2Religion vs. Philosophy Can be philosophical but doesn’t need to beHas rituals/ceremoniesMakes use of reason (sometimes), but relies mostly or entirely on faithBased on faith in God, gods, or religious principlesOften includes miracles or miraculous events
3Religion vs. Philosophy Can be religious but does not need to beNo ritualsEmphasizes the use of reason and critical thinkingBased on rational argumentsNo miracles
4Religion vs. Philosophy Common GroundBoth wrestle with problems like:What is good?What does it mean to live a good life?What is the nature of reality?Why are we here and what should we be doing?How should we treat each other?What is really most important in life?
5World War IIGermany started World War II by invading Poland on Sept. 1, 1939Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany – Sept. 3Within a month, Poland was defeated and divided between Germany and RussiaGermany then invaded Norway and Denmark
6World War IIMay 10, 1940 – Germany began its assault on western Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France)Germany attacked France from the north – Italy attacked from the south – Germans closed in on ParisJune 17, 1940 – Marshal Henri Petain (French military commander) told his country “we must stop fighting”
7World War IIFour days later, Hitler handed French officers his terms of surrender – Germans would occupy the northern part of France, and a Nazi-controlled puppet government would be set up at Vichy in southern FranceDec. 11, 1941 – U.S. declared war on Italy and GermanyIn late 1942, Germany took over all of France
9World War II May 7, 1945 – Germany signs unconditional surrender Sept. 2, 1945 – Japan signs unconditional surrenderDuring World War II, French people were under control of the Nazis and feared that they had lost their country and their heritage forever.
10Nobel Prize for literature in 1964 Jean-Paul SartreNobel Prize for literature in 1964“for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom, and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age”
11Biography Born in Paris – June 21, 1905 Grew up in the home of his maternal grandfatherEducated in ParisInducted into the French military following the outbreak of European war in 1939 (World War II)
12BiographyCaptured in June, 1940 and imprisoned into 1941 by the GermansGermans released him on the grounds that he was not physically fit for military serviceTaught philosophyActive in the French ResistanceDeveloped existentialism (a philosophy) during Nazi occupation of France
13Biography Existentialism gained a large following Sartre gave up teaching in 1945 and founded a political and literary magazineExistentialism maintained an enormous following even after World War IIAfter World War II, Sartre moved away from existentialism and became more involved with Marxism
14BiographyRejected the 1964 Nobel Prize in literature, explaining that to accept such an award would compromise his integrity as a writerDied April 15, 1980More than 25,000 people lined the streets of Paris for his funeral procession
15ExistentialismA philosophy developed by Sartre during the Nazi occupation of FranceThe philosophy makes sense in the time frameConsider the lack of freedom in FranceThink about how the French felt, thinking their freedom and heritage had been taken foreverThey had a feeling of hopelessnessExistentialism gained popularity because it gave the people a feeling of power over their lives and their worldExistentialism also gave people a feeling of individuality against the conformity of NazismThe Nazi occupation could also explain Sartre’s atheism – how could God allow this to happen?
16The Principles of Existentialism Existence Precedes EssenceThe prevailing philosophical view of human beings is that they have a “nature” or “essence from birth”Christianity – we are created by God for a reasonSartre himself denies the existence of God, and believes there is no human essence (no reason for being)Sartre argues, however, that there are also Christian existentialists
17The Principles of Existentialism Existence Precedes Essence (cont.)First we exist, then we create ourselves through our actions and decisionsWe are nothing more than a collection of acts that make up our livesWhen a paper cutter is made, it is made with a purpose – the person who makes it knows that it is a paper cutter and that will be its functionHumans are not made like this – there is no reason for our existence – we are not made for a specific reason or purpose
18The Principles of Existentialism Existence Precedes Essence (cont.)There is no meaning for our existenceBut we do existThis is absurdMan is thrown into a meaningless world without his permissionMy essence, the person I am now, is the product of the free choices I have made in the course of my life so far
19The Principles of Existentialism Existence Precedes Essence (cont.)I am NOT who I was in the pastI am NOT who I will be in the futureEvery decision I make changes who I am
20The Principles of Existentialism ConsciousnessConsciousness always refers beyond itself to an object“Unreflected consciousness” – consciousness before it is reflected on/thought aboutNo “I”Running to catch a bus – unreflected consciousness – “bus-to-be-caught”
21The Principles of Existentialism Consciousness (cont.)“Reflective consciousness” – when you actually think about/reflect on somethingYou understand your relationship to somethingThis is where the “I” is foundOnce you missed the bus – “I missed the bus; I’m going to be late for school”Focus is internalizedSuddenly consciousness is self-directed and self-aware, not just observing outwardly
22The Principles of Existentialism I Create MyselfMy “self” is not a stable, solid entity – it is a creation that I must make and remake from moment to momentEvery decision I make or do not make creates me (it makes me who I am)
23The Principles of Existentialism I Create Myself (cont.)I must also create my worldIn choosing for myself, I am also choosing for the worldEvery time I make a decision, I am putting values into the worldIf I choose to cheat on a test, then I am saying it is ok to cheat. I am putting that value into the world
24The Principles of Existentialism I Create Myself (cont.)If I choose to get married and have children, then I am choosing the value of monogamy for the worldI am not only responsible for myself, I am responsible for the worldEvery time I make a decision, I must think “What would happen if everyone looked at things this way?”
25The Principles of Existentialism Condemned to be FreeWe are freeFreedom is not absolute – if a boulder falls in my way, I cannot change the fact that it is there and I cannot get through it, but I am free to interpret the meaning of the boulderIt may mean an obstacle to be conqueredIt may mean that I cannot reach my goal of getting to the top of the mountain
26The Principles of Existentialism Condemned to be Free (cont.)We are always making decisions and creating ourselves and our worldEven choosing not to decide is a decisionWe are always free because there are always alternative choices – the ultimate alternative is death – If I do not shoot myself, then I have chosen whatever is the alternative to deathWe are condemned to be free – we cannot escape this freedom as long as we are alive
27The Principles of Existentialism Condemned to be Free (cont.)“If God doesn’t exist, everything would be possible” –Fyodor DostoevskyThis is trueBecause there is no God, there are no excusesThere are no values except those that we create
28The Principles of Existentialism Bad Faith vs. Good FaithMost people create themselves and their world in “bad faith”Rather than facing up to their responsibility and freedom, they flee from it by blaming others or fateWe should act in “good faith”We should accept responsibility for our actions without blaming other things
29The Principles of Existentialism Bad Faith vs. Good FaithExamplesI didn’t do well on that test because the teacher doesn’t like me and we didn’t go over the homework enough – BAD FAITHI didn’t do well on that test because I didn’t study or ask for help – GOOD FAITHI am never going to be successful because I come from a poor family and my parents don’t care about me – BAD FAITHI can be successful if I make choices that lead me in the direction I choose – GOOD FAITH
30The Principles of Existentialism The GazeThe main complication in all of this is that we must encounter other beingsWhen someone else looks at me, I become the object of his gazeI am transformed into objectThis is not a good feeling because we have no control over it“Hell is other people” – Sartre
31The Principles of Existentialism The GazeImagine that you are looking through a key hole into someone else’s house. You are spying on them.The people you are looking at are purely object. You are watching them and seeing what they are doing. They do not know you are there.
32The Principles of Existentialism The Gaze (cont.)As you are watching them, you become aware that someone is behind you – someone has caught you peeping.You have now become the object to that person.You have become the “other” – you are now an object to someone else.You now see yourself as object – as the other person sees you.
33Criticism of Existentialism It is pessimisticSartre denied this, saying that we are all heroes in existentialism because we persevereSartre ignores the lower classesIt is difficult to focus on the issues of existentialism when you are worried about feeding your children and having a place to liveSartre does not mention or deal with politics or governmentThese two reasons may explain why Sartre later became a Marxist (Marxism focuses on these two issues)