1

Let me summarize my understanding of Sartres thinking regarding being and nothingness.

The Nothingness

Its a physical state which doesn't exist at the moment, but maybe it could exist at some day, or have been existed sometime in the history. However, that state can exist in humans imagination. They can imagine how people would react or what would happen to our world if certain things happened. I think this includes also 'dreaming', because the state which you dream does at the moment not exist, but it could potentially exist somewhere in time.

Being-in-itself

basically those this category of being can't think a nothingness. Therefore tables in the kitchen and such things are being-in-itself.

being-for-itself

This category of being can achieve distance to their physical existence, it can think a nothingness. The ability to think a nothingness is the reason this category of being is free (at least, after it was born). Therefore, this category includes humans.

Consequence

However, also animals can dream. Therefore animals can think a state which doesn't exist at the moment, therefore they can think a nothingness.

  • Therefore, animals are being-for-itself, right?
  • My own conclusion for that is, that humans only differ by the "complexity" of the nothingness. For instance, some grandmaster chess player can think approximately 16 moves before they happen, but animals can't do that. Would Sartre agree with me?
  • In general, did sartre ever said something about animals, about their being?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.