Sartres Impact of Divine Absence in Existentialism - Essay Example

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Sartres Impact of Divine Absence in Existentialism

Sartre divides his theory of existence into two basic categories, which he refers to as "en-soi" (in-itself) and "pour-soi" (for-itself), both of which are derived from his theory of consciousness. En-soi existence is a classification of solid things, that is, everyday objects or substances that exist completely by themselves. This explanation becomes clearer in comparison to the category of pour-soi, which is a being of consciousness that defines itself because it is not something else. Pour-soi recognizes a distance between itself and something that is not itself, a nothingness in between the two, while at the same time being conscious of itself. Being for-itself can only exist through consciousness of an outside object. This act of distance is a state of nothing unique to the consciousness of humans, for through this act of separation, one raises questions and realizes possibilities of what is "not" (i.e. a quality lacking from the situation or environment). For example, should an individual be hungry, they can imagine a future time when they will no longer be hungry. This example can be applied to anything the human mind can imagine. ...Show more


Sartre observes that man is impassioned to be God, but that it is a futile endeavor. To understand this tenet, one must delve into Sartre's theories of both Man and God. As an existentialist, it is not enough for Sartre to take an atheistic stance; he must address the implications that arise from this issue…
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