South Africa: Covid-19 Philosophy - How the Joy of Living Will Overwhelm the Fear of Dying


The impact of Covid-19 has forced individuals around the world to confront numerous questions about the lives they lead, their impact on society and their outlook for the future. In particular, it raises interesting philosophical questions within the realm of existentialism and how individuals see their role in the world.

At the core of existentialism is the primacy of individual existence, freedom and choice. It is a philosophical stance that operates from the basis that individuals have to create meaning for themselves through rational decisions, despite living in what is a deeply irrational world and universe.

Individuals are ultimately free and must take personal responsibility for their lives. Existentialists believe that suffering and our inevitable demise are ever-present conditions. How then should you rise above these challenges and live your life? How do you escape what they believe is an inherent part of the human condition?

A core tenet of existentialism is that in the absence of clear meaning in life, the best way for individuals to find their own meaning is by embracing their existence in and of itself.

Søren Kierkegaard, one of the foremost existentialist philosophers, argued that rationality was the best mechanism for individuals to counter their...

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