List of Existentialists

List Of Existentialists

Existentialism is a movement within Continental philosophy that developed in the late-19th and 20th centuries. As a loose philosophical school, some persons associated with Existentialism explicitly rejected the label (e.g. Martin Heidegger), and others are not remembered primarily as philosophers, but as writers (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) or theologians (Paul Tillich). It is related to several movements within Continental philosophy including Phenomenology, Nihilism, Absurdism and Post-modernism.

Name Lived Nationality Occupation Notes
Abbagnano, NicolaNicola Abbagnano 01901-07-15July 15, 1901 – September 9, 1990 Italy Philosopher Also associated with Neopositivism
Arendt, HannahHannah Arendt 01906-10-14October 14, 1906 – December 4, 1975 Germany Philosopher Also associated with Phenomenology, associate of Heidegger
Badawi, Abdel RahmanAbdel Rahman Badawi 01917-02-17February 17, 1917 – July 25, 2002 Egypt Philosopher
Barnes, HazelHazel Barnes 01915-12-16December 16, 1915 – March 18, 2008 United States Philosopher, author Translated Sartre into English
Barth, KarlKarl Barth 01886-05-10May 10, 1886 – December 10, 1968 Switzerland Theologian Founder of Neo-Orthodoxy
Berdyaev, NikolaiNikolai Berdyaev 01874-03-18March 18, 1874 – March 25, 1948 Russia Theologian, philosopher Christian Existentialist
Biko, SteveSteve Biko 01946-12-18December 18, 1946 – September 12, 1977 South Africa Activist
Buber, MartinMartin Buber 01878-02-08February 8, 1878 – June 13, 1965 Germany Theologian Worked with Rosenzweig
Bultmann, RudolfRudolf Bultmann 01884-08-20August 20, 1884 – July 30, 1976 Germany Theologian
Buzzati, DinoDino Buzzati 01906-10-16October 16, 1906 – January 28, 1972 Italy Author Also associated with magical realism
Camus, AlbertAlbert Camus 01913-11-27November 27, 1913 – January 4, 1960 France Philosopher, author Founded Les Temps modernes with de Beauvoir and Sartre; developer of the Absurdism
Carlyle, Jane WelshJane Welsh Carlyle 01801-07-14July 14, 1801 – April 21, 1866 United Kingdom Essayist Wife of Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, ThomasThomas Carlyle 01795-12-04December 4, 1795 – February 5, 1881 United Kingdom Author, historian Husband of Jane Welsh Carlyle
Cioran, EmilEmil Cioran 01911-04-08April 8, 1911 – June 20, 1995 Romania Philosopher, essayist Also associated with Pessimism
de Beauvoir, SimoneSimone de Beauvoir 01908-01-09January 9, 1908 – April 14, 1986 France Philosopher, anthropologist Founded Les Temps modernes with Camus and Sartre, carried on long-term collaboration with the latter
Davis, Walter A.Walter A. Davis 01942-11-09November 9, 1942 – United States Philosopher, playwright, cultural critic Author of Inwardness and Existence: Subjectivity in/and Hegel, Heidegger, Marx and Freud
Dostoyevsky, FyodorFyodor Dostoyevsky 01821-11-11November 11, 1821 – February 9, 1881 Russia Novelist Foundational figure of Existentialism
Earle, William A.William A. Earle 01919-01-011919 – October 16, 1988 United States Philosopher Also associated with Phenomenology, co-founded the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy with Wild and James M. Edie
Ellison, RalphRalph Ellison 01913-05-01May 1, 1913 – April 16, 1994 United States Novelist Wrote Invisible Man, associate of Wright
Fanon, FrantzFrantz Fanon 01925-07-20July 20, 1925 – December 6, 1961 France (Martinique), Algeria Philosopher, anthropologist, psychiatrist Also associated with Marxism
Flusser, VilémVilém Flusser 01920-05-12May 12, 1920 – November 17, 1991 Czechoslovakia Philosopher Also associated with Phenomenology
Fondane, BenjaminBenjamin Fondane 01898-11-14November 14, 1898 – October 2 or 3, 1944 Romania Author, poet, film director
Froude, James AnthonyJames Anthony Froude 01818-04-23April 23, 1818 – October 20, 1894 United Kingdom Historian
Girnius, JuozasJuozas Girnius 01915-01-011915–1994 Lithuania Philosopher Christian Existentialist
Gordon, LewisLewis Gordon 01962-01-011962–present United States Philosopher Also associated with Africana philosophy, Black Existentialism, and Phenomenology
Heidegger, MartinMartin Heidegger 01889-09-26September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976 Germany Philosopher Also associated with Phenomenology and Hermeneutics, associate of Arendt, rejected the label of "Existentialist"
Husserl, EdmundEdmund Husserl 01859-04-08April 8, 1859 – April 26, 1938 Austria, Germany Philosopher Founder of Phenomenology
Ionescu, NaeNae Ionescu 01890-06-16June 16, 1890 – March 15, 1940 Romania Philosopher, mathematician
James, WilliamWilliam James 01842-01-11January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910 United States Philosopher, psychologist Foundational figure of Pragmatism
Jaspers, KarlKarl Jaspers 01883-02-23February 23, 1883 – February 26, 1969 Germany Philosopher Also associated with Neo-Kantianism
Kafka, FranzFranz Kafka 01883-07-03July 3, 1883 – June 3, 1924 Austria–Hungary Novelist Foundational figure of Existentialism
Kaufmann, WalterWalter Kaufmann 01921-07-01July 1, 1921 – September 4, 1980 United States Philosopher Translated Buber and Nietzsche into English
Kierkegaard, SørenSøren Kierkegaard 01813-05-05May 5, 1813 – November 11, 1855 Denmark Theologian, philosopher, author Foundational figure of Existentialism, Christian Existentialist
Klíma, LadislavLadislav Klíma 01878-08-08August 8, 1878 – April 19, 1928 Czechoslovakia Philosopher, novelist Also associated with Subjective idealism
Levinas, EmmanuelEmmanuel Levinas 01906-01-12January 12, 1906 – December 25, 1995 France Philosopher, theologian Studied with Heidegger and Husserl
Park, James LeonardJames Leonard Park 01941-01-011941–present United States Philosopher
Macquarrie, JohnJohn Macquarrie 01919-06-27June 27, 1919 – May 28, 2007 United Kingdom Theologian Christian Existentialist
Mačernis, VytautasVytautas Mačernis 01921-06-05June 5, 1921 – October 7, 1944 Lithuania Poet
Marcel, GabrielGabriel Marcel 01889-12-07December 7, 1889 – October 8, 1973 France Theologian, philosopher Christian Existentialist
Merleau-Ponty, MauriceMaurice Merleau-Ponty 01908-03-14March 14, 1908 – May 3, 1961 France Philosopher Also associated with Phenomenology, associate of de Beauvoir and Sartre
Nietzsche, FriedrichFriedrich Nietzsche 01844-10-15October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900 Germany Philosopher Foundational figure of Existentialism, also associated with Nihilism
Ortega y Gasset, JoséJosé Ortega y Gasset 01883-05-09May 9, 1883 – October 18, 1955 Spain Philosopher Also associated with Perspectivism, Pragmatism, Vitalism, and Historicism
Petrov, ViktorViktor Petrov 01894-01-011894–1969 Ukraine Novelist, anthropologist
Rosenzweig, FranzFranz Rosenzweig 01887-12-26December 26, 1887 – December 10, 1929 Germany Theologian, philosopher Worked with Buber
Sartre, Jean-PaulJean-Paul Sartre 01905-06-21June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980 France Philosopher, novelist, activist Also associated with Marxism, co-founded Les Temps modernes with de Beauvoir and Camus
Shakra, AousAous Shakra 01908-04-22April 22, 1908 – April 1, 1992 Palestine Politician, philosopher
Shestov, LevLev Shestov 01866-01-31January 31, 1866 – November 19, 1938 Russia, France Philosopher Also associated with Irrationalism
Soloveitchik, Joseph B.Joseph B. Soloveitchik 01903-01-011903–1993 United States Rabbi
Tillich, PaulPaul Tillich 01886-08-20August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965 United States, Germany Theologian, philosopher Christian Existentialist
Turner, RickRick Turner 01942-01-011942–1978 South Africa Philosopher Also associated with Marxism, studied with Sartre
Unamuno, Miguel deMiguel de Unamuno 01864-09-29September 29, 1864 – December 31, 1936 Spain Novelist, essayist, dramatist, philosopher
Wild, John DanielJohn Daniel Wild 01902-04-10April 10, 1902 – October 23, 1972 United States Philosopher Originally associated with Empiricism, Realism, and Pragmatism; later associated with Phenomenology; co-founded the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy with Earle and James M. Edie
Wilson, ColinColin Wilson 01931-06-26June 26, 1931 – present United Kingdom Author Wrote The Outsider
Wright, RichardRichard Wright 01908-09-04September 4, 1908 – November 28, 1960 United States Author Associated with Black Existentialism, associate of Ellison
Zapffe, Peter WesselPeter Wessel Zapffe 01899-12-18December 18, 1899 – October 12, 1990 Norway Philosopher Founded biosophy

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