An analysis of john paul sartres essay existentialism is a humanism

Critics of Sartrean existentialism: For Marxists, existentialism is a philosophy of failure, inactive. But according to Sartre, his philosophy is based on action. On the individualistic criticism, Sartre has difficulty to argue.

An analysis of john paul sartres essay existentialism is a humanism

Earlier that year, Sartre had released the initial volumes of The Roads to Freedom. In a bid to enlighten his critics, Sartre accepted the invitation for the lecture.


He appeared in front of a packed crowd, sans notes, and proceeded to defend his philosophy. The strangeness of the situation was not lost on Sartre.

Understanding that the discussion of existentialism had shifted from the purely academic platform of philosophers to the dinner table of the everyman, he said: The general public did not understand philosophy at all, nor did they care.

These days, philosophy is shot down in the public square. Being an atheist, Sartre only aimed to correct the mistaken notions some Christians had about the philosophy.

To his religious critics, existentialism focused too much on the basest parts of humanity—in the process, completely disregarding the better side of human nature.

As for the Communists, Sartre had hoped for some form of reconciliation with the movement. But the Communists were under the impression that existentialism was a bourgeois philosophy, a contemplative doctrine that encouraged quietism, inaction, and despair.

An analysis of john paul sartres essay existentialism is a humanism

Both sects also accused existentialism of focusing too much on subjectivity, thereby overlooking the possibility of and necessity for human solidarity. To this, Sartre answered with a definition of Existentialism. Atheist Existentialism Underneath the umbrella of existentialism resides two distinct philosophical movements—Christian Existentialism and Atheist Existentialism.

But for Atheist Existentialists—the movement which Sartre belongs to—because God does not exist, the only being whose existence precedes essence is the one being that exists prior to developing its essence and morality.

A student’s guide to Jean-Paul Sartre’s Existentialism and Humanism | Issue 15 | Philosophy Now

That being is man. Another notion that separates Christian existentialism with its atheist cousin is its understanding of the human condition. It does not concern itself with dictating human nature, rather it talks about the shared limitations of man.

To paraphrase Sartre, the human reality is this—man is born into the world, exists among others in the world, and will eventually perish in the world. What does Sartre mean by Subjectivity?

Because man is responsible for what he chooses, he is also responsible for who he becomes. But beyond being responsible for himself, man is also responsible for the rest of mankind.

This is because what man chooses for himself, he also chooses for all men. Existentialists redefine these words to illustrate the effects of their philosophy.

In the Bible, God sent a messenger to Abraham asking him to sacrifice his beloved son. This is the same emotion felt by generals and commanders during the war. For the sake of the greater good, they may sacrifice the lives of their men in the process—it is a torment-filled decision, but one that does not stop them from acting.

Jean-Paul Sartre - Wikipedia

In our daily lives, we too are sometimes faced with choices laced with anguish. It is an emotion anyone with responsibilities can attest to. It is a shared experience, but one that is rooted in subjectivity and resulting in action.

Condemned because he did not create himself, yet nonetheless free because once cast in the world, he is responsible for everything he does. Because there is no God, and consequently no code of conduct that must be followed, we bear the full responsibility for the values we choose to uphold.

It is one of the starting points of existentialism and is one of the accusations hurled by Christians against the philosophy. But while everything may appear allowable, existentialists believe that there are no excuses for our actions.

Being and Nothingness

Because feelings are built by the actions we take and choices we make, emotions can never be used as guidelines for our actions. As for signs, we are the ones who choose to interpret their meaning. In short, abandonment is the acknowledgment that we alone must decide who we must become—and that decision entails anguish.Free Essay: Jean Paul Sartre's Existential philosophy posits that is in man, and in man alone, that existence precedes essence.

Essay on Jean Paul Sartres Writing - No Exit Words | 3 Pages. His ideas of existentialism were profoundly outlined in the play. Based on the idea that mental torture is more agonizing than physical, No Exit.

Nevertheless Existentialism and Humanism provides a good introduction to a number of key themes in his major work of the same period, Being and Nothingness, and to some of the fundamental questions about human existence which are the starting point for most people’s interest in philosophy at all.

The essay Existentialism is a Humanism is just one of his many works. Existentialism is a Humanism is a political essay that was written in Its purpose was to address a small public during World War II in Nazi occupied France.

May 22,  · The lecture The Existentialism is a humanism of Sartre is one of the best-selling French philosophy book..

Pronounced at the Sorbonne (well known university in Paris) in , two years after Being and Nothingness (his theory of ontology theory) being published, the lecture aims to remove misunderstandings and criticisms directed to this book, especially marxists and catholics ones.

If the text of Existentialism is a humanism is far from being as specific as the thought of Sartre, it at least has the merit of making his ideas more accessible. It gives an overview of its main concepts (awareness, others, freedom, responsibility, ) and thus remain to be read, again and again.

In his essay Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre undertakes the task of defending existentialism against what he defines as “charges” () brought against it.

Sartre begins to outline the “charges” brought against existentialism and further, existentialists. Following the medieval.

SparkNotes: Jean-Paul Sartre (–): Being and Nothingness