Jean Paul Sartre Existentialism Essay

Good Essays
“The essential consequence of our earlier remarks is that man being condemned to be free carries the weight of the whole world on his shoulders’ he is responsible for the world and for himself as a way of being.” Jean- Paul Sartre was a nineteenth century philosopher whose philosophy is based on existentialism. The basic concept of existentialism is that humans are free and are responsible for their own actions. According to Sartre, the primary condition of human existence and the concept that serves as a basis or foundation for everything is that they are free. In his idea of existentialism, we are free to make choices as well as we and only ourselves give purpose to our lives. Sartre’s principle of existence precedes essence denies the notion of humans having human nature. When we are born, we first existence, and upon living our lives and experiencing the world, we come to know ourselves and learn about who we are and what we are to do.
Sartre does not agree with the idea that human beings have a sole purpose in life and must fulfill and is obligated to perform
…show more content…
Although he disagrees with people being obligated to perform one task and be blind to others, or that we must stick to one profession and ignore everything else, we are obligated and have a duty to make choices, be responsible for ourselves and the world, and find meaning and purpose to our lives. Eliminating the God from humanity, allows people to be free or have their purpose derived from someone else. We choose to be who we are and do things we want to do. We have a choice to be someone we are not. Sartre even says, “there is no common measure between who you are and who you want to be”. However, we have a duty to be who we are and cannot be anyone else. We cannot feel what others feel nor can we think or experience things in the same way as someone else. We have a duty to choose who we want to be for ourselves and for the

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    According The Love of Wisdom existentialism is “a school of philosophy that rose to prominence in the mid- twentieth century, which denies that there is a fixed human nature. This implies that humans are radically free and must define life’s meaning in light of their own goals and desires. “(Cowan and Spiegel, 2009) Existentialism is the belief that our pure existence of being is free and only we can determine how our intentions develop. The main point of existentialism is freedom to be anything we as humans want to be. Free will is a huge part of existentialism just based on the definition alone we know that people require free will in order to determine who we would like to be.…

    • 2011 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Utilitarianism is just the opposite of the denotoligy moral theory makeup. This brings me back to intrinsic worth. Worth is something that cannot be taken away from us. This will allow us as a living soul to make our own decisions, set goals, reach them, and direct us to reason. We must never guide, shape or take advantage of another person or treat them as a mean to achieve our own end.…

    • 831 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    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.…

    • 1129 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    That is an altruistic characteristic. That does not mean that we will always do things and expect nothing in return. Always doing things for others and being aware of what those around you need is ultimate altruism. Ultimate altruism cannot be achieved because our basic human nature will…

    • 1167 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    I contend that a part of our essence is an innate rationality and understanding of the basic tenets of human nature which we choose to either follow or disobey (thus the creation of good and evil). This idea isn’t new, John Locke coined it as the Law of Nature which dictates all rational men. Building off Locke, our innate understanding of the laws of nature create a perfect freedom which enables us to determine and create our character within the limits of said law. To borrow and modify Sartre’s phrase, “some essence precedes our existence and the rest is up to…

    • 729 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Rousseau believes people are essentially free because they only follow the orders of a power that is legitimate. Any power that is not legitimate will have no hold or control over man. We are at our most free in the state of nature. On the other hand, Kant believes we are free if we are moral, seeing that freedom and morality go together. For…

    • 1793 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Iddo Landau of Philosophy Today expands on Sartre notion of freedom, demonstrating the limits of this concept. Landau points out these limitations in freedom by demonstrating that while a person may have the freedom to choose, the freedom to obtain is entirely out of their control (Landau). Sartre is aware of these limitations and accounts for them by providing an antidote of a boy who has to chose between staying with his mother and fighting for his country (Sartre 322). Sartre knows that in this scenario there might not necessarily be a “good” choice to make. Because there is no God, there is no one there to help him make his choice.…

    • 1049 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    If the world is not determined, then there is no universal system of ethics and morals. If there are no universal system of ethics and morals, then it means that one’s actions determines their own system of ethical and moral values. Thus, one is forced to choose their own path, making decisions for oneself, without an appeal to a false authority. This choice, no matter what, was the only true choice, provided it was made authentically, because it was determined to be the values one chose to accept. Thus, the world can have meaning but only if you chose to assign it.…

    • 869 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    cannot be dictated by anything or anyone but themselves. He rejects what he terms “deterministic excuses” as he says that instead of blaming their actions or behaviour, they should take responsibility for it. Sartre believed that we as individuals have no certain way of formulating morality. He mentioned that if we follow a moral system or religion, we are acting in “bad faith” by denying that we have the responsibility for our choices and actions. This all leads back to the philosophy of God and Knowledge.…

    • 1519 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This paper offers an analysis of Jean-Paul Sartre perspective of ‘existential humanism’ in order to argue that this view of existential is very optimistic and it poses a problem for individuals. The central theme in Sartre’s work is that man is born into a void where there is nothing, including God. As a result, man creates the self and his essence. The free choices he makes. In making choices, man is not only committing to himself but to all of mankind.…

    • 937 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays