One explanation for this may be that Sartre himself came to regret the publication of the book and later repudiated parts of it.
Lecture given in Source: Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Sartre, ed. World Publishing Company in ; Translator: My purpose here is to offer a defence of existentialism against several reproaches that have been laid against it.
First, it has been reproached as an invitation to people to dwell in Sartre existentialism of despair. For if every way to a Sartre existentialism is barred, one would have to regard any action in this world as entirely ineffective, and one would arrive finally at a contemplative philosophy.
Moreover, since contemplation is a luxury, this would be only another bourgeois philosophy. This is, especially, the reproach made by the Communists. From another quarter we are reproached for having underlined all that is ignominious in the human situation, for depicting what is mean, sordid or base to the neglect of certain things that possess charm and beauty and belong to the brighter side of human nature: Mercier, we forget how an infant smiles.
Both from this side and from the other we are also reproached for leaving out of account the solidarity of mankind and considering man in isolation. The ego cannot reach them through the cogito.
From the Christian side, we are reproached as people who deny the reality and seriousness of human affairs. For since we ignore the commandments of God and all values prescribed as eternal, nothing remains but what is strictly voluntary.
Everyone can do what he likes, and will be incapable, from such a point of view, of condemning either the point of view or the action of anyone else. In any case, we can begin by saying that existentialism, in our sense of the word, is a doctrine that does render human life possible; a doctrine, also, which affirms that every truth and every action imply both an environment and a human subjectivity.
The essential charge laid against us is, of course, that of over-emphasis upon the evil side of human life. Those who can quite well keep down a novel by Zola such as La Terre are sickened as soon as they read an existentialist novel. Those who appeal to the wisdom of the people — which is a sad wisdom — find ours sadder still.
We all know how many common sayings can be quoted to this effect, and they all mean much the same — that you must not oppose the powers that be; that you must not fight against superior force; must not meddle in matters that are above your station. Or that any action not in accordance with some tradition is mere romanticism; or that any undertaking which has not the support of proven experience is foredoomed to frustration; and that since experience has shown men to be invariably inclined to evil, there must be firm rules to restrain them, otherwise we shall have anarchy.
Indeed their excessive protests make me suspect that what is annoying them is not so much our pessimism, but, much more likely, our optimism. For at bottom, what is alarming in the doctrine that I am about to try to explain to you is — is it not? To verify this, let us review the whole question upon the strictly philosophic level.
What, then, is this that we call existentialism?
Most of those who are making use of this word would be highly confused if required to explain its meaning. It would appear that, for the lack of any novel doctrine such as that of surrealism, all those who are eager to join in the latest scandal or movement now seize upon this philosophy in which, however, they can find nothing to their purpose.Aug 23, · 1.
The Emergence of Existence as a Philosophical Problem. Sartre's existentialism drew its immediate inspiration from the work of the German philosopher, Martin Heidegger.
Jean-Paul Sartre, in his book on existentialism Existentialism is a Humanism, quoted Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov as an example of existential crisis. Sartre attributes Ivan Karamazov's claim, "If God did not exist, everything would be permitted" to Dostoyevsky himself, though this quote does not .
Sartre (–) is arguably the best known philosopher of the twentieth century. His indefatigable pursuit of philosophical reflection, literary creativity and, in the second half of his life, active political commitment gained him worldwide renown, if not admiration.
Jun 06, · Now that we’ve left behind the philosophy of religion, it’s time to start exploring what other ways might exist to find meaning in the world. Today we explore essentialism and its response. Jun 06, · Now that we’ve left behind the philosophy of religion, it’s time to start exploring what other ways might exist to find meaning in the world.
Jean-Paul Sartre and Benny Levy, Hope Now: The Interviews, translated by Adrian van den Hoven, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, P.V. Spade, Class Lecture Notes on Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness. Jonathan Webber The existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre, London: Routledge, ; H. Wittmann, Sartre und die Kunst.