Sartre's Existentialism

Jean Paul Sartre - The image shows the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre with his usual stick of cigarette.
September 16, 2010 3:47pm CST
Existentialism, a nineteenth- and twentieth philosophical movement that stresses the radical extent of human freedom and attempt to deal seriously with its consequences for people's day to day lives, is the tradition most frequently associated with Jean Paul Sartre. For him, human beings are characterized by "existence precedes essence"; we are defined by our choices and actions and not by a fixed human nature. There is no essential self before there is an intentional act. The direction a person's life will take is always in question and a matter of contingency. We exist in situations--typically these are interpersonal and social--- and they affect us; how we exist within them is decisively a matter of our choosing. Sartre views that the radical freedom that permeates our lives makes us responsible of ourselves and for one another; it also means that a complete and final understanding of ourselves eludes us. Our freedom confers immense responsibility, and thus people often live in "bad faith," evading responsibilities for their lives by denying the reality of their own freedom. Sartre means here that we are totally responsible for making what we can of the world because such responsibility is awesome, our freedom can be dreadful. I his view, each is encourage to do what is the best. We have to choose what will be good and what will be evil. Responsibility for these uses of freedom is ours and ours alone.
3 responses
@didi13 (2927)
• Romania
21 Jun 11
Existentialism,. The point is that this current study involved three main questions: 1. Who am I? 2. What should I do to become myself? 3. how free are we? Personally I do not know how many of us are ourselves in the presence of others, do not say this to anyone, but sat and thought .. When we are ourselves? Perhaps the most difficult moments of our existence ... when we suffer, we are sick, we are truly ourselves .... What can I say ... these moments count on your fingers ... maybe we ourselves when we see a film that impresses us, we rediscover a song ... anyway .. we all have some hidden ... What should we do for ourselves? try to be careful about, we realize that we are not the only ones who have problems and try to help others. I think when you do something good, or just smile because you live ... find a part of yourself. How free are we? Well ... it depends on what is freedom for each .. are free on their own decisions as long as we take the consequences ... some say they're not always free because we will never be forced on others, and will be influenced by their views ...
@IsisGreen (555)
23 Sep 10
Yes, as Catana above. Do you ahve any questions/discussion topics about Sartre's work? People may join in then. All the best.
@Catana (736)
• United States
16 Sep 10
Mylot is for discussions, not lectures on philosophy.