Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 22 (2):159-171 (2014)

Sharon Kaye
John Carroll University
Many philosophers embrace both evolution and existentialism as though these two views provide a mutually supportive foundation for atheism. The story goes that evolution tells us life is meaningless while existentialism tells us what to do about it. In this paper, I aim to debunk this story. I begin by explaining the existentialist quest for the meaning of life. Then I explain why it is inconsistent with the principles of evolution. In the end, I argue that the quest for the meaning of life should be abandoned. It is a misleading project that science renders unnecessary. Looked at in this light, existentialism appears as a stripped down version of religion, vainly clinging to dramatic fantasies about human life. Evolution has had a deep and valuable impact upon philosophy. It will not have completed its work, however, until it stamps out existentialism and its atavistic angst once and for all
Keywords Kierkegaard S.A.  Darwin, Charles, Evolution  Existentialism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1558/eph.v22i2.21235
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,159
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Darwin's Legacy: What Evolution Means Today.John Dupré - 2003 - Oxford University Press on Demand.
Existentialism.Mary Warnock - 1970 - New York: Oxford University Press.
What is Existentialism?William Barrett - 1947 - New York: Grove Press.
The Philosophy and Literature of Existentialism.Wesley Barnes - 1968 - Woodbury, N.Y., Barron's Educational Series.
Existentialism.Robert C. Solomon (ed.) - 1974 - New York: Modern Library.


Added to PP index

Total views
56 ( #192,149 of 2,454,850 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #179,303 of 2,454,850 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes