Tarun Mittal "Being is. Being is what it is. Despite his work garnering considerable flak over the years, his theories on existentialism and freedom cement his place among the most influential Western philosophers of the 20th-century and beyond. After spending nine months as a German prisoner of war inJean-Paul Sartre began exploring the meaning of freedom and free will and inhe penned his principal philosophical work — Being and Nothingness:
One explanation for this may be that Sartre himself came to regret the publication of the book and later repudiated parts of it. My aim in this article is to give a straightforward introduction to the main themes of Existentialism and Humanism, pointing to its most obvious strengths and shortcomings.
Paris, Existentialism and Humanism was first presented as a public lecture at the Club Maintenant in Paris in October This was a time of great intellectual ferment and guarded optimism: Paris had been liberated from the Nazi Occupation and reprisals against collaborators were being meted out.
There was a sense of the need for a reexamination of the previously unquestioned foundations of society and morality. People who would otherwise have led relatively uneventful lives had been forced to think about issues of integrity and betrayal in relation to the Occupation, the Resistance and the Vichy Government.
The truth about the horrors of Auschwitz and Dachau was emerging; the atom bomb had been dropped for the first time — evidence of the human capacity for evil and destruction was everywhere. Philosophical, and in particular moral, questions were no longer of merely academic interest.
Only months before he had refused to accept the label: But what precisely is existentialism? What he meant by this was that, in contrast to a designed object such as a penknife — the blueprint and purpose of which pre-exist the actual physical thing — human beings have no pre-established purpose or nature, nor anything that we have to or ought to be.
Sartre was an ardent atheist and so believed that there could be no Divine Artisan in whose mind our essential properties had been conceived. Nor did he believe there to be any other external source of values: The basic given of the human predicament is that we are forced to choose what we will become, to define ourselves by our choice of action: If man as the existentialist sees him is not definable, it is because to begin with he is nothing.
He will not be anything until later, and then he will be what he makes of himself p. So for the penknife essence comes before existence; whereas for human beings the reverse is true — Sartre has nothing to say about the status of non-human animals in this scheme of things.
This emphasis on our freedom to choose what we are is characteristic of all existentialist thinkers.
Although Sartre was himself an atheist, some existentialists, including Gabriel Marcel, have been Christians: Humanism It is important to get clear what Sartre meant by humanism.
Humanism is a very general term usually used to refer to any theory which puts human beings at the centre of things:Existentialism and human emotions Jean-Paul Sartre Snippet view - Existentialism and Human Emotions Jean-Paul Sartre Snippet view - he emphasized the priority of existence over preconceived essences and the importance of human freedom.
In his first and best novel, Nausea (), Sartre contrasted the fluidity of human 5/5(1). Jean-Paul Sartre Being and Nothingness (London: Routledge ) is the classic existentialist text.
Unfortunately it is extremely obscure in places. The best way to make sense of it is to use Joseph S.
Catalono’s excellent A Commentary on Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness (University of Chicago Press, ) as a guide to the main themes.
Sartre (–) is arguably the best known philosopher of the twentieth century.
His indefatigable pursuit of philosophical reflection, literary creativity and, in the second half of his life, active political commitment gained him worldwide renown, if not admiration. But Jean-Paul Sartre, in Being and Nothingness, upends the conventional view of freedom and frames the issue in a new, existential framework.
Sartre’s existential philosophy stems from his new vision of consciousness, and by answering the. Existentialism and human emotions Jean-Paul Sartre Snippet view - Existentialism and Human Emotions Jean-Paul Sartre Snippet view - he emphasized the priority of existence over preconceived essences and the importance of human freedom.
In his first and best novel, Nausea (), Sartre contrasted the fluidity of human. Jean Paul Sartre: Existentialism The philosophical career of Jean Paul Sartre () focuses, in its first phase, upon the construction of a philosophy of existence known as existentialism.
Sartre's early works are characterized by a development of classic phenomenology, but his reflection diverges from Husserl’ s on methodology, the conception of the self, and an interest in ethics.