90 Existentialism Quotes from the Famous Philosophers

Existentialism is a philosophical movement and a way of thinking that evolved in the 19th century most notably among famous intellectuals such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Camus and Søren Kierkegaard Kierkegaard.

Existentialism is concerned with the human condition and the individual’s desire for meaning and authenticity in a complicated and unpredictable environment.


Top 10 Existentialism Quotes


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


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


There is scarcely any passion without struggle. ~ Albert Camus.


Existence precedes and rules essence. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre.


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.


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


The literal meaning of life is whatever you’re doing that prevents you from killing yourself. ~ Albert Camus.


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


Still, obviously, one can’t be sensible all the time. ~ Albert Camus.

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Famous Existentialism Quotes

The proof that the little prince existed is that he was charming, that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep. If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists. ~ Antoine De Saint-Exupéry.

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.


Try again. Fail again. Fail better. ~ Samuel Beckett.

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.

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.


I felt terror that if I stopped drinking I would never write again, because I needed that misery. I needed that edge. ~ Annie.


The existentialist says at once that man is anguish. ~ 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.

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

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


You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that. ~ Samuel Beckett.

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre.

Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre.

Inspiring Existentialism Quotes


Life begins on the other side of despair. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre.

I hate victims who respect their executioners. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre.

I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom. ~ Simone De Beauvoir.

One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion. ~ Simone De Beauvoir.


Art is an attempt to integrate evil. ~ Simone De Beauvoir.

Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying. ~ Simone De Beauvoir.

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

From the very beginning, existentialism defined itself as a philosophy of ambiguity. ~ Simon De Beauvoir.


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

If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him. ~ James Baldwin.

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


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

There is no reality except in action. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre.

Fascinating Existentialism Quotes

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

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.


I have no need for good souls: an accomplice is what I wanted. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre.

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

Youth ends when egotism does; maturity begins when one lives for others. ~ Hermann Hesse.

Society cares for the individual only so far as he is profitable. ~ Simone De Beauvoir.


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

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

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

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


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

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

Which of us has not felt that the character we are reading in the printed page is more real than the person standing beside us? ~ Cornelia Funke.

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


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

Motivational Existentialism Quotes

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.

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

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

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.


Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies. ~ Nietzsche.

When an individual is kept in a situation of inferiority, the fact is that he does become inferior. ~ Simone De Beauvoir.

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

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


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

Once you label me you negate me. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

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.

Best Existentialism Quotes

Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre.

Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.


Regarding life, the wisest men of all ages have judged alike: it is worthless. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. ~ Albert Camus.

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


Man is fully responsible for his nature and his choices. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre.

Defending the truth is not something one does out of a sense of duty or to allay guilt complexes, but is a reward in itself. ~ Simone De Beauvoir.


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

Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre.

Who can exhaust a man? Who knows a man’s resources? ~ Jean-Paul Sartre.

We are all born mad. Some remain so. ~ Samuel Beckett.


The time of death is uncertain, but death is certain. ~ Trudy.

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

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

In the face of an obstacle which is impossible to overcome, stubbornness is stupid. ~ Simone De Beauvoir.


Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order. ~ Samuel Beckett.

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

Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber. ~ Kurt Vonnegut.

A weird time in which we are alive. We can travel anywhere we want, even to other planets. And for what? To sit day after day, declining in morale and hope. ~ Philip K. Dick.


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

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

So these were the 90 top quotes about Existentialism.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other popular blog posts on the topics of Positive Mental Health quotes and Funny Shopping quotes.