Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre

Overview
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (icon; saʁtʁ; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French existentialist
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

 philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic
Literary criticism
Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy
Twentieth-century French philosophy
20th-century French philosophy is a strand of contemporary philosophy generally associated with post-World War II French thinkers, although it is directly influenced by previous philosophical movements.-Bergson:...

, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary and philosophical existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

. His work continues to influence fields such as Marxist philosophy
Marxist philosophy
Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are terms that cover work in philosophy that is strongly influenced by Karl Marx's materialist approach to theory or that is written by Marxists...

, sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, critical theory
Critical theory
Critical theory is an examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism...

 and literary studies. Sartre was also noted for his long non-monogamous relationship with the feminist author and social theorist Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, often shortened to Simone de Beauvoir , was a French existentialist philosopher, public intellectual, and social theorist. She wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography in several volumes, and monographs on philosophy, politics, and...

.
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Quotations

He was free, free in every way, free to behave like a fool or a machine, free to accept, free to refuse, free to equivocate; to marry, to give up the game, to drag this death weight about with him for years to come. He could do what he liked, no one had the right to advise him, there would be for him no Good or Evil unless he thought them into being.

L'âge de raison (The Age of Reason (Sartre)|The Age Of Reason) (1945)

What then did you expect when you unbound the gag that muted those black mouths? That they would chant your praises? Did you think that when those heads that our fathers had forcibly bowed down to the ground were raised again, you would find adoration in their eyes?

"Orphée Noir (Black Orpheus)" preface, Anthologie de la Nouvelle Poésie Nègre et Malgache (1948)

Every age has its own poetry; in every age the circumstances of history choose a nation, a race, a class to take up the torch by creating situations that can be expressed or transcended only through poetry.

"Orphée Noir (Black Orpheus)"

Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them.

"On the Execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg," Libération (June 22, 1953)

Our responsibility is much greater than we might have supposed, because it involves all mankind.

Existentialism and Human Emotions|Existentialism and Human Emotions (1957)

To choose this or that is to affirm at the same time the value of what we choose, because we can never choose evil. We always choose the good, and nothing can be good for us without being good for all.

Existentialism and Human Emotions|Existentialism and Human Emotions

If literature isn’t everything, it’s not worth a single hour of someone’s trouble.

Interview (1960), Quoted in Susan Sontag|Susan Sontag's introduction to Barthes: Selected Writings, “Writing Itself: On Roland Barthes,” (1982)

A writer who takes political, social or literary positions must act only with the means that are his. These means are the written words.

Refusing the Nobel Prize|Nobel Prize, New York Times (October 22, 1964)
Encyclopedia
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (icon; saʁtʁ; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French existentialist
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

 philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic
Literary criticism
Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy
Twentieth-century French philosophy
20th-century French philosophy is a strand of contemporary philosophy generally associated with post-World War II French thinkers, although it is directly influenced by previous philosophical movements.-Bergson:...

, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary and philosophical existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

. His work continues to influence fields such as Marxist philosophy
Marxist philosophy
Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are terms that cover work in philosophy that is strongly influenced by Karl Marx's materialist approach to theory or that is written by Marxists...

, sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, critical theory
Critical theory
Critical theory is an examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism...

 and literary studies. Sartre was also noted for his long non-monogamous relationship with the feminist author and social theorist Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, often shortened to Simone de Beauvoir , was a French existentialist philosopher, public intellectual, and social theorist. She wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography in several volumes, and monographs on philosophy, politics, and...

. He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 but refused it.

Early life and thought


Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris as the only child of Jean-Baptiste Sartre, an officer of the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

, and Anne-Marie Schweitzer. His mother was of Alsatian
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 origin and the first cousin of Nobel Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer OM was a German theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary. He was born in Kaysersberg in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, at that time part of the German Empire...

. (Her father, Charles Schweitzer, was the older brother of Albert Schweitzer's father, Louis Théophile.)
When Sartre was 15 months old, his father died of a fever. Anne-Marie moved back to her parents' house in Meudon
Meudon
Meudon is a municipality in the southwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is in the département of Hauts-de-Seine. It is located from the center of Paris.-Geography:...

, where Sartre was raised with help from her father, a professor of German, who taught Sartre mathematics and introduced him to classical literature
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

 at a very early age. At twelve his mother remarried and the family moved to La Rochelle
La Rochelle
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department.The city is connected to the Île de Ré by a bridge completed on 19 May 1988...

, where he was frequently bullied.

As a teenager in the 1920s, Sartre became attracted to philosophy upon reading Henri Bergson
Henri Bergson
Henri-Louis Bergson was a major French philosopher, influential especially in the first half of the 20th century. Bergson convinced many thinkers that immediate experience and intuition are more significant than rationalism and science for understanding reality.He was awarded the 1927 Nobel Prize...

's essay Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness. He studied and earned a doctorate in philosophy in Paris at the École Normale Supérieure
École Normale Supérieure
The École normale supérieure is one of the most prestigious French grandes écoles...

, an institution of higher education that was the alma mater for several prominent French thinkers and intellectuals. It was at ENS that Sartre began his life-long, sometimes fractious, friendship with Raymond Aron
Raymond Aron
Raymond-Claude-Ferdinand Aron was a French philosopher, sociologist, journalist and political scientist.He is best known for his 1955 book The Opium of the Intellectuals, the title of which inverts Karl Marx's claim that religion was the opium of the people -- in contrast, Aron argued that in...

. Sartre was influenced by many aspects of Western philosophy
Western philosophy
Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western or Occidental world, as distinct from Eastern or Oriental philosophies and the varieties of indigenous philosophies....

, absorbing ideas from Kant
KANT
KANT is a computer algebra system for mathematicians interested in algebraic number theory, performing sophisticated computations in algebraic number fields, in global function fields, and in local fields. KASH is the associated command line interface...

, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Husserl and Heidegger, among others.

From his first years in the École Normale, Sartre was one of its fiercest pranksters; In 1927, his antimilitarist satirical cartoon in the revue of the school, coauthored with Georges Canguilhem
Georges Canguilhem
Georges Canguilhem was a French philosopher and physician who specialized in epistemology and the philosophy of science .-Life and work:...

, forced the director Gustave Lanson
Gustave Lanson
Gustave Lanson was a French historian and literary critic. He taught at the Sorbonne in Paris.-Biography:...

 to resign. In the same year, with his comrades Niza, Larroutis, Baillou and Herland, he organized a media prank
Media prank
A media prank is a type of media event, perpetrated by staged speeches, activities, or press releases, designed to trick legitimate journalists into publishing erroneous or misleading articles. The term may also refer to such stories if planted by fake journalists, as well as the false story...

 following Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was an American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist.Lindbergh, a 25-year-old U.S...

's successful New York-Paris flight; Sartre & Co. called newspapers and informed them that Lindbergh was going to be awarded an honorary École degree. Many newspapers, including Le Petit Parisien
Le Petit Parisien
Le Petit Parisien was a prominent French newspaper during the French Third Republic. It was published between 1876 and 1944, and its circulation was over 2 million after the First World War.-Publishing:...

,
announced the event on 25 May. Thousands, including journalists and curious spectators, showed up, unaware that what they were witnessing was a stunt involving a Lindbergh look-alike
Look-alike
A look-alike is a person who closely resembles another person. In popular Western culture, a look-alike is a person who bears a close physical resemblance to a celebrity, politician or member of royalty. Many look-alikes earn a living by making guest appearances at public events or performing on...

. The public's resultant outcry forced Lanson to resign again. In 1939, in his famous short-story collection The Wall
The Wall (Book)
The Wall by Jean-Paul Sartre, a collection of short stories published in 1939 containing the eponymous story "The Wall", is considered one of the author's greatest existentialist works of fiction...

, referring to a fake turd, he will say that in pranks "There is more destructive power than in all the works of Lenin."

In 1929 at the École Normale, he met Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, often shortened to Simone de Beauvoir , was a French existentialist philosopher, public intellectual, and social theorist. She wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography in several volumes, and monographs on philosophy, politics, and...

, who studied at the Sorbonne
Sorbonne
The Sorbonne is an edifice of the Latin Quarter, in Paris, France, which has been the historical house of the former University of Paris...

 and later went on to become a noted philosopher, writer, and feminist. The two became inseparable and lifelong companions, initiating a romantic relationship, though they were not monogamous. Sartre served as a conscript in the French Army
French Army
The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre , is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces.As of 2010, the army employs 123,100 regulars, 18,350 part-time reservists and 7,700 Legionnaires. All soldiers are professionals, following the suspension of conscription, voted in...

 from 1929 to 1931 and he later argued in 1959 that each French person was responsible for the collective crimes during the Algerian War of Independence
Algerian War of Independence
The Algerian War was a conflict between France and Algerian independence movements from 1954 to 1962, which led to Algeria's gaining its independence from France...

.

Together, Sartre and de Beauvoir challenged the cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 and social
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

 assumptions and expectations of their upbringings, which they considered bourgeois, in both lifestyle and thought. The conflict between oppressive, spiritually destructive conformity (mauvaise foi, literally, "bad faith
Bad faith (existentialism)
Bad faith is a philosophical concept used by existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre to describe the phenomenon where a human being under pressure from societal forces adopts false values and disowns their innate freedom to act authentically...

") and an "authentic
Authenticity (philosophy)
Authenticity is a technical term in existentialist philosophy, and is also used in the philosophy of art and psychology. In philosophy, the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very...

" way of "being
Being
Being , is an English word used for conceptualizing subjective and objective aspects of reality, including those fundamental to the self —related to and somewhat interchangeable with terms like "existence" and "living".In its objective usage —as in "a being," or "[a] human being" —it...

"
became the dominant theme of Sartre's early work, a theme embodied in his principal philosophical work L'Être et le Néant (Being and Nothingness) (1943). Sartre's introduction to his philosophy is his work Existentialism is a Humanism (1946), originally presented as a lecture.

Sartre and World War II


In 1939 Sartre was drafted into the French army, where he served as a meteorologist. He was captured by German troops in 1940 in Padoux
Padoux
Padoux is a commune in the Vosges department in Lorraine in northeastern France.Inhabitants are called Padoselliens.-Geography:Padoux is positioned between Épinal et Rambervillers: nevertheless, it is administratively within the canton of Bruyères, some across country to the south-east...

, and he spent nine months as a prisoner of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

—in Nancy and finally in Stalag
Stalag
In Germany, stalag was a term used for prisoner-of-war camps. Stalag is a contraction of "Stammlager", itself short for Kriegsgefangenen-Mannschafts-Stammlager.- Legal definitions :...

 12D, Trier
Trier
Trier, historically called in English Treves is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle. It is the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC....

, where he wrote his first theatrical
Theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

 piece, Barionà, fils du tonnerre, a drama concerning Christmas. It was during this period of confinement that Sartre read Heidegger's Sein und Zeit (Being and Time), later to become a major influence on his own essay on phenomenological ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

. Because of poor health (he claimed that his poor eyesight and exotropia
Exotropia
Exotropia is a form of strabismus where the eyes are deviated outward. It is the opposite of esotropia. People with exotropia often experience crossed diplopia. Intermittent exotropia is a fairly common condition. "Sensory exotropia" occurs in the presence of poor vision...

 affected his balance) Sartre was released in April 1941. Given civilian status, he recovered his teaching position at Lycée Pasteur
Lycée Pasteur
The Lycée Pasteur is a French state-run secondary school in Neuilly-sur-Seine, on the outskirts of Paris. It accept students from collège through to classes préparatoires .Built in the grounds of the former chateau de Neuilly, the lycée is named in...

near Paris, settled at the Hotel Mistral near Montparnasse in Paris, and was given a new position at Lycée Condorcet
Lycée Condorcet
The Lycée Condorcet is a school founded in 1803 in Paris, France, located at 8, rue du Havre, in the city's IXe arrondissement. Since its inception, various political eras have seen it given a number of different names, but its identity today honors the memory of the Marquis de Condorcet. The...

, replacing a Jewish teacher who had been forbidden to teach by Vichy law
Statute on Jews
The Statute on Jews was discriminatory legislation against French Jews passed on October 3, 1940 by the Vichy Regime, grouping them as a lower class and depriving them of citizenship before rounding them up at Drancy internment camp then taking them to be exterminated in concentration camps...

.


After coming back to Paris in May 1941, he participated in the founding of the underground group Socialisme et Liberté with other writers Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, often shortened to Simone de Beauvoir , was a French existentialist philosopher, public intellectual, and social theorist. She wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography in several volumes, and monographs on philosophy, politics, and...

, Merleau-Ponty
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Maurice Merleau-Ponty was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Karl Marx, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger in addition to being closely associated with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir...

, Jean-Toussaint Desanti and his wife Dominique Desanti, Jean Kanapa, and École Normale students. In August, Sartre and Beauvoir went to the French Riviera seeking the support of André Gide
André Gide
André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide...

 and André Malraux
André Malraux
André Malraux DSO was a French adventurer, award-winning author, and statesman. Having traveled extensively in Indochina and China, Malraux was noted especially for his novel entitled La Condition Humaine , which won the Prix Goncourt...

. However, both Gide and Malraux were undecided, and this may have been the cause of Sartre's disappointment and discouragement. Socialisme et liberté soon dissolved and Sartre decided to write, instead of being involved in active resistance. He then wrote Being and Nothingness, The Flies
The Flies
The Flies is a play by Jean-Paul Sartre, written in 1943. It is an adaptation of the Electra myth, previously used by the Greek playwrights Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides....

, and No Exit
No Exit
No Exit is a 1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre. The original French title is Huis Clos, the French equivalent of the legal term in camera, referring to a private discussion behind closed doors; English translations have also been performed under the titles In Camera, No Way Out...

, none of which were censored by the Germans, and also contributed to both legal and illegal literary magazines.

After August 1944 and the Liberation of Paris
Liberation of Paris
The Liberation of Paris took place during World War II from 19 August 1944 until the surrender of the occupying German garrison on August 25th. It could be regarded by some as the last battle in the Battle for Normandy, though that really ended with the crushing of the Wehrmacht forces between the...

, he wrote Anti-Semite and Jew
Anti-Semite and Jew
Anti-Semite and Jew is an essay about antisemitism written by Jean-Paul Sartre shortly after the liberation of Paris from German occupation in 1944...

. In the book he tries to explain the etiology
Etiology
Etiology is the study of causation, or origination. The word is derived from the Greek , aitiologia, "giving a reason for" ....

 of "hate" by analyzing antisemitic hate. Sartre was a very active contributor to Combat
Combat (newspaper)
Combat was a French newspaper created during the Second World War. Originally a clandestine newspaper of the Resistance, it was headed by Albert Ollivier, Jean Bloch-Michel, Georges Altschuler and, most of all, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, André Malraux, Emmanuel Mounier, and then Raymond Aron...

, a newspaper created during the clandestine period by Albert Camus
Albert Camus
Albert Camus was a French author, journalist, and key philosopher of the 20th century. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement, which was opposed to some tendencies of the Surrealist movement of André Breton.Camus was awarded the 1957...

, a philosopher and author who held similar beliefs. Sartre and Beauvoir remained friends with Camus until 1951, after the publication of Camus' The Rebel. Later, while Sartre was labeled by some authors as a resistant, the French philosopher and resistant Vladimir Jankelevitch
Vladimir Jankélévitch
Vladimir Jankélévitch was a French philosopher and musicologist.- Biography :Jankélévitch was the son of Russian Jewish parents, who had emigrated to France....

 criticized Sartre's lack of political commitment during the German occupation, and interpreted his further struggles for liberty as an attempt to redeem himself. According to Camus, Sartre was a writer who resisted, not a resistor who wrote.

After the war ended Sartre established Les Temps Modernes
Les Temps modernes
The first issue of Les Temps modernes , the most important cultural review of the period after World War II, appeared in October 1945. It was known as the review of Jean-Paul Sartre. It was named for a film by Charlie Chaplin...

(Modern Times), a quarterly literary and political review
Review
A review is an evaluation of a publication, a product or a service, such as a movie , video game, musical composition , book ; a piece of hardware like a car, home appliance, or computer; or an event or performance, such as a live music concert, a play, musical theater show or dance show...

, and started writing full-time as well as continuing his political activism. He would draw on his war experiences for his great trilogy of novels, Les Chemins de la Liberté (The Roads to Freedom
The Roads to Freedom
The Roads to Freedom is a series of novels by Jean-Paul Sartre. Intended as a tetralogy, it was left incomplete with only three of the planned four volumes published....

) (1945–1949).

Politics



The first period of Sartre's career, defined in large part by Being and Nothingness (1943), gave way to a second period as a politically engaged activist and intellectual. His 1948 work Les Mains Sales
Les Mains Sales
Dirty Hands is a play by Jean-Paul Sartre. It was first performed on 2 April 1948 at the Theatre Antoine in Paris, starring François Périer, Marie Olivier and André Luguet...

(Dirty Hands) in particular explored the problem of being both an intellectual at the same time as becoming "engaged" politically. He embraced Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 (but did not join the Communist Party
French Communist Party
The French Communist Party is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism.Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement , and considerable influence in French...

) and took a prominent role in the struggle against French rule in Algeria
French rule in Algeria
French Algeria lasted from 1830 to 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France, much like Corsica and Réunion are to this day. The vast arid interior of Algeria, like the rest...

. He became perhaps the most eminent supporter of the FLN
National Liberation Front (Algeria)
The National Liberation Front is a socialist political party in Algeria. It was set up on November 1, 1954 as a merger of other smaller groups, to obtain independence for Algeria from France.- Anticolonial struggle :...

 in the Algerian War and was one of the signatories of the Manifeste des 121. Furthermore, he had an Algerian mistress, Arlette Elkaïm, who became his adopted daughter in 1965. He opposed the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 and, along with Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...

 and others, organized a tribunal
Tribunal
A tribunal in the general sense is any person or institution with the authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it is called a tribunal in its title....

 intended to expose U.S. war crimes, which became known as the Russell Tribunal
Russell Tribunal
The Russell Tribunal, also known as the International War Crimes Tribunal or Russell-Sartre Tribunal, was a public body organized by British philosopher Bertrand Russell and hosted by French philosopher and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre...

 in 1967.

His major defining work after 1955, the Critique de la raison dialectique (Critique of Dialectical Reason
Critique of Dialectical Reason
Critique of Dialectical Reason, , was the last of Jean-Paul Sartre's major philosophical works...

) appeared in 1960 (a second volume appeared posthumously). In Critique, Sartre set out to give Marxism a more vigorous intellectual defense than it had received up until then; he ended by concluding that Marx's notion of "class" as an objective entity was fallacious. Sartre's emphasis on the humanist values in the early works of Marx led to a dispute with a leading leftist intellectual in France in the 1960s, Louis Althusser
Louis Althusser
Louis Pierre Althusser was a French Marxist philosopher. He was born in Algeria and studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he eventually became Professor of Philosophy....

, who claimed that the ideas of the young Marx
Young Marx
Some theorists consider Karl Marx's thought to be divided into a "young" period and a "mature" one. There is disagreement to when Marx's thought began to mature, and the problem of the idea of a "Young Marx" is the problem of tracking the development of Marx's works and of its possible unity...

 were decisively superseded by the "scientific" system of the later Marx.

Sartre went to Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 in the '60s to meet Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

 and spoke with Ernesto "Che" Guevara. After Guevara's death, Sartre would declare him to be "not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age" and the "era's most perfect man." Sartre would also compliment Che Guevara by professing that "he lived his words, spoke his own actions and his story and the story of the world ran parallel."

During a collective hunger strike in 1974, Sartre visited Red Army Faction
Red Army Faction
The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

 leader Andreas Baader
Andreas Baader
Andreas Bernd Baader was one of the first leaders of the German left-wing militant organization Red Army Faction, also commonly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.- Life :...

 in Stammheim Prison
Stammheim Prison
Stammheim Prison is a prison in Stuttgart, Baden Württemberg, Germany. It is situated on the northern boundaries of Stuttgart in the city district of Stuttgart-Stammheim — right between fields and apartment blocks on the fringes of Stammheim...

 and criticized the harsh conditions of imprisonment.

Towards the end of his life, Sartre explicitly embraced anarchism
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

.

Late life and death



In 1964, Sartre renounced literature in a witty and sardonic account of the first ten years of his life, Les mots (Words). The book is an ironic counterblast to Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu...

, whose reputation had unexpectedly eclipsed that of André Gide
André Gide
André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide...

 (who had provided the model of littérature engagée for Sartre's generation). Literature, Sartre concluded, functioned ultimately as a bourgeois substitute for real commitment in the world. In October 1964, Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 but he declined it. He was the first Nobel Laureate to voluntarily decline the prize, and he had previously refused the Légion d'honneur
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

, in 1945. The prize was announced on 22 October 1964; on 14 October, Sartre had written a letter to the Nobel Institute, asking to be removed from the list of nominees, and that he would not accept the prize if awarded, but the letter went unread; on 23 October, Le Figaro
Le Figaro
Le Figaro is a French daily newspaper founded in 1826 and published in Paris. It is one of three French newspapers of record, with Le Monde and Libération, and is the oldest newspaper in France. It is also the second-largest national newspaper in France after Le Parisien and before Le Monde, but...

published a statement by Sartre explaining his refusal. He said he did not wish to be "transformed" by such an award, and did not want to take sides in an East vs. West cultural struggle by accepting an award from a prominent Western cultural institution. After the prize award he tried to escape the media by hiding in the house of Simone's sister Hélène de Beauvoir
Hélène de Beauvoir
Henriette-Hélène de Beauvoir was a French painter. She was the younger sister of philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. Her art was exhibited in Europe, Japan, and the US. She married Lionel de Roulet....

 in Goxwiller
Goxwiller
Goxwiller is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.-Geography:Goxwiller is effectively a one-street village between flat arable land to one side and southward sloping vineyards to the other...

 in Alsace.
Though his name was then a household word (as was "existentialism" during the tumultuous 1960s), Sartre remained a simple man with few possessions, actively committed to causes until the end of his life, such as the student revolution strikes in Paris during the summer of 1968 during which he was arrested for civil disobedience
Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

. President Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

 intervened and pardoned him, commenting that "you don't arrest Voltaire
Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet , better known by the pen name Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, free trade and separation of church and state...

."

In 1975, when asked how he would like to be remembered, Sartre replied:
I would like [people] to remember Nausea, [my plays] No Exit and The Devil and the Good Lord, and then my two philosophical works, more particularly the second one, Critique of Dialectical Reason
Critique of Dialectical Reason
Critique of Dialectical Reason, , was the last of Jean-Paul Sartre's major philosophical works...

. Then my essay on Genet
Jean Genet
Jean Genet was a prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing...

, Saint Genet.... If these are remembered, that would be quite an achievement, and I don't ask for more. As a man, if a certain Jean-Paul Sartre is remembered, I would like people to remember the milieu or historical situation in which I lived,... how I lived in it, in terms of all the aspirations which I tried to gather up within myself.

Sartre's physical condition deteriorated, partially because of the merciless pace of work (and using drugs for this reason, i.e., amphetamine
Amphetamine
Amphetamine or amfetamine is a psychostimulant drug of the phenethylamine class which produces increased wakefulness and focus in association with decreased fatigue and appetite.Brand names of medications that contain, or metabolize into, amphetamine include Adderall, Dexedrine, Dextrostat,...

) he put himself through during the writing of the Critique and a massive analytical biography of Gustave Flaubert
Gustave Flaubert
Gustave Flaubert was a French writer who is counted among the greatest Western novelists. He is known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary , and for his scrupulous devotion to his art and style.-Early life and education:Flaubert was born on December 12, 1821, in Rouen,...

 (The Family Idiot), both of which remained unfinished.
Sartre became almost completely blind in 1973. Jean-Paul Sartre was also a notorious chain smoker that could have contributed to his health deterioration.

He died 15 April 1980 in Paris from edema
Edema
Edema or oedema ; both words from the Greek , oídēma "swelling"), formerly known as dropsy or hydropsy, is an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body that produces swelling...

 of the lung.

Sartre lies buried in Cimetière de Montparnasse in Paris. His funeral was well attended, with estimates of the number of mourners along the two hour march ranging from 15,000 to over 50,000.

Thought



The main idea of Jean-Paul Sartre is that we are, as humans, "condemned to be free." This theory relies upon his belief that there is no creator, and is formed using the example of the paper knife. Sartre says that if one considered a paper knife, one would assume that the creator would have had a plan for it: an essence. Sartre said that human beings have no essence before their existence because there is no Creator. Thus: "existence precedes essence". This forms the basis for his assertion that since one cannot explain their own actions and behaviour by referencing any specific human nature, they are necessarily fully responsible for those actions. "We are left alone, without excuse".

Authenticity and Individuality


Sartre maintained that the concepts of authenticity and individuality have to be earned but not learned. We need to experience death consciousness so as to wake up ourselves as to what is really important; the authentic in our lives which is life experience, not knowledge.

La Nausée and existentialism



As a junior lecturer at the Lycée du Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

 in 1938, Sartre wrote the novel La Nausée (Nausea) which serves in some ways as a manifesto
Manifesto
A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds. Manifestos may also be life stance-related.-Etymology:...

 of existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

 and remains one of his most famous books. Taking a page from the German phenomenological movement, he believed that our ideas are the product of experiences of real-life situations, and that novels and plays can well describe such fundamental experiences, having equal value to discursive essays for the elaboration of philosophical theories such as existentialism. With such purpose, this novel concerns a dejected researcher (Roquentin) in a town similar to Le Havre who becomes starkly conscious of the fact that inanimate objects and situations remain absolutely indifferent to his existence. As such, they show themselves to be resistant to whatever significance human consciousness might perceive in them.

This indifference of "things in themselves" (closely linked with the later notion of "being-in-itself" in his Being and Nothingness) has the effect of highlighting all the more the freedom Roquentin has to perceive and act in the world; everywhere he looks, he finds situations imbued with meanings which bear the stamp of his existence. Hence the "nausea" referred to in the title of the book; all that he encounters in his everyday life is suffused with a pervasive, even horrible, taste—specifically, his freedom. The book takes the term from Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

's Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None is a philosophical novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885...

, where it is used in the context of the often nauseating quality of existence. No matter how much Roquentin longs for something else or something different, he cannot get away from this harrowing evidence of his engagement with the world. The novel also acts as a terrifying realization of some of Kant's fundamental ideas; Sartre uses the idea of the autonomy of the will (that morality
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

 is derived from our ability to choose in reality; the ability to choose being derived from human freedom; embodied in the famous saying "Condemned to be free") as a way to show the world's indifference to the individual. The freedom that Kant exposed is here a strong burden, for the freedom to act towards objects is ultimately useless, and the practical application of Kant's ideas proves to be bitterly rejected.

Sartre and literature


Sartre's views were counterposed to those of Albert Camus
Albert Camus
Albert Camus was a French author, journalist, and key philosopher of the 20th century. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement, which was opposed to some tendencies of the Surrealist movement of André Breton.Camus was awarded the 1957...

 in the popular imagination. In 1948, the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 placed his complete works on the Index of prohibited books
Index Librorum Prohibitorum
The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was a list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church. A first version was promulgated by Pope Paul IV in 1559, and a revised and somewhat relaxed form was authorized at the Council of Trent...

. Most of his plays are richly symbolic and serve as a means of conveying his philosophy. The best-known, Huis-clos (No Exit
No Exit
No Exit is a 1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre. The original French title is Huis Clos, the French equivalent of the legal term in camera, referring to a private discussion behind closed doors; English translations have also been performed under the titles In Camera, No Way Out...

), contains the famous line "L'enfer, c'est les autres," usually translated as "Hell is other people."

Aside from the impact of Nausea, Sartre's major contribution to literature was The Roads to Freedom
The Roads to Freedom
The Roads to Freedom is a series of novels by Jean-Paul Sartre. Intended as a tetralogy, it was left incomplete with only three of the planned four volumes published....

trilogy which charts the progression of how World War II affected Sartre's ideas. In this way, Roads to Freedom presents a less theoretical and more practical approach to existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

.

Sartre as a public intellectual



While the broad focus of Sartre's life revolved around the notion of human freedom, he began a sustained intellectual participation in more public matters in 1945. Prior to this—before the Second World War—he was content with the role of an apolitical liberal intellectual: "Now teaching at a lycée in Laon [...] Sartre made his headquarters the Dome café at the crossing of Montparnasse and Raspail boulevards. He attended plays, read novels, and dined [with] women. He wrote. And he was published" (Gerassi 1989: 134). Sartre and his lifelong companion, Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, often shortened to Simone de Beauvoir , was a French existentialist philosopher, public intellectual, and social theorist. She wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography in several volumes, and monographs on philosophy, politics, and...

, existed, in her words, where "the world about us was a mere backdrop against which our private lives were played out" (de Beauvoir 1958: 339).

Sartre portrayed his own pre-war situation in the character Mathieu, chief protagonist in The Age of Reason
The Age of Reason (Sartre)
L'âge de raison is a 1945 novel by Jean Paul Sartre. It is the first part of the trilogy Les chemins de la liberté . The novel, set in the bohemian Paris of the late 1930s, focuses on three days in the life of a philosophy teacher named Mathieu who is seeking money to pay for an abortion for his...

, which was completed during Sartre's first year as a soldier in the Second World War. By forging Mathieu as an absolute rationalist, analyzing every situation, and functioning entirely on reason, he removed any strands of authentic content from his character and as a result, Mathieu could "recognize no allegiance except to [him]self" (Sartre 1942: 13), though he realized that without "responsibility for my own existence, it would seem utterly absurd to go on existing" (Sartre 1942: 14). Mathieu's commitment was only to himself, never to the outside world. Mathieu was restrained from action each time because he had no reasons for acting. Sartre then, for these reasons, was not compelled to participate in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, and it took the invasion of his own country to motivate him into action and to provide a crystallization of these ideas. It was the war that gave him a purpose beyond himself, and the atrocities of the war can be seen as the turning point in his public stance.

The war opened Sartre's eyes to a political reality he had not yet understood until forced into continual engagement with it: "the world itself destroyed Sartre's illusions about isolated self-determining individuals and made clear his own personal stake in the events of the time" (Aronson 1980: 108). Returning to Paris in 1941 he formed the "Socialisme et Liberté" resistance group. In 1943, after the group disbanded, Sartre joined a writers' Resistance group, in which he remained an active participant until the end of the war. He continued to write ferociously, and it was due to this "crucial experience of war and captivity that Sartre began to try to build up a positive moral system and to express it through literature" (Thody 1964: 21).

The symbolic initiation of this new phase in Sartre’s work is packaged in the introduction he wrote for a new journal, Les Temps Modernes
Les Temps modernes
The first issue of Les Temps modernes , the most important cultural review of the period after World War II, appeared in October 1945. It was known as the review of Jean-Paul Sartre. It was named for a film by Charlie Chaplin...

, in October 1945. Here he aligned the journal, and thus himself, with the Left and called for writers to express their political commitment (Aronson 1980: 107). Yet, this alignment was indefinite, directed more to the concept of the Left than a specific party of the Left.

Sartre's philosophy lent itself to his being a public intellectual. He envisaged culture as a very fluid concept; neither pre-determined, nor definitely finished; instead, in true existential
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

 fashion, "culture was always conceived as a process of continual invention and re-invention". This marks Sartre, the intellectual, as a pragmatist
Pragmatism
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

, willing to move and shift stance along with events. He did not dogmatically follow a cause other than the belief in human freedom
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

, preferring to retain a pacifist's objectivity. It is this over-arching theme of freedom that means his work "subverts the bases for distinctions among the disciplines" (Kirsner 2003: 13). Therefore, he was able to hold knowledge across a vast array of subjects: "the international world order, the political and economic organisation of contemporary society, especially France, the institutional and legal frameworks that regulate the lives of ordinary citizens, the educational system, the media networks that control and disseminate information. Sartre systematically refused to keep quiet about what he saw as inequalities and injustices in the world" (Scriven 1999: xii).

Sartre always sympathized with the left, and supported the French Communist Party
French Communist Party
The French Communist Party is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism.Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement , and considerable influence in French...

 (PCF) until the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary. Following the Liberation the PCF were infuriated by Sartre's philosophy, which appeared to lure young French men and women away from the ideology of communism and into Sartre’s own existentialism (Scriven 1999: 13). From 1956 onwards Sartre rejected the claims of the PCF to represent the French working classes, objecting to its authoritarian tendencies. In the late 1960s Sartre supported the radical left, then known as "Maoists," a movement that rejected the authority of established communist parties. However, despite aligning with the "Maoists," Sartre said after the May events
May 1968
The May 1968 protest refers to a particular period in French history. It was historically significant for being the first wildcat general strike ever, and for being the largest general strike ever, bringing the economy of an advanced industrial country to a virtual standstill. It commenced with a...

: "If one rereads all my books, one will realize that I have not changed profoundly, and that I have always remained an anarchist." He would later explicitly allow himself to be called an anarchist.

In the aftermath of a war that had for the first time properly engaged Sartre in political matters, he set forth a body of work which "reflected on virtually every important theme of his early thought and began to explore alternative solutions to the problems posed there" (Aronson 1980: 121). The greatest difficulties that he and all public intellectuals of the time faced were the increasing technological aspects of the world that were outdating the printed word as a form of expression. In Sartre's opinion, the "traditional bourgeois literary forms remain innately superior", but there is "a recognition that the new technological 'mass media' forms must be embraced" if Sartre's ethical and political goals as an authentic, committed intellectual are to be achieved: the demystification of bourgeois political practices and the raising of the consciousness, both political and cultural, of the working class. (Scriven 1993: 8). The struggle for Sartre was against the monopolising moguls who were beginning to take over the media and destroy the role of the intellectual. His attempts to reach a public were mediated by these powers, and it was often these powers he had to campaign against. He was skilled enough, however, to circumvent some of these issues by his interactive approach to the various forms of media, advertising his radio interviews in a newspaper column for example, and vice versa. (Scriven 1993: 22).

The role of a public intellectual can lead to the individual placing himself in danger as he engages with disputed topics. In Sartre's case, this was witnessed in June 1961, when a plastic bomb exploded in the entrance of his apartment building. His public support of Algerian self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

 at the time had led Sartre to become a target of the campaign of terror that mounted as the colonists' position deteriorated. A similar occurrence took place the next year and he had begun to receive threatening letters from Oran
Oran
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country.It is the capital of the Oran Province . The city has a population of 759,645 , while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest...

. (Aronson 1980: 157).

Selected bibliography


Plays, screenplays, novels, and short stories
  • Nausea / La nausée (1938)
  • The Wall
    The Wall (Book)
    The Wall by Jean-Paul Sartre, a collection of short stories published in 1939 containing the eponymous story "The Wall", is considered one of the author's greatest existentialist works of fiction...

    / Le mur (1939)
  • Bariona / Bariona, ou le fils du tonnerre (1940)
  • The Flies
    The Flies
    The Flies is a play by Jean-Paul Sartre, written in 1943. It is an adaptation of the Electra myth, previously used by the Greek playwrights Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides....

    / Les mouches (1943)
  • No Exit
    No Exit
    No Exit is a 1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre. The original French title is Huis Clos, the French equivalent of the legal term in camera, referring to a private discussion behind closed doors; English translations have also been performed under the titles In Camera, No Way Out...

    / Huis clos (1944)
  • Typhus, wr. '44, pub. '07; adapted as The Proud and the Beautiful
    The Proud and the Beautiful
    The Proud and the Beautiful is a 1953 Franco-Mexican co-production drama directed by Yves Allégret. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Story; the nomination officially went to Jean-Paul Sartre.-Cast:...

  • The Age of Reason
    The Age of Reason (Sartre)
    L'âge de raison is a 1945 novel by Jean Paul Sartre. It is the first part of the trilogy Les chemins de la liberté . The novel, set in the bohemian Paris of the late 1930s, focuses on three days in the life of a philosophy teacher named Mathieu who is seeking money to pay for an abortion for his...

    / L'âge de raison (1945)
  • The Respectful Prostitute
    The Respectful Prostitute
    The Respectful Prostitute is a French play by Jean-Paul Sartre, written in 1946, which observes a woman, a prostitute, caught up in a racially tense period of American history. The audience understands that there has been an incident on a train with said woman involved, but also a black man of...

    / La putain respectueuse (1946)
  • The Victors / Morts sans sépulture (1946)
  • The Chips Are Down / Les jeux sont faits (1947)
  • The Reprieve / Le sursis (1947)
  • In the Mesh / L'engrénage (1948)
  • Dirty Hands
    Dirty hands
    Dirty hands is a metaphor used in moral and political philosophy and everyday conversation to symbolize the sullying of one's moral standing by dealing with unsavory matters...

    / Les mains sales (1948)
  • Troubled Sleep / La mort dans l'âme (1949)
  • The Devil and the Good Lord
    The Devil and the Good Lord
    The Devil and the Good Lord is a play by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. The play concerns the moral choices of its characters, warlord Goetz, clergy Heinrich, communist leader Nasti and others during the German Peasants' War...

    / Le diable et le bon dieu (1951)
  • Kean (1953)
  • Nekrassov (1955)
  • The Condemned of Altona
    The Condemned of Altona
    The Condemned of Altona is a play written by Jean-Paul Sartre, known in Great Britain as Loser Wins. It was first produced in 1959 at the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris. It was one of the last plays Sartre wrote, followed only by his adaptation of Euripides' The Trojan Women...

    / Les séquestrés d'Altona (1959)
  • The Trojan Women / Les Troyennes (1965)
  • The Freud Scenario / Le scénario Freud (1984)

Philosophic essays
  • Imagination: A Psychological Critique / L'imagination (1936)
  • The Transcendence of the Ego
    The Transcendence of the Ego
    The Transcendence of the Ego is a philosophical and psychological essay written by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1934 and published in 1936...

    / La transcendence de l'égo (1937)
  • Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions
    Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions
    Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions is a book by Jean-Paul Sartre published in 1939. In it, Sartre analyses prior ideas, including psychoanalytic theories before presenting his own phenomenological analysis.-Editions:*The Emotions: Outline of a Theory, Bernard Frechtman, tr...

    / Esquisse d'un théorie des émotions (1939)
  • The Imaginary
    The Imaginary (Sartre)
    The Imaginary, first published in French in 1940, is one of Jean-Paul Sartre's important but often-overlooked works. It lays out Sartre's concepts of the imagination and what it says about the nature of human consciousness that we can imagine at all....

    / L'imaginaire (1940)
  • Being and Nothingness / L'étre et le néant (1943)
  • Existentialism is a Humanism / L'existentialisme est un humanisme (1946)
  • Search for a Method
    Search for a Method
    Jean-Paul Sartre wrote the 1957 essay Search for a Method or The Problem of Method in an attempt to reconcile Marxism with existentialism...

    / Question de méthode (1957)
  • Critique of Dialectical Reason
    Critique of Dialectical Reason
    Critique of Dialectical Reason, , was the last of Jean-Paul Sartre's major philosophical works...

    / Critique de la raison dialectique (1960, 1985)
  • Notebooks for an Ethics / Cahiers pour une morale (1983)
  • Truth and Existence / Vérité et existence (1989)

Critical essays
  • Anti-Semite and Jew
    Anti-Semite and Jew
    Anti-Semite and Jew is an essay about antisemitism written by Jean-Paul Sartre shortly after the liberation of Paris from German occupation in 1944...

    / Réflexions sur la question juive (1943)
  • Baudelaire (1946)
  • Situations I: Literary Critiques / Critiques litteraires (1947)
  • Situations II: What Is Literature?
    What is literature?
    What Is Literature? is a 1947 book by Jean-Paul Sartre. The book is divided into three topics of discussion:...

    / Qu'est-ce que la littérature ? (1947)
  • "Black Orpheus" / "Orphée noir" (1948)
  • Situations III (1949)
  • Saint Genet
    Saint Genet
    Saint Genet, Actor and Martyr is a book by the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre about the writer Jean Genet. It was first published in 1952...

    , Actor and Martyr
    / S.G., comédien et martyr (1952)
  • The Henri Martin Affair / L'affair Henri Martin (1953)
  • Situations IV: Portraits (1964)
  • Situations V: Colonialism and Neocolonialism
    Colonialism and Neocolonialism
    Colonialism and Neocolonialism by Jean-Paul Sartre is controversial and influential critique of French policies in Algeria...

    (1964)
  • Situations VI: Problems of Marxism, Part 1 (1966)
  • Situations VII: Problems of Marxism, Part 2 (1967)
  • The Family Idiot / L'idiot de la famille (1971–2)
  • Situations VIII: Autour de 1968 (1972)
  • Situations IX: Melanges (1972)
  • Situations X: Life/Situations: Essays Written and Spoken / Politique et Autobiographie (1976)


Autobiographic
  • Sartre By Himself / Sartre par lui-mème (1959)
  • The Words
    The Words
    The Words is the title of Jean-Paul Sartre's 1963 autobiography.-Structure and Presentation:The text is divided into two near-equal parts entitled 'Reading' and 'Writing'. However, according to Philippe Lejeune, these two parts are only a façade and are not relevant to the chronological...

    / Les mots (1964)
  • Witness to My Life + Quiet Moments in a War / Lettres au Castor et à quelques autres (1983)
  • War Diaries: Notebooks from a Phony War / Les carnets de la drole de guerre (1984)

See also


  • Situation (Sartre)
    Situation (Sartre)
    One of the first times in which Jean-Paul Sartre discussed the concept of Situation was in his 1943 Being and Nothingness, where he famously said that...

  • Existentialism
    Existentialism
    Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

  • Wilfrid Desan
    Wilfrid Desan
    Wilfrid Desan was a professor in philosophy best known for introducing French existentialism and especially the thought of Jean-Paul Sartre to the United States. He was a native of Belgium who emigrated to the United States in 1948, where he gained a doctorate from Harvard University in 1951 and...

  • Bad faith
    Bad faith
    Bad faith is double mindedness or double heartedness in duplicity, fraud, or deception. It may involve intentional deceit of others, or self deception....



Sources

  • Aronson, Ronald (1980) Jean-Paul Sartre – Philosophy in the World. London: NLB
  • Gerassi, John (1989) Jean-Paul Sartre: Hated Conscience of His Century. Volume 1: Protestant or Protester? Chicago: University of Chicago Press
  • Judaken, Jonathan (2006) "Jean-Paul Sartre and the Jewish Question: Anti-antisemitism and the Politics of the French Intellectual. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press
  • Kirsner, Douglas (2003) The Schizoid World of Jean-Paul Sartre and R.D. Lang. New York: Karnac
  • Scriven, Michael (1993) Sartre and The Media. London: MacMillan Press Ltd
  • Scriven, Michael (1999) Jean-Paul Sartre: Politics and Culture in Postwar France. London: MacMillan Press Ltd
  • Thody, Philip (1964) Jean-Paul Sartre. London: Hamish Hamilton

Further reading

  • Annie Cohen-Solal
    Annie Cohen-Solal
    Annie Cohen-Solal is a French academic, writer, historian, and biographer. Born in pre-independence Algeria, she is part of the Jewish diaspora that left that country for France during the Algerian War of Independence. Her most famous work is a biography of Jean-Paul Sartre, Sartre: A Life, which...

    , Sartre 1905–80, 1985.
  • Gianluca Vagnarelli, La democrazia tumultuaria. Sulla filosofia politica di Jean-Paul Sartre, Macerata, EUM, 2010.
  • Simone de Beauvoir, Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre, New York: Pantheon Books, 1984.
  • Thomas Flynn, Sartre and Marxist Existentialism: The Test Case of Collective Responsibility, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
  • John Gerassi, Jean-Paul Sartre: Hated Conscience of His Century, Volume 1: Protestant or Protester?, University of Chicago Press, 1989. ISBN 0-226-28797-1.
  • R. D. Laing and D. G. Cooper, Reason and Violence: A Decade of Sartre's Philosophy, 1950–1960, New York: Pantheon, 1971.
  • Suzanne Lilar
    Suzanne Lilar
    Suzanne, Baroness Lilar was a Flemish Belgian essayist, novelist, and playwright writing in French...

    , A propos de Sartre et de l'amour, Paris: Grasset, 1967.
  • Axel Madsen, Hearts and Minds: The Common Journey of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, William Morrow & Co, 1977.
  • Heiner Wittmann, L'esthétique de Sartre. Artistes et intellectuels, translated from the German by N. Weitemeier and J. Yacar, Éditions L'Harmattan (Collection L'ouverture philosophique), Paris 2001.
  • Elisabeth Roudinesco
    Elisabeth Roudinesco
    Élisabeth Roudinesco is a French academic historian and psychoanalyst. She is an independent guest researcher at University of Paris VII – Denis Diderot...

    , Philosophy in Turbulent Times: Canguilhem, Sartre, Foucault
    Michel Foucault
    Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

    , Althusser, Deleuze, Derrida
    , Columbia University Press, New York, 2008.
  • Jean-Paul Sartre and Benny Levy, Hope Now: The 1980 Interviews, translated by Adrian van den Hoven, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.
  • P.V. Spade, Class Lecture Notes on Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness. 1996.
  • Jonathan Webber The existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre, London: Routledge, 2009
  • H. Wittmann, Sartre und die Kunst. Die Porträtstudien von Tintoretto bis Flaubert, Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 1996.
  • H. Wittmann, Sartre and Camus in Aesthetics. The Challenge of Freedom.Ed. by Dirk Hoeges. Dialoghi/Dialogues. Literatur und Kultur Italiens und Frankreichs, vol. 13, Frankfurt/M: Peter Lang 2009 ISBN 978-3-631-58693-8
  • Wilfrid Desan
    Wilfrid Desan
    Wilfrid Desan was a professor in philosophy best known for introducing French existentialism and especially the thought of Jean-Paul Sartre to the United States. He was a native of Belgium who emigrated to the United States in 1948, where he gained a doctorate from Harvard University in 1951 and...

    , The Tragic Finale: An Essay on the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre (1954)
  • BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

     (1999). "The Road to Freedom". Human, All Too Human
    Human, All Too Human (TV series)
    Human, All Too Human is a three-part 1999 documentary television series produced by the BBC. It follows the lives of three prominent European philosophers: Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Paul Sartre...

    .
  • Pink Floyd and Philosophy "Careful with that Axiom Eugene" by George A. Reisch Chicago: Open Court Publishing Company, 2007.

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