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We see that javascript is disabled or not supported by your browser - javascript is needed for important actions on the site. Read more. What's New - Home - Login. School Donation Program In Memory of How To Swap Books? Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre , ; 21 June — 15 April was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, existentialism, and Marxism, and his work continues to influence fields such as Marxist philosophy, sociology, and literary studies.

Sartre was also noted for his long relationship with the author and social theorist, Simone de Beauvoir. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature but refused the honour. Being is in-itself. Being is what it is. If I have gained anything by damning myself, it is that I no longer have anything to fear. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away.

To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives. God is the solitude of man. If I satiate my desires, I sin but I deliver myself from them; if I refuse to satisfy them, they infect the whole soul. Our sons will be if we shed enough blood to give them the right to be. But in the concentration camp, I learned to believe in men.

You pull the trigger and after that you do not understand anything that happens. I exist because I think I cannot keep from thinking. And yet, life is there, finished: the line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than you life. One lives one's death, one dies one's life. You can demonstrate that you are right and that others are wrong.

The first are the true poor, the others are rich people out of luck. It is total Justice is a human issue, and I do not need a god to teach it to me. Who knows a man's resources? That is how one becomes an honest citizen. When Sartre was 15 months old, his father died of a fever. Anne-Marie moved back to her parents' house in Meudon, where Sartre was raised with help from her father, a professor of German, who taught Sartre mathematics and introduced him to classical literature at a very early age.

At twelve his mother remarried and the family moved to La Rochelle, where he was frequently bullied. As a teenager in the s, Sartre became attracted to philosophy upon reading Henri Bergson's Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness. Sartre was influenced by many aspects of Western philosophy, absorbing ideas from Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Husserl and Heidegger, among others. The two became inseparable and lifelong companions, initiating a romantic relationship, though they were not monogamous.

Sartre served as a conscript in the French Army from to and he later argued in that each French person was responsible for the collective crimes during the Algerian War of Independence. Together, Sartre and de Beauvoir challenged the cultural and social assumptions and expectations of their upbringings, which they considered bourgeois, in both lifestyle and thought.

Sartre's introduction to his philosophy is his work Existentialism is a Humanism , originally presented as a lecture. It was during this period of confinement that Sartre read Heidegger's Sein und Zeit Being and Time , later to become a major influence on his own essay on phenomenological ontology.

Because of poor health he claimed that his poor eyesight and exotropia affected his balance Sartre was released in April However, both Gide and Malraux were undecided, and this may have been the cause of Sartre's disappointment and discouragement.

He then wrote Being and Nothingness , The Flies , and No Exit , none of which was censored by the Germans, and also contributed to both legal and illegal literary magazines. In the book he tries to explain the etiology of "hate" by analyzing so-called antisemitic hate. Sartre was a very active contributor to Combat , a quasi-communist newspaper created during the clandestine period by Albert Camus, a philosopher and author who held similar beliefs.

Sartre and Beauvoir remained friends with Camus until he turned away from communism, a schism that eventually divided them in , after the publication of Camus' The Rebel. Later, while Sartre was labeled by some authors as a resistant, the French philosopher and resistant Vladimir Jankelevitch criticized Sartre's lack of political commitment during the German occupation, and interpreted his further struggles for liberty as an attempt to redeem himself.

According to Camus, Sartre was a writer who resisted, not a resistor who wrote. After the war ended Sartre established Les Temps Modernes Modern Times , a quarterly literary and political review, and started writing full-time as well as continuing his political activism.

Politics The first period of Sartre's career, defined in large part by Being and Nothingness , gave way to a second period as a politically engaged activist and intellectual. His work Les Mains Sales Dirty Hands in particular explored the problem of being both an intellectual at the same time as becoming "engaged" politically. He embraced communism, had an affair with a KGB agent, and defended existentialism, though never officially joining the Communist Party, and took a prominent role in the struggle against French rule in Algeria.

He became perhaps the most eminent supporter of the FLN in the Algerian War and was one of the signatories of the Manifeste des He opposed the Vietnam War and, along with Bertrand Russell and others, organized a tribunal intended to expose U. As a fellow-traveller, Sartre spent much of the rest of his life attempting to reconcile his existentialist ideas about free will with communist principles, which taught that socio-economic forces beyond our immediate, individual control play a critical role in shaping our lives.

His major defining work of this period, the Critique de la raison dialectique Critique of Dialectical Reason appeared in a second volume appeared posthumously.

In Critique , Sartre set out to give Marxism a more vigorous intellectual defense than it had received up until then; he ended by concluding that Marx's notion of "class" as an objective entity was fallacious. Sartre's emphasis on the humanist values in the early works of Marx led to a dispute with the leading Communist intellectual in France in the s, Louis Althusser, who claimed that the ideas of the young Marx were decisively superseded by the "scientific" system of the later Marx.

After Guevara's death, Sartre would declare him to be "not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age" and the "era's most perfect man. During a collective hunger strike in , Sartre visited Red Army Faction leader Andreas Baader in Stammheim Prison and criticized the harsh conditions of imprisonment. Late life and death In , Sartre renounced literature in a witty and sardonic account of the first ten years of his life, Les mots Words.

Literature, Sartre concluded, functioned ultimately as a bourgeois substitute for real commitment in the world. The prize was announced on 22 October ; on 14 October, Sartre had written a letter to the Nobel Institute, asking to be removed from the list of nominees, and that he would not accept the prize if awarded, but the letter went unread; on 23 October, Le Figaro published a statement by Sartre explaining his refusal.

He said he did not wish to be "transformed" by such an award, and did not want to take sides in an East vs. West cultural struggle by accepting an award from a prominent Western cultural institution. Though his name was then a household word as was "existentialism" during the tumultuous s , Sartre remained a simple man with few possessions, actively committed to causes until the end of his life, such as the student revolution strikes in Paris during the summer of during which he was arrested for civil disobedience.

President Charles de Gaulle intervened and pardoned him, commenting that "you don't arrest Voltaire. Then my essay on Genet, Saint Genet If these are remembered, that would be quite an achievement, and I don't ask for more. As a man, if a certain Jean-Paul Sartre is remembered, I would like people to remember the milieu or historical situation in which I lived, Sartre's physical condition deteriorated, partially because of the merciless pace of work and using drugs for this reason, e.

Sartre became almost completely blind in He died 15 April in Paris from edema of the lung. His funeral was well attended, with estimates of the number of mourners along the two hour march ranging from 15, to over 50, Sartre refers to any direct consciousness of the thing-in-itself as a "pre-reflective consciousness. The reflective consciousness in all its forms, scientific, artistic or otherwise can only limit the thing-in-itself by virtue of its attempt to understand or describe it.

It follows, therefore, that any attempt at self-knowledge self-consciousness - a reflective consciousness of an overflowing infinite is a construct that fails no matter how often it is attempted. Consciousness is consciousness of itself insofar as it is consciousness of a transcendent object. The same holds true about knowledge of the "Other". The "Other" meaning simply beings or objects that are not the self is a construct of reflective consciousness.

A volitional entity must be careful to understand this more as a form of warning than as an ontological statement. However, there is an implication of solipsism here that Sartre considers fundamental to any coherent description of the human condition. Sartre overcomes this solipsism by a kind of ritual. Self consciousness needs "the Other" to prove display its own existence.

It has a "masochistic desire" to be limited, i. This is expressed metaphorically in the famous line of dialogue from No Exit , "Hell is other people. To risk one's life, in fact, is to reveal oneself as not-bound to the objective form or to any determined existence--as not-bound to life", meaning the value of the Other's recognition of me depends on the value of my recognition of the Other.

In this sense to the extent that the Other apprehends me as bound to a body and immersed in life, I am myself only an Other as Ego. The main idea of Jean-Paul Sartre is that we are, as humans, "condemned to be free. Sartre says that if one considered a paper knife, one would assume that the creator would have had a plan for it: an essence. Sartre said that human beings have no essence before their existence because there is no Creator.

Thus: "existence precedes essence". This forms the basis for his assertion that since one cannot explain their own actions and behaviour by referencing any specific human nature, they are necessarily fully responsible for those actions. Authenticity and Individuality Sartre maintained that the concept of authenticity and individuality have to be earned but not learned. We need to experience death consciousness so as to wake up ourselves as to what is really important; the authentic in our lives which is life experience, not knowledge.

Taking a page from the German phenomenological movement, he believed that our ideas are the product of experiences of real-life situations, and that novels and plays can well describe such fundamental experiences, having equal value to discursive essays for the elaboration of philosophical theories such as existentialism.

With such purpose, this novel concerns a dejected researcher Roquentin in a town similar to Le Havre who becomes starkly conscious of the fact that inanimate objects and situations remain absolutely indifferent to his existence. As such, they show themselves to be resistant to whatever significance human consciousness might perceive in them. This indifference of "things in themselves" closely linked with the later notion of "being-in-itself" in his Being and Nothingness has the effect of highlighting all the more the freedom Roquentin has to perceive and act in the world; everywhere he looks, he finds situations imbued with meanings which bear the stamp of his existence.

Hence the "nausea" referred to in the title of the book; all that he encounters in his everyday life is suffused with a pervasive, even horrible, taste


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Jean-Paul Sartre

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