Essay on Existentialism, By Jean Paul Sartre

1387 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 6 Pages
The word freedom is used in many different ways and can mean many different things. According to existentialism, we have absolute freedom in our internal nature/essence. This means that we are free to make choices that will determine our essence. In order to explain what freedom means in terms of existentialism, background information about Sartre and his philosophy will need to be given. In Existentialism is a Humanism, Jean-Paul Sartre represents atheistic existentialism and bases his ideas off of the belief that there are no gods in the universe. This is important to note because this belief will be a foundation for his following principles. One of the principles that pertain to this idea is the principle that existence precedes essence. I will explain aspects related to existentialistic freedom and also defend Sartre’s existentialistic concept of freedom in this essay.
Existentialism is a philosophical approach that considers the existence of a human being as an individual who has free will in which their nature is determined by their actions. Sartre argues that, “existence precedes essence” (Sartre 20). This means that man does not have a predetermined essence but man is made up of his actions that were a result of his free will. The opposite standpoint of existentialism is theistic existentialism which is the belief that there are gods in the universe and who created mankind with a purpose before man came into existence. Sartre would disagree that there was a god…

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