Often considered to be the first of the existentialists, Kierkegaard was a religious philosopher who stressed the need for individual choice.
Sartre potrayed humans as lonely creatures, and viewed the freedom of choice that many existentialists valued as a burdern, due largely to the responsibility that follows any choice. Sartre is one of the most prominent minds in existentialism, and can be credited for bringing this philosophy to the attention of a much larger audience.
Moving beyond Sartre's existentialism, Camus explored the meaninglessness and absurd nature of the human condition.
Other existential philosophers include Simone de Beauvoir, Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, Gabriel Marcel and Franz Kafka. Existentialist philosophy was also influenced by many other works, including those of Friedrich Nietzsche, G. W. F. Hegel, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Edmund Husserl.
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