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I don't quite understand the quote,

We shall never apprehend ourselves except as a choice in the making. But freedom is simply the fact that this choice is always unconditioned? (Jean Paul Sartre, The Philosophy of J.-P. Sartre, Being and Doing, 5. Freedom)

What exactly is Sartre trying to express?

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    Welcome to Philosophy.SE. Could you please (1) provide more context, and (2) give a reference to where exactly he says this? – user2953 Oct 27 '15 at 17:04
  • I'm voting to put this question on hold now, until more context has been added. – user2953 Oct 27 '15 at 21:06
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Break it up into two parts:

But freedom is simply the fact that this choice is always unconditioned

I think this quote can be understood in light of something that Robert Barron (who I believe quotes someone else, but I forget whom) often says: one view of freedom is that it is hovering between the "Yes" and the "No." He contrasts this with a traditional Christian view of freedom, where freedom is freedom to do something particular.

Sartre seems to be disputing this - freedom to Sartre is the ability to make any choice one wishes without being externally compelled or influenced.

We shall never apprehend ourselves except as a choice in the making

Again, Robert Barron has a post about this where he sums it up as "existence (unfettered freedom) precedes essence (who or what a person becomes)". In other words, we first exist as something, and through the choices we make are core is defined. This is again in contrast to religious views, for example, about humans being made in God's image (and so our essence precedes our existence).

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