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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Jean-Paul Sartre and existentialism


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Dutch National Archives

Photo license: CC BY-SA 3.0 NL


Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) was an influential philosopher best known for his contributions to existentialism and analysis of the individual spirit. Writer Lisa Appignanesi said,


"When I was growing up in the 60's, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre were a model couple, already legendary creatures, rebels with a great many causes, and leaders of what could be called the first postwar youth movement: existentialism - a philosophy that rejected all absolutes and talked of freedom, authenticity, and difficult choices." (The Guardian, 2005)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Sartre.




"Existence precedes and rules essence." (Being and Nothingness, 1943)


"In a world, man must create his own essence: it is in throwing himself into the world, suffering there, struggling there, that he gradually defines himself." (Characterizations of Existentialism, 1944)


"Imagination is not an empirical or superadded power of consciousness, it is the whole of consciousness as it realizes its freedom." (Imagine: A Psychological Critique)


"Existentialism is nothing else but an attempt to draw the full conclusions from a consistently atheistic position. Its intention is not in the least that of plunging men into despair." (Existentialism Is a Humanism, 1946)


"The world is sacred because it gives an inkling of a meaning that escapes us." (Saint Genet, Actor and Martyr, 1952)