Jean-Paul Sartre
(Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Existentialism
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Synopsis:
  • Human nature is not predetermined
  • We are radically free
  • Existence (subjectivity) precedes essence (human nature)
  • There is no "human nature" because there is no God to conceive it.
  • At first, man is nothing. Then he defines himself. He will be what he made himself to be.
  • Each individual is fully responsible for what he is.
  • "There is no reality except in action"
  • Indirectly, each individual's choice on what to be has an effect on all humans
  • "In choosing myself, I choose man"
  • Each individual has "total and deep responsibility"
  • This causes anxiety
  • Existentialism abolishes God, but recognizes that this act increases (not decreases) the individual responsibility for his actions
  • It complicates, not simplifies, his moral life
  • "We are alone, with no excuses"
  • Consciousness is "intentional": its only function is to refer to objects
  • The objects of knowing exist outside consciousness: the subject and the object are separated
  • Consciousness depends on objects, not objects on consciousness
  • If consciousness is conscious of something, that something is not part of consciousness, it must exist outside consciousness, because consciousness can only refer to it (i.e. the self is an object of consciousness, not the subject)
  • There is nothing inside consciousness
  • Consciousness per se is nothingness
  • Freedom is the condition of nothingness, when consciousness is not invaded by objects and can reflect
  • This freedom causes angst because it causes the revelation of one's own nothingness
  • Human existence is characterized by "nothingness", the will to negate, and is therefore doomed to failure
  • Absolute freedom of choice is the main moral value, which entails one's responsibility for her own decisions
  • Industrial-age society causes "serialization", a loss of the self

(Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )