Existentialism Is A Humanism
Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘Existentialism is a Humanism’ (1946)1. First, I would like you to think about the central principle of Existentialism. What does Sartre mean when he writes that, “existence precedes essence?” (p.3.).(Answer the question in your own words. Also find examples in the text).2. Also, shortly afterwards, Sartre writes, “If, however, it is true that existence is prior to essence, man is responsible for what he is.” What does Sartre mean by this? (p.3-4.)(Again, answer in your own words, and find examples in the text).3. When Sartre writes, “Our responsibility is thus much greater than we had supposed, for it concerns mankind as a whole” (4).What does Sartre mean?(Again, find examples in the text).4. For Sartre, why is “anguish” a “condition of action itself?” (p.4-5.). And what does he mean when he writes that, “…action presupposes that there is a plurality of possibilities, and in choosing one of these…it has value only because it is chosen” (4-5).(Answer the question in your own words, and find examples in the text to support your points).5. What does Sartre mean when he states that “man is condemned to be free?”(5).(Find examples in the text, and answer in your own words).6. Why does Sartre use the example of the student who lives with his mother during the war, and who has approached Sartre for advice? How does this example help to prove Sartre’s arguments about ethics, values, and choice? What does Sartre want to say through this example? (5-6).(Answer the question in your own words, and use examples).7. What does Sartre mean when he states that::“”Man is nothing else but what he purposes, he exists only in so far as he realizes himself, he is therefore nothing else but the sum of his actions, nothing else but what his life is.” (7).?(Answer the question in your own words, and find examples in the text).8. As an ethical philosophy that according to Sartre, is misunderstood for its pessimism, how does existentialism, in fact, provide an “optimistic” view of life? (8).(Find examples in the text).9. What is the connection between existentialism and “humanity” (“humanism”)? (9-10).(Answer the question in your own words, and find examples in the text).10. Finally, do you find Sartre’s views about existentialism convincing?And as an ethical theory, how might Sartre’s reading change the way that you view and live your own life today?Do you agree or disagree with the central arguments of existentialism?