Existencialism is humanism

Nov 20, Florencia rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Sartre fans, Sartre detractors, philosophy lovers Man is nothing other than what he makes of himself. You will find an energetic Sartre defending his views on many subjects.

Existencialism is humanism

Lecture given in Source: Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Sartre, ed. World Publishing Company in ; Translator: My purpose here is to offer a defence of existentialism against several reproaches that have been laid against it.

First, it has been reproached as an invitation to people to dwell in quietism of despair. For if every way to a solution is barred, one would have to regard any action in this world as entirely ineffective, and one would arrive finally at a contemplative philosophy.

Moreover, since contemplation is a luxury, this would be only another bourgeois philosophy. This is, especially, the reproach made by the Communists. From another quarter we are reproached for having underlined all that is ignominious in the human situation, for depicting what is mean, sordid or base to the Existencialism is humanism of certain things that possess Existencialism is humanism and beauty and belong to the brighter side of human nature: Mercier, we forget how an infant smiles.

Both from this side and from the other we are also reproached for leaving out of account the solidarity of mankind and considering man in isolation. The ego cannot reach them through the cogito.

Existencialism is humanism

From the Christian side, we are reproached as people who deny the reality and seriousness of human affairs.

For since we ignore the commandments of God and all values prescribed as eternal, nothing remains but what is strictly voluntary.

Everyone can do what he likes, and will be incapable, from such a point of view, of condemning either the point of view or the action of anyone else. In any case, we can begin by saying that existentialism, in our sense of the word, is a doctrine that does render human life possible; a doctrine, also, which affirms that every truth and every action imply both an environment and a human subjectivity.

The essential charge laid against us is, of course, that of over-emphasis upon the evil side of human life. Those who can quite well keep down a novel by Zola such as La Terre are sickened as soon as they read an existentialist novel.

Those who appeal to the wisdom of the people — which is a sad wisdom — find ours sadder still. We all know how many common sayings can be quoted to this effect, and they all mean much the same — that you must not oppose the powers that be; that you must not fight against superior force; must not meddle in matters that are above your station.

Or that any action not in accordance with some tradition is mere romanticism; or that any undertaking which has not the support of proven experience is foredoomed to frustration; and that since experience has shown men to be invariably inclined to evil, there must be firm rules to restrain them, otherwise we shall have anarchy.

Existentialism Is a Humanism (French: L'existentialisme est un humanisme) is a work by the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, based on a lecture by the same name he gave at Club Maintenant in Paris, on 29 October I have been reproached for suggesting that existentialism is a form of humanism: people have said to me, “But you have written in your Nausée that the humanists are wrong, you have even ridiculed a certain type of humanism, why do you now go back upon that?” In reality, the . Sartre: Existentialism is a humanism (Summary) share The lecture The Existentialism is a humanism of Sartre is one of the best-selling French philosophy book.

Indeed their excessive protests make me suspect that what is annoying them is not so much our pessimism, but, much more likely, our optimism. For at bottom, what is alarming in the doctrine that I am about to try to explain to you is — is it not? To verify this, let us review the whole question upon the strictly philosophic level.

What, then, is this that we call existentialism? Most of those who are making use of this word would be highly confused if required to explain its meaning.

It would appear that, for the lack of any novel doctrine such as that of surrealism, all those who are eager to join in the latest scandal or movement now seize upon this philosophy in which, however, they can find nothing to their purpose. For in truth this is of all teachings the least scandalous and the most austere: All the same, it can easily be defined.

The question is only complicated because there are two kinds of existentialists. There are, on the one hand, the Christians, amongst whom I shall name Jaspers and Gabriel Marcel, both professed Catholics; and on the other the existential atheists, amongst whom we must place Heidegger as well as the French existentialists and myself.

What they have in common is simply the fact that they believe that existence comes before essence — or, if you will, that we must begin from the subjective. What exactly do we mean by that?

Existencialism is humanism

If one considers an article of manufacture as, for example, a book or a paper-knife — one sees that it has been made by an artisan who had a conception of it; and he has paid attention, equally, to the conception of a paper-knife and to the pre-existent technique of production which is a part of that conception and is, at bottom, a formula.I have been reproached for suggesting that existentialism is a form of humanism: people have said to me, “But you have written in your Nausée that the humanists are wrong, you have even ridiculed a certain type of humanism, why do you now go back upon that?” In reality, the .

Existentialism Is a Humanism (French: L'existentialisme est un humanisme) is a work by the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, based on a lecture by the same name he gave at Club Maintenant in Paris, on 29 October “Existentialism Is a Humanism” Jean-Paul Sartre My purpose here is to offer a defense of existentialism against several reproaches that have been laid against it.

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L'Existentialisme est un humanisme = Existentialism Is a Humanism = Existentialism, by Jean-Paul Sartre Existentialism Is a Humanism (French: L'existentialisme est un humanisme) is a work by the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, based on a lecture by the same name he gave at Club Maintenant in Paris, on 29 October /5.

Existentialism Is a Humanism - Wikipedia