Analysis Of Jean-Paul Sartre's Theory Of Existentialism

1129 Words 5 Pages
The study of “the self” in philosophy is often concentrated around the idea of existence. To understand what it is to “be” means realizing a universal mentality in a singular human life. Jean-Paul Sartre addresses his perspective primarily through phenomenology and the concept of free will. He claims, to be human is to be depicted by “an existence that precedes its essence” (Sartre 318). In this paper, I will argue for Sartre’s theory of existentialism by analyzing human consciousness and existence, what it means to be a person, and the ontological nature of being and self. As human beings, we constantly contemplate the mystery of existence. According to Sartre, each one of us exists as free people in order to create our “essence” into what we wish. In existentialist philosophy, …show more content…
The production of a human must transpire before the experiences that make the human. As previously stated, this is what Sartre expresses when he says, “existence precedes essence” (Sartre 318). The penknife vs. human analogy further explains this statement. The idea is that a penknife has a calculated essence and there are specific measures for something to be classified as a penknife. However, existentialists believe otherwise, for human beings who do not have a calculated essence. We are ultimately responsible for who we are, and everyone else. The concept we are given is that we are, not what we are. Since we are not a pre-determined species, Sartre assumes the lack of existence of God or common “human nature” (Rau 538). This represents human reality. In “Existentialism Is a Humanism”, Sartre states that “nothing will

Related Documents