Essay on Existentialism Is a Humanism - Term Paper

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Do humans have purpose before they exist? In this philosophy course, learn why Jean-Paul Sartre rejects essence before existence with a detailed look at his essay, "Existentialism Is a Humanism."

Abstract for essay on existentialism "The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power or teaching." — Aristotle Guiding Questions: How do we prove that existentialism is a humanism? 2) How possible is it to discover others through our own self-discovery? 3) Why is the other indispensible to self knowledge? Your task in this part of the essay is to explain the following quotes based on the discussion that we had in class. Based on previous class discussions of existentialism

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The particular formulation of humanism presented by Sartre in this essay is what I want to talk about, because it is dubious in the aforementioned way. More precisely, the abstract idea of freedom on which Sartre attempts to base his moral system in “Existentialism is a Humanism” is insufficient for a number of reasons, listed hereafter.

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And yet, Sartre insists in this essay that existentialism contends the pursuit of freedom is a sufficient condition of moral action. This may simply be a result of the tenacity with which he intends to meet the declarations of his dissenters. At any rate, I agree far more with Sartre when, in much of his other writing—including much of “Existentialism is a Humanism”—his claims are more geared toward a phenomenological approach to coping with or understanding existence, contingency, guilt, death, and, yes, freedom. And .

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The work by him which is most likely to have been encountered by any student of philosophy, however, is not one of his literary works; instead, it is his early speech-turned-essay “Existentialism is a Humanism.” This is an essay I generally like. After all, I like existentialism; I would not reject the label of existentialist for . But, that said, I feel that after starting strong Sartre ventures somewhat off-base in “Existentialism is a Humanism” when he nears what is ostensibly his thesis. His initial responses to myopic detractors are useful and well-composed, but his goal (and the intention stated by his title) of showing that existentialism provides a morality of maximising freedom seems misguided.

This post outlines his essay Existentialism and Humanism

In his essay Existentialism is a Humanism, Jean-Paul Sartre defines what existentialism is by responding to what others have mistakenly accused this philosophy of being. Sartre begins by identifying that the key starting point for existentialism is that human existence precedes human essence (p. 314). There is no a priori human nature formulated by God. After we reject the idea that God exists, Sartre follows Heideggerian thinking by stating that there can only be one being for whom existence precedes essence. This “human reality” (Heidegger’s terminology p.315) arrives first, then defines himself. There is no human identity because there is no God to create an identity for man (p.315). As Sartre says, “he is nothing” (p.315) and it is the existentialist who makes something out of him.


This philosophy article provides a critique of the freedom-centric ethical system in Jean-Paul Sartre's essay "Existentialism is a Humanism."

Our lives are ongoing activities. Mr. White’s existence, just like the existence of every similarly self-conscious, caring being, is more than a series of events or a set of facts. In providing such an understanding, Existentialism breathes new life into old ideas about the nature of value, freedom, and even more broadly into questions about the nature of reality and knowledge. In this essay, we will restrict our focus to what existentialists have to say about human nature and living a meaningful life.2

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...Essay 3, Page 505 question 5 In this essay I will discuss the concepts of complete responsibility and bad faith as defined by the principals of Sartre. I will also discuss if I agree with his thoughts. In addition I will debate if I think if a person should always be held accountable for their actions. I will also give some examples that I think will help to illustrate my thoughts and feelings on Sartre’s ideas on complete responsibility and bad faith. Let’s first begin with an explanation of the concept of living in bad faith. I interpret this as a term used by Sartre to describe how we live our lives in an existentialist world without taking the responsibility of our own actions. When I say an existentialist world, this needs some explanation. It is meant as how Sartre describes how we find our self in the world. We are born without any essence (given by God) and we are only born as human being with existence at first. But without any essence, this means we are entirely free, free to act as we wishes, and free to make our own choices. This again means that we must take responsibility for our own actions, for our own choices in life. And this is where bad faith fits in. If you don’t take this responsibility, the responsibility of facing your own actions and yourself in life, you are living in bad faith Sartre is convinced that human responsibility makes sense only if there is no God; otherwise divine foreknowledge and predestination necessarily exclude alternative...

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