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Questions tagged [sartre]

For questions about the philosophical work of Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), a French philosopher and novelist.

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What does "authentic action" look like for Sartre?

Source what is required of an authentic choice is that it involve a proper coordination of transcendence and facticity, and thus that it avoid the pitfalls of an uncoordinated expression of the ...
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How would an existentialist like Sartre respond to Aristotles function argument?

I have been reading Aristotle's NE and a bit of Existentialism is a Humanism and was wondering how Sartre (or another existentialist) might defend his position that humans do not have some function ...
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Are Sartre's In-itself and For-itself pure concepts?

I take the In-itself and For-itself (in reading Being and Nothingness) to be entirely distinct concepts, much like a priori and a posteriori concepts. However, with the later, I'm given to understand ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Help with the basic idea of free choices for Sartre

what is required of an authentic choice is that it involve a proper coordination of transcendence and facticity, and thus that it avoid the pitfalls of an uncoordinated expression of the desire for ...
2 votes
2 answers
176 views

Does Sartre's disdain of some professions contradict Kant's Categorical Imperative?

Preface: Source 2 quoted this same passage but in English. As I can read French, I quoted the French original but please command me to post the English translation if I should have. Source 1: p 94, L'...
5 votes
1 answer
942 views

What is the meaning of nothingness in Sartre's ⟪Being and Nothingness⟫?

A head-up: I am from an analytic background, and I have only read continental philosophy via second sources. I am confused about what 'nothingness' mean in Sartre's ⟪Being and Nothingness⟫. Some ...
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4 answers
1k views

What does Sartre mean with that existence precedes essence and how is it related to the earlier existential philosophers' thoughts?

What does Sartre mean with that existence precedes essence and how is it related to the earlier existential philosophers' thoughts? Existential philosophers like Kirkegaard, Heideggers and Friedrich ...
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Sartre on essence

Yesterday my professor said something that seemed rather strange. Roughly, it was According to Sartre, humans are the only beings that don't have an essence. Now I haven't read Sartre, and I'm not ...
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Question about Sartre's distinction between "self-consciousness", "subject", and "ego"

I am reading the Routledge Critical Thinkers series on Jacques Lacan, and I have come across this passage about Jean-Paul Sartre: In an early work entitled Transcendence of the Ego (1934) Sartre ...
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How should I contextualize this quote and understand its meaning? [closed]

Jean- Paul Sartre once said about Camus: "I would call his pessimism 'solar' if you remember how much black there is in the sun."
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1 answer
168 views

How does existence preceding essence not preclude the possibility of bad faith?

How does existence preceding essence not preclude the possibility of bad faith? In what sense is it possible to act inauthentically if there is no authenticity other than what we make for ourselves? I ...
1 vote
1 answer
222 views

To personify bad faith, why did Sartre pick on waiters rather than a more powerful occupation?

I am not a philosopher. But I did work at a restaurant when I was younger, and my daughter is studying philosophy in school. Sartre's following quotations feel like bullying, spurning waiters. ...
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How has the metaphysics of free will dealt away with Sartre's answer?

Sartre famously argued that we are inescapably free. The summed up argument can be found in the book Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy: Couple this with a ...
3 votes
1 answer
710 views

Heidegger's "Dasein" vs. Sartre's "Being for itself"

I must admit, I am relatively new to existentialist philosophy. But I couldn't help notice the similarities between Heidegger's "Dasein" and Satre's "Being-for-itself". I was ...
4 votes
3 answers
10k views

Existentialism and the absensce of free will

One of the most famous doctrines of existentialism formulated by Jean Paul Sartre is that we are absolutely free. Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible ...
-1 votes
1 answer
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What was Beauvoirs example of meaningless freedom involving a harem?

I am looking up sources on Simone de Beauvoir's account of freedom and found this in an old issue of a philosophy magazine: She had argued with him that freedom of any sort was pretty meaningless for ...
2 votes
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103 views

Can Zizek's big Other be seen as a collective form of "bad faith"?

I refer to this question to define the big Other for Zizek. Couldn't the big Other be seen as what enforces the mauvaise foi (what makes us behave like we have no choice to avoid existential dread), ...
1 vote
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719 views

What is the relationship between positional and non-positional consciousness for Sartre?

I am wondering when one is non-positionally conscious of a feeling, is that feeling facticity or also positional consciousness of an object? In a word is reflection in the presence to self duality ...
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1 answer
282 views

Sartre on morality in "Existentialism is a Humanism"

After reading Existentialism is a Humanism, I am struggling to understand Sartre's stance on morality. If I understand correctly, he believes that no moral rule can be derived from reason, and that ...
3 votes
1 answer
324 views

Is "quality of life" an in-efficacious measure for a "meaningful life"?

Definitions Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies, outlining negative and positive features of life. It observes life satisfaction, including everything from ...
3 votes
5 answers
728 views

What is existence for existentialists?

As my current work leaded me to analyse existence from the systemic point of view, I've decided it's time to read Sartre and about existentialism, which I've long time postponed. So I've started with ...
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2 answers
245 views

Existentialism and morality

I'm quite confused about Sartre and his relationship to morality. He talks a lot about responsibility. When I think of responsibility, punishment and law come to my mind. But I suppose Sartre's ...
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Who were the famous moral nihilists (philosophers) of 20th and 19th century?

If existential nihilism claims nothing has meaning does it also take moral values in to account?
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Sartre's "The transcendence of the ego"

In this text there are parts of Kant that Sartre refers to that I don't think I fully understand. What parts of Kant would I have to refer to to understand where Sartre is coming from? He refers to ...
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1 answer
427 views

What was Sartre's thought on good and evil?

If existentialism according to Sartre hold everyone responsible. Why Sartre said "men are condemned to be free"?
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137 views

If we are rationally obliged to be moral, and morality is not arbitrary, then are some decisions not freely made?

If we are rationally obliged to be moral, and morality is not arbitrary, then are some decisions not freely made? I mean 'not arbitrary' to mean that some values, e.g. courage, are more rational than ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Just what is negation in Sartre's philosophy?

In Being and Nothingness, Sartre discusses negation in a number of contexts, but I cannot for the life of me figure out a definition of it--even a rough one. So far as I can tell, it is not merely a ...
2 votes
1 answer
355 views

From Sartre's Being and Nothingness, what is the difference between reflective consciousness and self-reflective consciousness?

I am currently writing a philosophy paper for one of my graduate courses and one of the questions posed is "how can consciousness be pre-reflective, reflective, and self-reflective?" My ...
2 votes
1 answer
378 views

The Sartre Paradox

"According to Sartre, humans are the only beings that dont have an essence." Do't look a little "weird" J.P Sartre, tells that the "Man is comdemned to be free", in case conjuring that, the freedom ...
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109 views

Can someone help me with the meaning of these passages in Sartre's Being and Nothingness on motion?

What do these passages mean, could someone please kindly clarify them. ‘Motion is the pure change of place affecting a this which remains otherwise unaltered as is shown clearly enough by our ...
2 votes
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97 views

Can someone help with these passages Sartre's BeIng and Nothingness on Knowledge?

P295 ‘The for itself does not exist subsequently to know; neither can we say that it exists only in so far it knows or is known…regulated by particular bits of Knowledge.’ P296 ‘to say that there is ...
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451 views

Was the European Left confined in a false dichotomy between capitalism and communism?

In the 2004 book "Camus and Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel That Ended It" (link to a brief review/synopsis), the author portrays two of the leading members of the literary class' ...
1 vote
1 answer
859 views

Meaning of Being in 'Being and Nothingness'?

I just started reading Sartre's magnum opus and right on page two he begins to mention that being and appearance dualism is no longer entitled to any "legal status within philosophy". What is the ...
2 votes
2 answers
259 views

Relation between the inauthentic mode of existence and indifference to other people's subjectivity

Introduction: Heidegger believed that there are two fundamental modes of existing in the world: (1)Authentic mode (2)Inauthentic mode [Being and Time, 1927] Sartre believed that there ...
6 votes
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464 views

What does Sartre mean by "freedom alone can account for a person in his totality"?

Could you please tell me what is the meaning of Sartre's saying: "freedom alone can account for a person in his totality"? (Genet, 584)
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1 answer
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Jean-Paul Sartre freedom question [duplicate]

Jean-Paul Sartre claimed we are totally free. This might lead some people to think they can show no concern for others and do whatever they want. He warned, however, if everything is based on free ...
2 votes
3 answers
182 views

In which published work(s) did Sartre claim to have reinvented or reshaped his thinking?

Sartre is among the most protean and prolific philosophers of the 20th c. He sustained many radical transformations in his thinking with each one requiring, according to him, a complete overhaul of ...
2 votes
1 answer
223 views

We may say that Sartre inverts Kant’s moral philosophy. What does Sartre share with Kant, and how does he overturn some of his thinking?

Compare and contrast Kant and Sartre. We may say that Sartre inverts Kant’s moral philosophy. What does Sartre share with Kant, and how does he overturn some of his thinking?
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7k views

From which work of Jean-Paul Sartre did he write “Freedom is what we do with what is done to us.”?

In which work did Jean-Paul Sartre write this quote?
6 votes
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740 views

Does existentialism presuppose the supernatural?

When it comes to debates about the existence of an "all powerful all knowing god" believers and non-believers alike often times both agree that the existence of that god can't be scientifically or ...
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191 views

Sartre and metaphysical necessity

In “Nausea” (“La Nausée”), a novel in the form of a fictional diary, Sartre makes the main character, the diarist, Roquentin, realize how baseless our assumptions about what is possible, what can ...
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On freedom in Sartre's existentialism

I am reading "Existenstialism is a humanism", the text of the famous conference by Sartre in which he explains his own version of existentialism. I think is full of logical inconsistencies, but maybe ...
8 votes
1 answer
213 views

Does Sartre ever talk about irrelevance?

Does Sartre ever talk about authenticity in terms of irrelevance? I think that authenticity means (amongst other things) both being irrelevant and failing to act: that membership of a group which ...
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

The phenomenon of Négatité

I am a novice to JP Sartre's philosophy of existentialism and I came across the notion that in Being and Nothingness,The Origin of Negation where he claims that "nothingness is at the origin of ...
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What does Sartre think about the being of animals? According to sartre, how are animals and humans different?

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, ...
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Is love a phenomenon of mauvaise foi?

In front of love, is still men condemned to be free? Arguably, when in love, the infinite range of possible choices collapses in one, the loved one. Is this a form of mauvaise foi (we convince ...
7 votes
3 answers
32k views

What does Sartre mean when he says people are "condemned to be free"?

What did Jean-Paul Sartre mean when he said that because there is no creator, humans are "Condemned to be Free"?
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2 answers
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Can we assign positive values to a role defining us, like "mother" or "chef"?

Any role that one might adopt does not define one as there is an eventual end to one's adoption of the role; i.e. other roles will be assigned to us, "a chef", "a mother". The self is not constant,...
3 votes
1 answer
636 views

Does Sartre's conception of consciousness imply the impossibility of a conscious computer?

Hubert Dreyfus among others have risen to prominence in philosophy of AI by emphasising (among other things) the directive primacy of unconscious or automatic, habit-driven processes. Dreyfus came to ...
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Would Jean-Paul Sartre say that we are bound by our comprehension of our "situation"?

Sartre states, in his book 'Being and Nothingness' the following: Therefore there is no priviledged situation...There is no situation in which the given would crush beneath its weight the freedom ...