Essay Sartre's Modes of Being

1635 Words Jun 7th, 2015 7 Pages
Being-for-itself, Being-in-itself, and Being-for-others: Sartre's Modes of Being

I am therefore I think; Sartre's modes of being can be viewed as an extension to Descartes' famous aphorism. The three modes of being affirm that man has to exist first before he can begin to question his essence. There would be no point in ascribing meaning to life or one's existence if one does not realize that acknowledging one's existence precedes every other meaningful quest in life (Descartes & Weissman, 1996, p. 3). The three modes of being also suggestively point to the fact that, amidst our increasingly controlled and regulated universe, there exist free will amongst each individual provided they acknowledge that their existence comes
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Interaction with the existence of other people in the world is an important means that individuals have in obtaining knowledge about themselves (Richmond, 2007, p. 81). If one was to be considered living in isolation from everybody else, it would be nearly impossible to ascertain that one knows and understands oneself. Existential essence is tied to both acknowledging ones existence first then realizing that the existence of other individuals helps one understand the mysteries involved in one's self.
Sartre explains that, contrary to popular belief and opinions, the existence of others cannot be simply viewed as the existence of an 'object''; that is, others existence cannot be simply put off as to have no significant influence in the existence of an individual. Figuring out the world in which others live in is equally as important as figuring out one's world in the quest to better understand one's existence. In actuality, being-in-itself and being-for-itself are subjective. The existence of other individuals is both for their own sakes and for the sake of others just as the existence of an individual is both for his/her own sake (primarily) and for the sake of others. Consequently, 'the look' is used by individuals in relations with others to reduce the existence of other people in their social contexts to the existence of an object in their own world (Svenaeus,

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