Existentialism: Definition, History, Characteristics & Examples


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question 1 of 3

Which of the following is true about existentialism?

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1. Which of the following is a characteristic of existentialism?

2. From an existentialist viewpoint, what does it mean for existence to be absurd?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Existentialism marked a break with past philosophical traditions that tried to explain the meaning of life and the definition of an ethical existence. This quiz/worksheet combo will help you measure your understanding of the factors that led to the emergence of existentialism and the characteristics of this broad school of thought.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments, you'll be tested on:

  • Existentialism's view of a shared sense of morality
  • The role and responsibility of the individual in existentialist thought
  • The existentialist concept of authenticity
  • Existentialism's definition of absurdity
  • Existentialist themes in literature

Skills Practiced

This quiz and worksheet will allow students to test the following skills:

  • Reading comprehension- ensure that you understand the view of human existence in existentialism
  • Making connections - use your knowledge of existentialism to analyze the works of major literary figures who were part of this movement
  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast the existentialist view of individual existence with the concepts in earlier philosophical movements

Additional Learning

To learn more, review the accompanying lesson on the history and characteristics of existentialism. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • The historical context that led to the rise of existentialism
  • Existentialism's challenge to earlier philosophical views of existence
  • The plight of the individual in existentialist thought
  • The portrayal of existentialist concepts in literature
  • Existentialism's vision of the absurdity of human existence