Existentialism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "existentialism" Showing 1-30 of 1,081
Richard Dawkins
“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 God Delusion

Cornelia Funke
“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

Albert Camus
“Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

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

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

Albert Camus
“There is scarcely any passion without struggle.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Samuel Beckett
“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Samuel Beckett

Albert Camus
“I rebel; therefore I exist.”
Albert Camus

Umberto Eco
“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, Foucault's Pendulum

Friedrich Nietzsche
“One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Samuel Beckett
“I can't go on, I'll go on.”
Samuel Beckett, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On: A Samuel Beckett Reader

Albert Camus
“Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été.”
Albert Camus

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

Betty Friedan
“Each suburban wife struggles with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night- she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question-- 'Is this all?”
Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique

Jean-Paul Sartre
“Life has no meaning a priori… It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose.”
Jean-Paul Sartre

David Eagleman
“There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.”
David M. Eagleman, Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

Christopher Hitchens
“About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about?

Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don't believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart's content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless' except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“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, The Little Prince

Jean-Paul Sartre
“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

Hermann Hesse
“Youth ends when egotism does; maturity begins when one lives for others.”
Hermann Hesse, Gertrude

Philip K. Dick
“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, The Man in the High Castle

Mark Haddon
“I want my name to mean me.”
Mark Haddon (Author), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Friedrich Nietzsche
“Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.”
Nietzsche

Jean-Paul Sartre
“Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.”
Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism and Human Emotions

Albert Camus
“The literal meaning of life is whatever you're doing that prevents you from killing yourself.”
Albert Camus

Albert Camus
“After awhile you could get used to anything.”
Albert Camus, The Stranger

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

Jean-Paul Sartre
“Il n'y a de réalité que dans l'action.

(There is no reality except in action.)”
Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism

Ernest Becker
“Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level.”
Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death

Simone de Beauvoir
“Regardless of the staggering dimensions of the world about us, the density of our ignorance, the risks of catastrophes to come, and our individual weakness within the immense collectivity, the fact remains that we are absolutely free today if we choose to will our existence in its finiteness, a finiteness which is open on the infinite. And in fact, any man who has known real loves, real revolts, real desires, and real will knows quite well that he has no need of any outside guarantee to be sure of his goals; their certitude comes from his own drive.”
Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity

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