Jean-Paul Sartre’s Philosophy: Radical Freedom and Responsibility Essay

Jean-Paul Sartre’s Philosophy: Radical Freedom and Responsibility Essay

Length: 1238 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“We are left alone, without excuse. This is what I mean when I say that man is condemned to be free” (Sartre 32). Radical freedom and responsibility is the central notion of Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy. However, Sartre himself raises objections about his philosophy, but he overcomes these obvious objections. In this paper I will argue that man creates their own essence through their choices and that our values and choices are important because they allow man to be free and create their own existence. I will first do this by explaining Jean-Paul Sartre’s quote, then by thoroughly stating Sartre’s theory, and then by opposing objections raised against Sartre’s theory.
When Sartre says, “We are left alone, without excuse. That is what I mean to say that man is condemned to be free” (Sartre 32), he is speaking of man’s autonomous life; which is human independence and freedom to will one’s actions. Because God, according to Sartre, did not create man we are self-creating. Through human intelligence comes essence, the intrinsic nature or indispensible quality of something, but essence only comes after human existence. Creating ones own essence allows man to be free because we create what we are, rather then our identities being given to us. The only guidance man gets is from themselves because man is left alone in the universe, which in-turn makes man responsible. Man has no one telling him what to do, there may be laws but they are man made and because they man made no one has true control over man.
Existentialism is a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining his or her own development through acts of the will. To Sartre, saying that som...

... middle of paper ...

...vious objections. In this paper argued that man creates their own essence through their choices and that our values and choices are important because they allow man to be free and create their own existence. I did this first by explaining Jean-Paul Sartre’s quote, then by thoroughly stating Sartre’s theory, and then by opposing objections raised against Sartre’s theory.

Works Cited | Free Online Dictionary for English Definitions. Web. 15 Apr. 2011. .
"Existentialism." Saint Anselm College : Saint Anselm College. Web. 15 Apr. 2011. .
Sartre, Jean-Paul, and Stephen Priest. Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings. London: Routledge, 2001. Print.
"Jean-Paul Sartre." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 15 Apr. 2011. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Jean-Paul Sartre and Radical Freedom Essay

- Jean-Paul Sartre claims that there can be no human nature, or essence, without a God to conceive of it. This claim leads Sartre to formulate the idea of radical freedom, which is the idea that man exists before he can be defined by any concept and is afterwards solely defined by his choices. Sartre presupposes this radical freedom as a fact but fails to address what is necessary to possess the type of freedom which would allow man to define himself. If it can be established that this freedom and the ability to make choices is contingent upon something else, then freedom cannot be the starting point from which man defines himself....   [tags: god, human nature]

Strong Essays
1790 words (5.1 pages)

Where are the Radical Feminists? Essays

- Where are the Radical Feminist. A review of the available literature provides a wealth of examples of authors advocating women movement or feminism essential for defending the rights of women in a vast array of society across the globe. Feminism reflects “a world view that values women and that confronts systematic injustices based on gender” (Chinn & Wheeler, 1985, p. 74). The oppression of women had existed a long time ago and is still evident today and it is not a new issue in today’s society....   [tags: women's rights, equality, objectification]

Strong Essays
982 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Existentialism, By Jean Paul

- ... It is essentially seeing oneself as an ambiguous reversionary reality with nothing to stand on. Sartre firmly had faith in the essential freedom of individuals, and he also believed that as free beings, people are responsible for every aspect of themselves, their consciousness, and their behavior. Ultimately, with complete freedom comes complete responsibility. He believed that even the individuals who wish not to be responsible, who advocate themselves not responsible for themselves or their actions, are still able to make a conscious choice and are thereby responsible for anything that happens as a consequence of their inactivity....   [tags: Human, Meaning of life, Philosophy of life]

Strong Essays
1154 words (3.3 pages)

The Freedom of Men in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Work Essay

- Out of the many philosophers of his time, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ideas were the most enlightened. His ideas were extremely controversial and he has influenced political and social change for over two hundred years. His ideas were enlightened by thinking ahead of the people of his time by talking about general will, liberty and the corruption of society, and how freedom was essential to being human. We find the Rousseau argued about the freedoms of men quite a bit in his work The Social Contract....   [tags: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, philosophy, freedom,]

Strong Essays
511 words (1.5 pages)

The Radical Journalist And Jacobin Jean Paul Marat Essay

- One of the most important factors of the political clubs is the way in which they deceived the common people to support them. After Louis XVI was executed the Republicans demonstrated that they were not all about freedom after all. The Radical journalist and Jacobin Jean-Paul Marat did a tremendous job at striking fear into the Girondins and completely defeating the point of a Republic. Marat wrote vicious stories that ironically called for the suppression of freedom of press for the opponents to the government....   [tags: French Revolution, Reign of Terror, Georges Danton]

Strong Essays
804 words (2.3 pages)

How Freedom And Responsibility Affect Individuals And Society Essay

- ... However, if that person can control their arms then they should be able to have the freedom to run around in circles while other people are around. The key is knowing our responsibilities within a society. Since our country has developed over the years, “a certain level of individual responsibility has to be assumed” (Passy 1974). In conjunction to that, the American society has laws in place that help protect its citizens from harm. It is undeniable that with freedom consequences are expected....   [tags: Individual, Individual rights, Responsibility]

Strong Essays
1619 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Jean Of Jean Paul Sartre

- ... As we are condemned to be free we are always acting as Sartre had said. As Kant insisted the things that we do, we cannot use the excuse of having causes of why it things happened. Our decisions and our actions are souely upon us. As humans we are always making decisions. As a human myself, I am making decisions about my life every single day. We make decisions whether they are rational or irrational. We are stated that we must make decisions but it is not stated that you have to make every decision that steps in front of you....   [tags: Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism]

Strong Essays
1845 words (5.3 pages)

The Rights And Responsibility : Katharine J. Looker And Timothy B. Hallett 's Article, Individual Freedom

- There has been a concern in America that there is a conflict between individual rights and collective or personal responsibility. People believe they have certain constitutional rights that allow them to make their own decisions. But when they decide to make decisions that directly affect another person’s well-being, there becomes an issue. In “Rights and Responsibility” there will be a discussion over recent topics involving the summary of three articles and explanations of passed legislature relating to the issues between personal rights and responsibilities....   [tags: Responsibility, Individual responsibility]

Strong Essays
858 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on The Responsibility of Freedom

- The Responsibility of Freedom Today’s world is full of choices. In our highly advanced modern society our choices are complicated by new moral and ethical issues each day. Is it possible to lead a moral and ethical life in today’s society. Ethics and morals are learned from the people we are raised by, not necessarily parents. Teachers, environment and almost everyone around a child leave an impression. Today in our morally chaotic world it is more important than ever for children to be taught morals....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
641 words (1.8 pages)

Freedom and Responsibility Essay

- Built within the Constitution of the United States are specifically defined freedoms that are guaranteed to all citizens. Conversely, with every constitutional freedom there comes a corresponding responsibility. On September 25, 1789, the state legislature’s twelve proposed amendments were transmitted by congress, the first two dealing with congressional representation and congressional pay. The following numbers three through twelve were adopted by the states to become the Bill of Rights in 1791....   [tags: U.S. Law]

Strong Essays
1853 words (5.3 pages)