Jean-Paul Sartre’s Philosophies

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Jean-Paul Sartre’s Philosophies Jean-Paul Sartre was a French philosopher and existentialist from the twentieth century. He was born in Paris, France in 1905 and he died in 1980. Sartre was raised by his mother and grandfather who taught him math and classical literature at a young age. Sartre earned a doctorate in philosophy at school where he was considered a prankster. After, Sartre was drafted into the French army. While serving for the army, Sartre was captured and held as a prisoner of war for a short period of time by the Germans. Sartre has different philosophies and theories that will be examined and responded to in this essay. Jean-Paul Sartre’s most famous quote is “existence precedes essence” (l'existence précède l'essence). He explains this quote in a work called Existentialism is a Humanism (L'existentialisme est un humanisme). He explains it by saying “man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards." What that means is that humans do not have a predetermined life or meaning. Humans are put into the world, seemingly by accident, and create their own meaning. The idea of this has partially to do with the fact that Sartre was an atheist. He did not believe that there was any higher power or God that put humans on Earth. Because of this, humans do not discover their meaning but rather create it themselves. This philosophy is a more optimistic philosophy regarding existentialism and is good to follow because it shows that human beings are able to get the meaning that they want out of their own life instead of following a meaning that has been forced upon them since before birth. It also lets humans be responsible for the decisions they make. Often times, people blame outcomes on “fate.” By subscribing to atheism and believing “existence precedes essence,” Sartre acknowledges

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