Essay about Sartre 's Theory Of Existentialism

717 Words Dec 3rd, 2015 3 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 in a singular human life. Jean-Paul Sartre addresses his perspective primarily through phenomenology and the self-responsibility 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. Living in this world, we as human beings should be constantly asking ourselves why we exist because we are at the center. According to Sartre, each of us exist as free people in order to create our “essence” into what we wish. In existentialist philosophy, “essence” means having a pre-determined design. The production of a human must transpire before the experiences that make the human. Aforementioned, this is what Sartre means when he asserts “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…

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