In which work did Jean-Paul Sartre write this quote?

  • This quote expresses the core of sartrian viewpoint, and while the words were almost surely said by Sartre later than in 1940s they are in no contradiction with his 40s ideas expressed in Being and Nothingness, absolutely. In 1946 play Morts sans Sépulture (known as Men Without Shadows in english) the cited maxim is the dominant idea.
    – ttnphns
    Oct 20, 2017 at 21:25

2 Answers 2


Maybe a "free" translation from: L'existentialisme est un humanisme (1946):

Et en voulant la liberté, nous découvrons qu'elle dépend entièrement de la liberté des autres, et que la liberté des autres dépend de la nôtre. Certes, la liberté comme définition de l'homme ne dépend pas d'autrui, mais dès qu'il y a engagement, je suis obligé de vouloir en même temps que ma liberté la liberté des autres, je ne puis prendre ma liberté pour but que si je prends également celle des autres pour but. En conséquence, lorsque, sur le plan d'authenticité totale, j'ai reconnu que l'homme est un être chez qui l'essence est précédée par l'existence, qu'il est un être libre qui ne peut, dans des circonstances diverses, que vouloir sa liberté, j'ai reconnu en même temps que je ne peux vouloir que la liberté des autres.

English translation:

And in thus willing freedom, we discover that it depends entirely upon the freedom of others and that the freedom of others depends upon our own. Obviously, freedom as the definition of a man does not depend upon others, but as soon as there is a commitment, I am obliged to will the liberty of others at the same time as my own. I cannot make liberty my aim unless I make that of others equally my aim. Consequently, when I recognise, as entirely authentic, that man is a being whose existence precedes his essence, and that he is a free being who cannot, in any circumstances, but will his freedom, at the same time I realize that I cannot not will the freedom of others.

  • I think that this quote is a bit away from the question since it is about 'my freedom and freedom of others' topic.
    – ttnphns
    Oct 20, 2017 at 10:27

In Critique of Dialectical Reason, vol. 1, Sartre wrote (translation from the Russian translation into English is mine)

For us a man is characterized first of all by his surpass of the situation - by what he succeeds to do out of what they have done with him [or: made him into], even if he never recognizes himself in his objectivation.

[Objectivation in roles, statuses, opuses, relations, identities etc. - everything that return us to ourselves in alienated mode]

Also, internet says (I didn't check that) that in Situations IX he wrote

You can always make something out of what you've been made into

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