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Jean-Paul Sartre

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TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Jean-Paul Sartre
    Posted: 14-Dec-2011 at 09:49
I enjoy sampling pieces from philosophical works, and have a lovely quotations book book which I love to delve into now and again. I have read a few books too from a number of philosophers and aim to get many more in my time and go right through them before I'm unable to read in my old age. This philosopher, from what I have seen so far, I seem to connect with the most. Please say what you think of this great man and vote if you wish to.

Here are a few quotes by Jean-Paul Sartre:

"What do we mean by saying that existence precedes essence? We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world- and defines himself afterwards…..there is no human nature, because there is no God to have a conception of it…Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself….."

 

"…..it is necessary that we make ourselves what we are.

….The waiter in the café cannot be immediately a café waiter in the sense that this inkwell is an inkwell, or the glass is a glass….It is precisely this person who I have to be (if I am the waiter in question) and who I am not. It is not that I do not wish to be this person or that I want this person to be different. But rather there is no common measure between his being and mine. It is a ‘representation’ for other and for myself, which means that I can be only in representation. But if I represent myself as him, I am not he; I am separate from him as the object from the subject, separate by nothing, but this nothing isolates me from him. I can only play at being him…. What I attempt to realize is a being-in-itself of the café waiter."


This is one I saw some time ago, and is my favourite piece so far, and comes from Existentialism and Human Emotions. Here is a link if you want to see more selections. http://dbanach.com/exist.htm


"In the eighteenth century, the atheism of the philosophers discarded the idea of God, but not so much for the notion that essence precedes existence. To a certain extent, this idea is found everywhere; we find it in Diderot, in Voltaire, and even in Kant. Man has a human nature; this human nature, which is the concept of the human, is found in all men, which means that each man is a particular example of a universal concept, man. In Kant, the result of this universality is that the wild-man, the natural man, as well as the bourgeois, are circumscribed by the same definition and have the same basic qualities. Thus, here too the essence of man precedes the historical existence that we find in nature.

Atheistic existentialism, which I represent, is more coherent. It states that if God does not exist, there is at least one being in whom existence precedes essence, a being who exists before he can be defined by any concept, and that this being is man, or, as Heidegger says, human reality. What is meant here by saying that existence precedes essence? It means that, first of all, man exists, turns up, appears on the scene, and, only afterwards, defines himself. If man, as the existentialist conceives him, is indefinable, it is because at first he is nothing. Only afterward will he be something, and he himself will have made what he will be. Thus, there is no human nature, since there is no God to conceive it. Not only is man what he conceives himself to be, but he is also only what he wills himself to be after this thrust toward existence.

 

 

Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. Such is the first principle of existentialism. It is also what is called subjectivity, the name we are labeled with when charges are brought against us. But what do we mean by this, if not that man has a greater dignity than a stone or table? For we mean that man first exists, that is, that man first of all is the being who hurls himself toward a future and who is conscious of imagining himself as being in the future. Man is at the start a plan which is aware of itself, rather than a patch of moss, a piece of garbage, or a cauliflower nothing exists prior to this plan; there is nothing in heaven; man will be what he will have planned to be. Not what he will want to be. Because by the word "will" we generally mean a conscious decision, which is subsequent to what we have already made of ourselves. I may want to belong to a political party, write a book, get married; but all that is only a manifestation of an earlier, more spontaneous choice that is called "will." But if existence really does precede essence, man is responsible for what he is. Thus, existentialism's first move is to make every man aware of what he is and to make the full responsibility of his existence rest on him. And when we say that a man is responsible for himself, we do not only mean that he is responsible for his own individuality, but that he is responsible for all men...."

Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (play /ˈsɑrtrə/French pronunciation: [saʁtʁ]; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophyMarxism, and was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism. His work continues to influence fields such as Marxist philosophysociologycritical theoryand literary studies. Sartre was also noted for his long non-monogamous relationship with the feminist author and social theorist Simone de Beauvoir. He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature but refused it, saying that such an award would forever limit his freedom.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_Sartre

What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2011 at 16:13
Sartre is the one philosopher I feel  closest to me; I probably can say that was a Sartrerian even before I read him. I don't think I'll rate him as a genius though /very few are there anyway in my book/, but he was really, really good. "Being and Nothingness" is one of my most treasured books, and it's pleasure to read too in his elegant style. I'm quite influenced by the the way he sees psychology of being, and the explanations he gives for the basic human feelings and reactions - hate, love, etc. I'm going to post a quote from the book I mentioned:

"... Everything which may be said of me in my relations with the others applies to him as well While I attempt to free myself from the hold of the Other, the other is trying to free himself from mine; while I seek to enslave the Other, the Other seeks to enslave me. We are by no means dealing with unilateral relations with an object-in-itself, but with reciprocal and moving relations. The following descriptions of concrete behavior must therefore be envisaged within the perspective of conflict. Conflict is the original meaning of being-for-others.

If we start with the first revelation of the Other as a look, we must recognize that we experience our inapprehensible being-for-others in the form of a possession. I am possessed by the Other; the Other's look fashions my body in it's nakedness, causes it to be born, sculptures it, produces it as it is, sees it as I shall never see it. He makes me be and thereby he possesses me, and this possessionis nothing other than the consciousness of possessing me. "I" in the recognition of my objective state have proof that he has this consciousness. By virtue of consciousness the Other is for me simultaneously the one who has stolen my being from me and the one who causes "there to be" a being which is my being.

Thus I have a comprehension of this ontological structure: I'm responsible  for my being-for-others, but I am not the foundation of it. It appears to me therefore in the form of a contingent given for which I am nevertheless responsible; the Other founds me being so far as this being is in the form of the "there is". But he is not responsible for my being although he founds it in complete freedom - in and by means of his free transcendence. Thus to the extent that I'm revealed to myself as responsible for my being, I lay claim to this being which I am; that is, I wish to recover it, or, more exactly, I'm the project of the recovery of my being. I want to stretch out my hand and grab hold of this being which is presented to me as my being but at a distance - like the dinner of Tantalus; I want to found it by my very freedom. For it in one sense my being-as-object is an unbearable contingency and the pure "possession' of myself by another, still in another sense this being stands as the indication of what I should be obliged to recover and found in order to be the foundation of myself. But this is conceivable only if I assimilate the Other's freedom. Thus my project of recovering myself is fundamentally a project of absorbing the Other

Nevertheless this project must leave the Other's nature intact, Two consequences result:
1) I do not thereby cease to assert the Other - that is, to deny concerning myself that I am the Other. Since the Other is the foundation of my being, he could not be dissolved in me without my being-for-others disappearing. Therefore if I project the realization of unity for the other, this means that I project my assimilation of the Other's Otherness as my own possibility. In fact the problem for me is to make myself to be acquiring the possibility of taking the Other's point of view on myself It's not a matter of acquiring a pure, abstract facility of knowledge. It's not the pure category of the Other which I project appropriating to myself. This category is not conceived nor even conceivable. But on the occasion of concrete experience with the other, an experience suffered and realized, it is this concrete Other as an absolute reality whom in his otherness I wish to incorporate into myself

2) The other whom I wish to assimilate is by no means the Other-as-object. Or, if you prefer, my project or incorporating the Other  in no way corresponds to a recapturing of my for-itself as myself and to a surpassing of the Other's transcendence toward my own possibilities. For me is not a question of obliterating my object-state by making an object of the Other, which would amount to releasing myself from me being-for-others. Quite the contrary, I want to assimilate the Other as the Other-looking-at-me, and this project of assimilation includes an augmented recognition of my being-looked at. In short, in order to maintain before me the Other's freedom which is looking at me, I identify myself totally with my being-looked-at. At since my being-as-object is the only possible reason between me and the Other, it is this being-as-object which alone can serve me as an instrument to effect my assimilation of the Other's freedom...."
pgs. 474-476, Ibid


Edited by Don Quixote - 14-Dec-2011 at 16:44
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2011 at 16:26
Here is another quote of Sartr:
"..."...Atheistic existentialism, which I present, is more coherent. it states that if God does not exist, there is at least one being in whom existence precedes essence, a being who exists before he can be defined by any concept and that this being is man, or, as Heidegger says, human reality. What is meant here by saying that existence precedes essence? It means that, firs of all, man exists, turns up, appears on the scene, and, only afterwards, defines himself. If man, as the existentialist conceives him. is indefinable it is because at first he was nothing. Only afterward he was something, and he himself will have what he will be. Thus, there is no human nature, since there is no God to conceive it. Not only is man what he conceives himself to be, but he is also what he wills himself to be after this thrust toward existence.
Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. Such is the first principle of existentialism. It is also what is called subjectivity, the name we are labeled with when charges are brought against us. But what do we mean by this, if not that man has a greater dignity than a stone or table? For we mean that man first exist, that is, that man first of all is the being who hurls himself toward a future and who is conscious of imagining himself as being in the future. Man is at the start a plan which is aware of itself , rather that a patch of moss, a piece of garbage, or a cauliflower; nothing exists prior to this plan; there is nothing in heaven; man will be what he will have planned to be. Not what he will want to be. Because by the world "will" we generally mean a conscious decision, which is subsequent to what we have already made of ourselves.
I may want to belong to a political party, write a book, get married, but all this is a manifestation of an earlier, more spontaneous choice that is called "will". But if existence really does precede essence, man is responsible for what he is. Thus, existentialism's first move is to make every man aware of what he is and to make the full responsibility of his existence rest on him. And when we say that a man is responsible for himself, we do not only mean that he is responsible for his own individuality, but that he is responsible for all men..."..."  from "Existentialism is Humanism", pgs. 176-177, "The Existential Mind" /published 1974 by Fawcett publications/


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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Dec-2011 at 13:52
I have a lot of fun using a variation of the idea used in the following Sartre quote. It goes like this, say to someone, "do not think of an elephant", though of course the elephant does indeed haunt their thoughts. Here's the quote and I find it very logical:


"I have an appointment with Pierre at four o’clock. I arrive at the café a

quarter of an hour late. Pierre is always punctual. Will he have waited for

me? I look at the room, the patrons, and I say, “He is not here” …This does not mean that i discover his absence in some precise spot in the establishment. In fact Pierre is absent from the whole café; his absence fixes the cafe in its evanescence; the cafe remains ground....Only it makes itself ground for a determined figure; it carries the figure everywhere in front of it, presents the figure everywhere to me. This figure which slips constantly between my look and the solid, real objects of the cafe is precisely a perpetual disappearance; it is Pierre raising himself as nothingness on the ground of the nihilation of the cafe....my expectation has caused the absence of Pierre to happen as a real event concerning this cafe...Pierre absent haunts this cafe...." 




Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 15-Dec-2011 at 14:10
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
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