Sartre

Today, however, we are having a hard time living because we are so bent on outwitting death. Simone de Beauvoir

You are free and that is why you are lost. Franz Kafka

Struggle is what it means to be alive and free. David Budbill

Remember that no man loses any other life than this which he now lives, nor lives any other than this which he now loses. Marcus Aurelius

Smooth and smiling faces everywhere, but ruin in their eyes. Jean-Paul Sartre

The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence. Woody Allen

If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life – and only then will I be free to become myself. Martin Heidegger

If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it. Any other form of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life. Charles Bukowski

Do you think that i count days? There is one one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk. Jean-Paul Sartre

Hell is other people. Jean-Paul Sartre

When the rich wage war, it is the poor that die. Jean-Paul Sartre

A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost. Jean-Paul Sartre

Commitment is an act, not a word. Jean-Paul Sartre

I know of only one duty, and that is to love. Albert Camus

It is necessary to fall in love… if only to provide an alibi for all the random despair you are going to feel anyway. Albert Camus

I have crossed the seas, I have left cities behind me, and I have followed the source of rivers towards their source or plunged into forests, always making for other cities. I have had women, I have fought with men ; and I could never turn back any more than a record can spin in reverse. And all that was leading me where ? To this very moment… Nausea

I am going to outlive myself. Eat, sleep, sleep, eat. Exist slowly, softly, like these trees, like a puddle of water, like the red bench in the streetcar. Nausea

We do not judge the people we love. Jean-Paul Sartre

Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth. Jean-Paul Sartre

It is only in our decisions, that we are important. Jean-Paul Sartre

Words are loaded pistols. Jean-Paul Sartre

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