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Existentialism: Being and Nothingness

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For Existentialist and Phenomenological philosophy, literature, art, and discussion.

Required Reading: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Existentialism


  1. Posts and top-level comments should reference existential thinkers, existential ideas, or make an original philosophical argument related to existentialism or phenomenology. "I'm sad about my life because there is no meaning" is not allowed but "I think if I had the choice to live my life over and over again the same way for eternity, I would prefer not to" is allowed since it references Nietzsche's Eternal Return.

  2. Posts that are purely about self-help are not allowed and will be removed. The "existential crisis" is often an important part of Existentialist philosophy but it is not in itself philosophical. If you can connect a personal existential crisis to existential philosophy or literature, you can post about it here. If you can't, try /r/ExistentialSupport, /r/offmychest, /r/self, /r/existential, or /r/confession.

  3. Replies to comments can be jokes or things unrelated to Existentialism (but comments that truly add to the discussion are more valuable.)

  4. No rude or hateful language. Especially nothing racist or sexist. Such language will result in a ban.

Recommended Reading

Existentialist Fiction:
  • The Stranger - Albert Camus
  • The Plague - Albert Camus
  • The Fall - Albert Camus
  • A Happy Death - Albert Camus
  • Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Notes from the Underground - Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Trial - Franz Kafka
  • The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
  • Nausea - Jean-Paul Sartre
  • No Exit and Three Other Plays - Jean-Paul Sartre
  • All Men are Mortal - Simone de Beauvoir
Existentialist Nonfiction:
  • Fear and Trembling - Søren Kierkegaard
  • Either/Or: A Fragment of Life - Søren Kierkegaard
  • The Ethics of Ambiguity - Simone de Beauvoir
  • The Sickness Unto Death - Søren Kierkegaard
  • The Will to Power - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The Gay Science - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Beyond Good and Evil - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays - Albert Camus
  • Existentialism Is a Humanism - Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Being and Nothingness - Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy - William Barrett
  • Existentialism - Robert C. Solomon
  • Existence and Freedom - Calvin Schrag
  • An Introduction to Existentialism - Robert G. Olson
  • Existentialism - John Macquarrie
  • Existentialism: A Reconstruction - David E. Cooper
  • Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction - Thomas Flynn
  • I and Thou - Martin Buber
  • Waiting for God - Simone Weil
  • The Way of Suffering - Jerome Miller

Related Subreddits

  • /r/philosophy
  • /r/askphilosophy
  • /r/AcademicPhilosophy
  • /r/ExistentialChristian
  • /r/Camus

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