Existentialism Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old existentialism quotes, existentialism sayings, and existentialism proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


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

Friedrich Durrenmatt

I'm trying to use the language of today to express a general existential crisis that I think the world and I are going through.      

Sean Lennon

I walk around feeling a sort of existential guilt all the time; and honestly for me this house is a way of feeling less guilty about the universe.      

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

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

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

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

Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.     

Jean-Paul Sartre

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

Friedrich Nietzsche

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

Ernest Becker

Human freedom involves our capacity to pause between the stimulus and response and, in that pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight. The capacity to create ourselves, based upon this freedom, is inseparable from consciousness or self-awareness     

Rollo May

man is free, in so far as he has the power of contradicting himself and his essential nature. Man is free even from his freedom; that is, he can surrender his humanity.     

Paul Tillich

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

Man is not what he believes himself to be in his conscious decisions     

Paul Tillich

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

Life begins on the other side of despair.     

Jean-Paul Sartre

Dying is not romantic, and death is not a game which will soon be over.Guildenstern     

Unknown Author

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

Carl Sagan

You are free and that is why you are lost.     

Franz Kafka

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.      

Soren Kierkegaard

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

Friedrich Nietzsche

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

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.     

Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed     

Friedrich Nietzsche

As soon as there will exist for everyone a margin of real freedom beyond the production of life, Marxism will have lived out its span; a philosophy of freedom will take its place. But we have no means, no intellectual instrument, no concrete experience which allow us to conceive of this freedom or of this philosophy.     

Jean-Paul Sartre

Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.     

Wendell Berry

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Struggle is what it means to be alive and free.     

David Budbill

Maturity is achieved when a person accepts life as full of tension.     

Joshua Loth Liebman

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

Unknown Author

All human actions are equivalent and all are on principle doomed to failure.     

Jean-Paul Sartre