3 Core Principles of Existentialist Philosophy

Saga Foss

January 27, 2023

3 Core Principles of Existentialist Philosophy

Existentialism is a type of philosophy that focuses on human existence. It has influenced many different people, including philosophers such as Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir. In this article, we’ll discuss the three core principles of this type of philosophy.


Soren Kierkegaard, known as “the father of Existentialism,” has been a major influence on twentieth-century philosophers. His philosophy is both radical and practical. He believed that human beings achieve their greatest purpose through a relationship with God.

Kierkegaard believed that certain ways of living were superior to others. This philosophy was a reaction to German idealism. In his writings, Kierkegaard outlined three distinct phases of the human life cycle.

The first, or Aesthetic Sphere, is essentially hedonistic. The individual is chiefly interested in pleasure. However, it also includes those who value higher values. Those who live in the Aesthetic Sphere are usually at the top of their game.

The second, or Religious Sphere, is the place where the individual develops their most significant spiritual experience. The individual learns about himself through his relationship with God.

The third, or the Ethical Sphere, is the place where an individual learns to live a moral life. It is the most important phase of a human’s life.


Jean-Paul Sartre is a French writer whose life and works explored existential issues. Throughout his career, he was involved in a series of major cultural events and historical developments. He was particularly interested in how people are objectified by others. In addition, his philosophy made significant contributions to existentialist philosophy.

One of the most important aspects of Sartre’s existentialism is his emphasis on the concept of “being”. It was in the context of being in existence that he outlined some of their core ideas.

The first of these is the aforementioned notion of “being.” According to Sartre, being is the a priori conception of the essence. Being is what it is and what it is not.

While the concept of being is certainly a powerful one, it isn’t the only one. For example, several other important concepts are worth mentioning. Some of them are the formal philosophical aspects of existentialism.

First, there is a sense of total contingency that Sartre explores. Secondly, there is the aforementioned notion of the ‘Other.’ These two concepts are the basis of Sartre’s most famous essay, The Emotions: Outline of a Theory.


Existentialist philosophy, inspired by such figures as Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Soren Kierkegaard, is a movement that seeks to analyze the human experience. Its main goal is to understand how concrete experiences are transformed into something more complex. Some of the most important existentialist concepts are individuality, freedom, ambiguity, and risk.

In his work, Maurice Merleau-Ponty argued that the world is a complex and multidimensional reality. He argued against the traditional dualism of mind and body. His phenomenological analyses are still highly relevant in contemporary culture.

Merleau-Ponty’s ontology has been divided into two periods. The first period of his career was in the 1930s. This was during his education at the Ecole Normale Superieure. After this, he became a teacher at the Sorbonne and a chair of child psychology.

The second period of his career was in the 1940s. During this time, Merleau-Ponty devoted his attention to developing a radical re-description of embodied experience. During this time, he wrote two major texts. One is called “The Visible and the Invisible” and the other is called “Phenomenology of Perception.”

Merleau-Ponty argues against the dichotomy between the mind and the body. He suggests that the body is an object. Although he is sympathetic to the notion of a sense of sentience, he denies the idea of a pre-reflective cogito.

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir is a French philosopher and feminist who made important contributions to the field of philosophy. She wrote in an atheist-humanist framework. During her 78 years of life, she produced a wide range of literary works. These include a novella, a collection of essays, a treatise on sexuality, and a book on ethics.

Simone de Beauvoir is known for her philosophical, social, and feminist writing. She contributed to the development of existentialism and was a long-time companion of Jean-Paul Sartre. They also shared a complex relationship that impacted their academic lives.

Her book, La Vieillesse, is an intellectual meditation on the decline of old age. In it, she explores the influence of ideology on human existence. While it deals with a variety of topics, one of its central concerns is the construction of gender by men. Essentially, it argues that men are superior to women because of their ability to elevate themselves. This construct has resulted in women being treated as inferior creatures.