Presentation on theme: "Ben Gerke. Lived 1905-1980 French existentialist philosopher, influenced by Kant, Hegel, and Kierkegaard, among others Father Jean-Baptiste Sartre was."— Presentation transcript:
Lived 1905-1980 French existentialist philosopher, influenced by Kant, Hegel, and Kierkegaard, among others Father Jean-Baptiste Sartre was an officer in the French Navy, mother Ann-Marie Schweitzer was a first cousin of theologian and philosopher Albert Schweitzer Growing up, Sartre was an antimilitarist prankster Sartre was both an avid and accomplished playwright and author, and expressed many of his existentialist views and beliefs throughout his works Known for his lifelong, polyamorous (open) relationship with female author Simone de Beauvoir Awarded 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature, but refused it
Nothing Exists Nothing can exist, because everyone’s perception of something is different. In other words, because our perceptions are all different, nothing can be defined. With a lack of definition, there is instead a chaotic, infinite mess of everyone’s different perceptions Since no two people view any one thing the same, that thing cannot exist, because it is two completely different things in the eyes of two different people Therefore, since everyone’s perceptions are different, nothing can exist. Only our own perceptions can exist, and our perceptions are not true reality
Perceptions Don’t Exist Either Wait a minute… Sartre says that perceptions don’t exist either! Each time we think about something, our perception is different than the last time we thought about it. No two perceptions can ever be exactly the same So since our perceptions are always changing, and in other words, can never be defined, they can’t truly exist either! Since nothing exists, and perceptions aren’t true either, the only thing that we have are false perceptions of things that don’t even really exist. Definitions that we give to things are false, imaginative, and meaningless
The Self Does Not Exist Self = personal identity Since our perception of something changes every time we think about it, the same must be true in regards to one’s self In perceiving yourself, your perception of yourself is always changing. If your perception of yourself is always changing, your perceptions will never be the same, so your self is indefinable. Therefore, since your self is indefinable, you can’t know yourself… therefore, your self can’t exist Since the self doesn’t really exist, the self is just a false story that we create in our minds to give us comfort from the fact that our self is really meaningless In creating this self, we attempt to define ourselves, but in reality it is impossible to define something that is always changing. Since we are never the same being, our identity is a meaningless lie
All We Can Know is Nothing So basically So basically (thus far), nothing truly exists, because our perceptions of reality are always changing. So only our perceptions exist, but our perceptions are always changing, so they don’t truly exist either. Therefore, nothing truly exists Those who believe Sartre’s philosophy are terrified by the fact that since nothing can truly be defined, nothing can truly exist They argue that if nothing can truly exist, then existence itself can’t exist Nothing exists, therefore the only thing that we can know is nothingness
Understanding that the only true reality is nothingness brings us freedom With the absence of truth in morals and values (etc.), there are no limitations to our actions! So, take for example Christians, who govern by the law of God. They have concluded that God does not exist. Now they are allowed to do anything they want! Since everything that they had used as regulation in their lives no longer exists, there is no reason why they should limit their actions at all. They are free! Since we are free, it would be unjust to blame any of the problems in our lives on anyone other than ourselves Since only nothingness exists, it is within our power to determine that these problems we experience don’t even exist. The only reason that we experience problems, therefore, is because we invented (gave false meaning to) them ourselves
The False Self Due to the fact that the only true reality is nothingness, we are given complete freedom to define ourselves however we wish… (Even though these definitions are truly false and meaningless lies, because the self doesn’t exist) Our freedom in creating a meaningless identity for ourselves can be taken away by interacting with other people. Sartre calls this “Hell” By interacting with other people, we become slaves to their false perceptions and definitions of us. This takes away our freedom of defining ourselves, because we are now limited to the limitations that they have imposed upon us in their own perceptions So basically, we no longer have the freedom to define ourselves by whatever (false) identity we choose, because there is now another perception that conflicts with our own Regardless, in the end, both of our perceptions are equally just as false, though it is more comforting to be able to create your own identity, than to be subject to that which another person has created for you
false As meaningless as identity, definition, and existence are, we continue to persevere by giving our existence meaning, even though that meaning is false, so that we are at least in control of our own existence… even if it is all false.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Palmer Book http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sartre/
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