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Sartre's Defense of Existentialism
Pages 6 (1506 words)
(Name) (Professor) (Subject) (Date) Sartre’s Defense of Existentialism Why do we do the things we do? Do we do these things for a reason or do we do this because of a principle on which we believe our actions and decisions must be based? The 20th century French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre believed that these a priori principles did not exist and that, in whatever situation man is in, he is left alone to make a choice and that this is his freedom.
Nevertheless, Sartre’s response to the objection that his existentialism makes all choice arbitrary is not only good but also sensible. Sartre interprets the objection that confronts him and his existentialism – “It does not matter what you do” – in three ways: “First they tax us with anarchy; then they say, ‘You cannot judge others, for there is no reason for preferring one purpose to another’; finally, they may say, ‘Everything being merely voluntary in this choice of yours, you give away with one hand what you pretend to gain with the other’” (Sartre 13). The first objection – the idea that “they tax us with anarchy” – translates as “to say that it does not matter what you choose is not correct” (14). Sartre then responds to this objection by using logic: “If I do not choose, that is still a choice” and one therefore “cannot avoid choosing” (14). To this, Sartre adds the idea that “it is impossible for [one]…not to take complete responsibility for making a choice” (14). The people who object Sartre’s existentialism tell him one thing – that there must be some definite law that governs decision-making and that true free will does not exist. ...
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