Sartre Existentialism is Humanism
What is Existentialism?
2 kinds - (religious Jasper, Beibe, Tillird, Marcel)
and atheistic (Heidegger, Sartre)
1. Common to all - existentialists is the doctrine "existence proceeds essence"
"Proceeds=ontological not temporal PRECEDENCE
- Ex consider artifacts: In making an artifact, it seems that its essence proceeds its existence.
Its essence=design, plan, concept
its existence= the active existence of the artifact
In traditional philosophy, essence proceeds existence: So the essence of man
proceeds hos existence [essence is conscious, in God's mind. But although God later on receded, the belief the main essence proceeds his existence removed.
2. But if God does not exist, then there is (al least one) being whose existence proceeds his essence= man
- He is nothing before he exists
- He becomes, or makes himself something after he leaps into existence.
Life begins as zero
If this is true then ; I am
1. Man is a project, a vocation [Grosset].
2. His existence, subjective life, is the source of his essence and life and identity.
3. What he is depends on what he wills himself to be.
4. Man alone is responsible for who is or will be.
- This responsibility is not personal( individual) but universal
- In changing what I will be, I chose for ALL HUMANS BEINGS
Each one of us represents the image of humanity as it ought to be.
Thus when I choose, I choose the higher, because choose of all human beings.
4. But this is not easy because it involves a heavy burden of responsibility.
-This burden creates a feeling of anguish
Eg Consider an official who chooses for an army, the nation or the world.
5. But who am I to impose (legislate) my own concept of humanity as human beings?
How do I know I am making the right choice? Did Abraham make the right choice.?
- This is an existential predicament: we can not escape. We are free and we are condemned to be free.
- You see, we are alone (abandoned by God the Father)
Dostoevsy If God does not exist, everything is possible
Consider the story of the young man who must make a decision to stay with his mother to to go to war during the Second World war.