79+ 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 characterProfoundly 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

My favorite word is existentialism. I can’t say it and I’m not quite sure what it means. – Geri Halliwell

No one can advise and help you, no one. There is only one way: go within. – Rainer Maria Rilke

Death is a continuation of my life without me… – Jean-Paul Sartre

Plays are always about intense relationships, whether they’re intense love relationships or family relationships or existential relationships. – David Ives

There is no human nature, since there is no god to conceive it. – Jean-Paul Sartre

Why are there beings at all, instead of Nothing? – Martin Heidegger

Our responsibility is much greater than we might have supposed, because it involves all mankind. – Jean-Paul Sartre

This characteristic of Dasein’s being this that it is is veiled in its whence and whither. – Martin Heidegger

One always dies too soon or too late. And yet, life is there, finished: the line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life. – Jean-Paul Sartre

All your life you live so close to truth, it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye, and when something nudges it into outline it is like being ambushed by a grotesque. – Tom Stoppard

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

I want to leave, to go somewhere where I should be really in my place, where I would fit in . . . but my place is nowhere; I am unwanted. – Jean-Paul Sartre

One must have at least a readiness to love the other person, broadly speaking, if one is to be able to understand him. – Rollo May

Words are loaded pistols. – Jean-Paul Sartre

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

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. – Carl Sagan

We do not pray for immortality, but only not to see our acts and all things stripped suddenly of all their meaning; for then it is the utter emptiness of everything reveals itself. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I am no longer sure of anything. If I satiate my desires, I sin but I deliver myself from them; if I refuse to satisfy them, they infect the whole soul. – Jean-Paul Sartre

To eat is to appropriate by destruction. – Jean-Paul Sartre

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

It is here that we encounter the central theme of existentialism: to live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering. – Viktor E. Frankl

I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating. – 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. – Soren Kierkegaard

the best existential analysis of the human condition leads directly into the problems of God and faith – Ernest Becker

Il n’y a de réalité que dans l’action. (There is no reality except in action.) – Jean-Paul Sartre

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

We can regard our life as a uselessly disturbing episode in the blissful repose of nothingness. – Arthur Schopenhauer

You look up when you wish to be exalted. And I look down because I am exalted. – Friedrich Nietzsche

I suppose if we couldn’t laugh at things that don’t make sense, we couldn’t react to a lot of life. – Bill Watterson

Apparently there is no profit in the unique, or not enough to make it worthwhile to preserve. Ultimately it drains the life out of us, and existentialism starts to make more and more sense. – Lewis Black

Nothingness haunts Being. – Jean-Paul Sartre

Everything is true, and nothing is true! – Albert Camus

Let us beware of saying that death is the opposite of life. The living being is only a species of the dead, and a very rare species. – Friedrich Nietzsche

The existential attitude is one of involvement in contrast to a merely theoretical or detached attitude. Existential in this sense can be defined as participating in a situation, especially a cognitive situation, with the whole of one’s existence. – Paul Tillich

But how could you live and have no story to tell? – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Life might just be an absurd, even crude, chain of events and nothing more. – Haruki Murakami

I think living in our culture right now, there’s a universal experience where we feel like we become what we do. Sometimes that’s rewarding and sometimes that creates an existential crisis. – Mike White

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

Don’t you feel the same way? When I cannot see myself, even though I touch myself, I wonder if I really exist. – Jean-Paul Sartre

Indeed, compulsive and rigid moralism arises in given persons precisely as the result of a lack of sense of being. Rigid moralism is a compensatory mechanism by which the individual persuades himself to take over the external sanctions because he has no fundamental assurance that his own choices have any sanction of their own – Rollo May

In the consciousness of the truth he has perceived, man now sees everywhere only the awfulness or the absurdity of existence and loathing seizes him. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Time is too large, it can’t be filled up. Everything you plunge into it is stretched and disintegrates. – Jean-Paul Sartre

One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Existentialism isn’t so atheistic that it wears itself out showing that God doesn’t exist. Rather, it declares that even if God did exist, that would change nothing. – Fyodor Dostoevsky

if we possess a why of life we can put up with almost any how. – Friedrich Nietzsche

One is still what one is going to cease to be and already what one is going to become. One lives one’s death, one dies one’s life. – Jean-Paul Sartre

I rebel; therefore I exist. – Albert Camus

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light. – Stanley Kubrick

I dropped out of high school when I was 16, after I had a huge argument with my English teacher over the meaning of the word ‘existentialism.’ – Craig Ferguson

I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. – Albert Camus

I mistrust all systematizers and avoid them. the will to a system is a lack of integrity. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Existentialism is the kind of philosophy that makes for legendary children. – Norman Mailer

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

He that humbleth himself wishes to be exalted. – Friedrich Nietzsche

It is interesting to note how many of the great scientific discoveries begin as myths. – Rollo May

All of the things I used to obsess over, I’m no longer as obsessed with. I have new concerns but they’re a little more existential or cosmic. – Josh Radnor

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

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

Although the most acute judges of the witches and even the witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchery, the guilt nevertheless was non-existent. It is thus with all guilt. – Friedrich Nietzsche

There is scarcely any passion without struggle. – Albert Camus

The price of a work of art has nothing to do with what the work of art is, can do, or is worth on an existential, alchemical level. – Jerry Saltz

Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant. – Joan Didion

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

When we are dealing with human beings, no truth has reality by itself; it is always dependent upon the reality of the immediate relationship. – Rollo May

One thought-murder a day keeps the psychiatrist away. – Saul Bellow

Mystical explanations are thought to be deep; the truth is that they are not even shallow. – Friedrich Nietzsche

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

When we see life, we call it beautiful. When we see death, we call it ugly. But it is more beautiful still to see oneself living at great speed, right up to the moment of death. – Jean Genet

The point is there ain’t no point. – Cormac McCarthy

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

Uncertainty is the normal state. – Tom Stoppard

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

This work is an attempt to understand the time I live in. – Albert Camus

Whoever despises himself nonetheless respects himself as one who despises. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Dasein is a being that does not simply occur among other beings. Rather it is ontically distinguished by the fact that in its being this being is concerned about its very being. Thus it is constitutive of the being of Dasein to have, in its very being, a relation of being to this being. – Martin Heidegger

Existentialism means that no one else can take a bath for you. – Delmore Schwartz

It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason. – Blaise Pascal

I just look around and say, I’m a mess. I don’t know why I do things. – Mike Tyson

The single biggest existential threat that’s out there, I think, is cyber. – Michael Mullen

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