Difference in Absurdism & Existentialism


Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emerged in the 19th century as a response to dominant schools of thought. It emphasizes the importance of individual experiences in creating meaning in life. Absurdism, on the other hand, is often confused with existentialism but is a separate philosophy. While both philosophies have similarities, they also have distinct differences.


Existentialism is a prominent philosophical school of thought that centers around the concept of existence. Jean Sartre is one of the leading proponents of existentialism. It is difficult to define or explain existentialism, as it is better understood by rejecting other philosophies instead of considering it a branch of philosophy.

One key principle of existentialism is that existence precedes essence. This means that individuals are first and foremost conscious, independent thinkers and beings. Essence refers to the stereotypes and preconceived notions that we use to categorize individuals. Existentialists believe that people make conscious choices and determine the meaning and value of their lives. Individuals act out of their own free will and are responsible for their actions.


Absurdism emerged around the same time as Jean Paul Sartre, often associated with existentialism. However, it is a distinct philosophy. It originated from the writings of individuals involved in European existentialism and rejected certain aspects of existentialism.

The essay “The Myth of Sisyphus” by Albert Camus is considered the first authentic exposition of absurdism. Absurdism explores the idea that life is inherently meaningless and absurd. It emphasizes the contrast between human desire for meaning and the lack of inherent meaning in the world. Absurdism questions the search for objective meaning and the significance of personal meaning in the world.

Difference between Absurdism and Existentialism

– Absurdism arises from existentialism but is a separate school of thought.
– Existentialism places individual existence above all else, emphasizing the concept of existence before essence.
– Personal meaning of the world is fundamental in existentialism, whereas absurdism does not prioritize realizing personal meaning.
– While absurdism is considered to have emerged from existentialism, some view it as a component of existentialism.


1. Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes the importance of an individual’s experiences in determining the meaning of life.
2. Existentialism holds that humans have free will and are responsible for their own actions.
3. Absurdism is a separate school of thought that originated from existentialism and rejects some aspects of existentialism, such as the importance of personal meaning in the world.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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