Jean-Paul Sartre was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism. Some of his famous works are Existentialism Is a Humanism, Being and Nothingness, and The Philosophy of Existentialism.
Existentialist Jean Paul Sartre claimed that because there is no God, we are condemned to be free.
In his essay Existentialism Is a Humanism, Sartre famously said that ‘Existence precedes Essence.’ In other words, one first exists, and then one invents one’s self through the choices he makes.
But such freedom can be quite daunting, and leads to feelings of abandonment, despair, and forlorness. For not only is there no God to guide us, but our total freedom means each one of us is solely responsible for what he becomes. Sartre says that to alleviate this burden of choice, we will attempt to deceive ourselves by acting as if we are not free, or what he calls ‘acting in bad faith.’
In fact, every second of the day we make choices that define us. The self is constantly changing, always an ‘open question.’
But is choosing not to choose not also a choice?
However we may try to delude ourselves, there is no escaping our freedom.
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