Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Jean-Paul Sarte and the meaning of life

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) was an influential philosopher best known for his contributions to existentialism and analysis of the individual spirit. Novelist Norman Mailer says,
The Frenchman Jean-Paul … Sartre I remember now was - his last name had a dialectical - mind good as a machine for cybernetics, immense in its way, he could peel a nuance like an onion, but he had no sense of evil, the anguish of God, and the possible existence of Satan. (Evergreen Review, 1962)
Writer Lisa Appignanesi says,
When I was growing up in the 60s, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre were a model couple, already legendary creatures, rebels with a great many causes, and leaders of what could be called the first postwar youth movement: existentialism - a philosophy that rejected all absolutes and talked of freedom, authenticity, and difficult choices. (The Guardian, 2005)
This post is a collection of quotes from Sartre.

Philosophy of science

"Existentialism is nothing else but an attempt to draw the full conclusions from a consistently atheistic position. Its intention is not in the least that of plunging men into despair." (Existentialism Is a Humanism, 1946)

"Politics is a science. You can demonstrate that you are right and that others are wrong." (Dirty Hands, 1948)

What is life?

"Imagination is not an empirical or superadded power of consciousness, it is the whole of consciousness as it realizes its freedom." (Imagine: A Psychological Critique)

"The world is sacred because it gives an inkling of a meaning that escapes us." (Saint Genet, Actor and Martyr, 1952)

"In a world, man must create his own essence: it is in throwing himself into the world, suffering there, struggling there, that he gradually defines himself." (Characterizations of Existentialism, 1944)

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