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8

In some respects, you could say that Sartre is "borrowing from Kant." It will greatly depend on what you mean by borrowing. Iphigenie's comments are highlighting the differences, and those are definitely worth pointing out but a type of "rationalist" heritage is worth bringing up. What I would say is the common thread is an emphasis on "autonomy" and a ...


6

Has anyone "merged" existentialist thought with the idea of absence of free will? Yes, Sartre. Sartre was a Marxist and he took up positions close to those of the Communist Party, though Marxist determinism was not easy to reconcile with the absolute libertarianism that was the keynote of existentialism. In an effort to resolve this tension he wrote a ...


5

He also means that you cannot dismiss the notion of free will, or you lose an element necessary to explain human behavior. "Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does." Whether or not free will is logical or compatible with our religious notions or even our physics, it is a necessary component ...


5

Human being is freedom. The external world is filled with in-itself being. Consciousness is the only anomaly, and consciousness only manifests itself through human being, insofar as we are aware of it. So, the starting point for an account of human being is in the account of the being of consciousness. We know that the being of consciousness is the ...


4

I don't want to simplify, but this almost seems to be a logical blatancy: As a human being without a moral superior, you are forced ("condemned") to choose. Even not choosing is a choice. A moral superior provides a) rules you have to follow to achieve b) a certain objective. Following these rules and knowing what you're doing it for often makes choice a ...


4

Sartre did use the expression "existence precedes essence" as a motto, but his implied critical target was not Aristotle's general essence theory. It was, rather, the specific idea of human nature. Sartre's expression was meant to express the existentialist stand, that a human being's way in life is not chosen for him in advance, by his own nature or origin. ...


4

Much of the answer to this depends on what you mean by 'atheism.' As the opposite of 'theism,' that form of atheism is just as dogmatic as what it seems to reject. The existential project looks at the event in the present in all its contingencies, so our relationship to a deeper or 'divine' reality might well be part of that. This a/theism does not affirm ...


4

Sartre is of opinion, "Existence before essence". This forms the basis of his assertion that humans are necessarily fully responsible for their action -- hence free. He said, "We are left alone, without excuse". With these statements, he meant that there is no creator. Therefore, a person is free, and this freedom alone -- means there is no need for any ...


4

To understand how Sartre could ever say something like this, we need to look at an important pair of German philosophers and one Dane (actually we could probably find many more important people in this transition) and their effect on how we think. I assume by classical definition of essence with reference to Aristotle, you're thinking that each natural kind ...


4

An article by Gabriella Paolucci, 'Sartre's humanism and the Cuban revolution', Theory and Society, Vol. 36, No. 3 (June, 2007), p.259, gives some background to Sartre's remark. Sartre met Che in 1960. Here is an account of the meeting and of the impression Che made on Sartre : The philosopher was imnmediately impressed by Che Guevara's personality, ...


4

Sartre published his first works when he was over 30 and lived through turbulent times 40 more years. Of course his view changed but he was neither 'protean' nor 'sustained many radical transformations'. At the 1911 Philosophical World Congress Bergson had stated for every philosopher there is just one central and simple thing "which he cannot express ...


3

My own research bridges somewhat on these topics, and I would suggest adding the following people to your considerations: Hegel - specifically the idea of mutual recognition. Within this, I think it's pretty obvious that Sartre is thinking of "Herrschaft und Knechtschaft" when he's writing about the look in Being and Nothingness. Specifically, the echoing ...


3

If you are just starting philosophy, good for you. However, you have picked a pretty tall mountain for your first climb. I must confess that I have never read Being and Nothingness, but I can say a little about the term being, which does take some getting used to. Sartre was influenced by (or, some would say misinterpreted) Heidegger, who is often credited ...


3

It's an interesting question, but I think it might be helpful to first review Kant's view on the phenomenon and the noumenon before giving an answer as to what Sartre does with thought and how that relates to the Kantian position and his denial of the existence of the noumenal or things-in-themselves. Kant's account of knowledge looks something like this: ...


3

It might be similar in spirit, but not in effect. While they both appreciate the unity in equal application of morality among humans, (and, incidentally, both view morality as something uniquely human), Kant walks away with an imperative--a rule--whereas Sartre walks away with, at most, a guideline: that whatever you do, you're defining humanity, so take ...


3

(Thanks to virmaior for pointing out the text.) There's a paragraph on this in Existentialism is a Humanism: First they tax us with anarchy; then they say, “You cannot judge others, for there is no reason for preferring one purpose to another”; finally, they may say, “Everything being merely voluntary in this choice of yours, you give away with one ...


3

The dichotomy of the question (Communism vs. Capitalism) and the dichotomy actually mentioned in the quote are very different. The quote says Camus saw oppression in the Soviet Union (and the Soviet system in general) as the "primary problem for the left" post-war. That is hardly the same thing as him feeling forced into a choice between Communism and ...


3

If empirical undecidability is indeed a disease then philosophy is afflicted by it in almost its entirety, materialism included. The basic tenet of materialism, that everything is matter, is as undecidable empirically as the basic tenet of theism, that God exists (especially since the meanings of "matter" and "God" have been stretched to a point of vacuity). ...


3

According to Sartre, humans are the only beings that don't have an essence It is an imprecise, maybe wrong statement, Sartre never said that. For Sartre, humans are devoid of (contact with) Being, not of essence. Being (= the being-in-itself) and Consciousness (= the being-for-itself) can never touch/affect each other, because the former is the complete ...


3

What Sartre has in mind is that every other being in nature has a developmental pattern intrinsic to it. It has an essential nature, or 'essence', and its nature fixes its future development. Acorns become oak trees. Lambs become sheep. Uniquely, human beings as persons or agents have no such inherent developmental pattern or essence. As Sartre slightly ...


2

I don't see why it should. It is important that Sartre is not a substance dualist. Nothingness is not a substance distinct from being. It is the absence of being. Consciousness is a nothingness, according to Sartre, but it arises in particular regions of being (human bodies, not trees). This is presumably due to the particular configuration of those ...


2

For Kierkegaard, and by extension Christian existentialists in general, it is precisely the primacy of the personal relationship with God that releases the individual from all other bindings of religion, law, custom, morals and tradition (while at the same time laying on the existential "yoke" of absolute direct obedience to God). Although this clearly ...


2

I am going to reframe the Existentialism as Existential Psychology, because I am trained in psychology and understand Yalom better than Sartre. I feel that Sartre is a big part of modern Existential Psychology, even if they feel very different. Besides that the tone of the question seems to be looking for a psychological approach over a reasoned ethical ...


2

I think there are real problems with the idea of developing and ethics out of existentialist philosophy. I know Kierkegaard better than Sartre, so I'll say what I think is wrong with his view. Kierkegaard thinks that Hume has shown, pace the history of philosophy before him, that morality (understood as a body of universally binding commands that hold for ...


2

Some hints ... Basic "axiom" of L'existentialisme est un humanisme (1946) : Atheistic existentialism, of which I am a representative, declares with greater consistency that if God does not exist there is at least one being whose existence comes before its essence, a being which exists before it can be defined by any conception of it. That being is man or,...


2

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 ...


2

This relates to the irrevocable nature of the act. Once one acts, I cannot take it back--what's done is done. My actions gain a kind of force of the actual beyond the reach of reversible possibilities. We do not experience temporal reversibility. Past responsibilities are irreversible and, like a kick in the gut, you are likely to stew over the embarrassing ...


2

Possibilities are pure nothings. Whitehead discusses the logic of possibilities or "eternal objects" (as he calls them) in Process and Reality and his many other works. Possibilities, in themselves, do exist but only as wholly non-actual--we abstract from the actual world in order to inquiry into boundless possibility. There are nothing without the ...


2

When Satre says you cannot apply positive values to a role he does not mean positive in the sense of 'good' he means positive in the sense of affirming or concluding. He contrasts this with Negative values which one can assign to roles as negating; "I am not a chef" is allowed, "I am a chef" is not. That being said, Satre is, as most existentialists, trying ...


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