20th Century Philosophy

Jean-Paul Sartre  1905-1980


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Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul SartreBeing and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre 

The often criticized philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre encompasses the dilemmas and aspirations of the individual in contemporary society. This work of power and epic scope provides a vivid analysis for all who would understand one of the most influential philosophic movements of this or any age.

Drawing on history and his own rich imagination for examples, Sartre offers compelling supplements to his more formal arguments. The waiter who detaches himself from his job-role sticks in the reader's memory with greater tenacity than the lengthy discussion of inauthentic life and serves to bring the full force of the argument to life. Even if you're not an angst-addicted poet from North Beach, Being and Nothingness offers you a deep conversation with a brilliant mind--unfortunately, a rare find these days. --Rob Lightner

This is an informative introduction to Sartre and his philosophy and a key to special terminology enhance a handsome edition of Sartre's classic study of modern existentialism.

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 Jean-Paul Sartre: Biography

Biography by Peter Landry at blupete.com.


Sartre's Theory of the Universe:

"There is no ultimate meaning or purpose inherent in human life; in this sense life is 'absurd'. We are 'forlorn', 'abandoned' in the world to look after ourselves completely. Sartre insists that the only foundation for values is human freedom, and that there can be no external or objective justification for the values anyone chooses to adopt.

To Sartre human life is an "unhappy consciousness," a "useless passion"; well, I do not go along with Sartre's theories, in this respect, at all. I believe that one's life is, in itself, a value; and the objective standard for one to follow is that which advances this value. Holding one's own life as the ultimate value, a person can see the importance of the right choices among the many, choices which it is hoped will lead to the protection and advancement of an individual's greatest value, that individual's own life. But outside of Sartre's view that life is an "unhappy consciousness," a "useless passion"; much of what Sartre said makes sense, and counters the dangerous notions of Freud and his ilk. For instance Sartre emphatically rejects the idea advanced by Freud that certain mental events have unconscious causes. Emotions, he says, are not outside the control of our wills, if one is sad it is because one chooses to be sad; we are responsible for our emotions; we are, ultimately, responsible for our own behavior. According to Sartre, man is free and being conscious of this fact, can bring on pain, or anguish; and typically we try to avoid the consciousness of our own freedom.


The Realm of Existentialism:   Sartre

Basic page about Sartre by Katharena Eiermann with   passages from or about the following:
bullet Nausea
bullet Being and Nothingness
bullet Existentialism & Human Emotions
bullet Intimacy (random passages)
bullet The Wall (random passages)
bullet Huis Clos or No Exit
bullet The Room (random passages)
bullet Erostratus (random passages)
bullet Childhood of a Leader (random passages)
bullet Sartre Quotes (french)


Sartre, Existentialism & Philosophy

Maintained by Donald Robertson.  This site, dedicated to the philosophy and literature of Jean-Paul Sartre, contains access to extensive resources including on-line texts, detailed biographical information, chat room, message board, e-mail discussion list, etc. 


Sartre, philosophy & existentialism

A site dedicated to the existential philosophy and literature of Jean-Paul Sartre. Also the homepage of a popular discussion list.


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