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By Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre: simple Writings is the 1st choice of Sartre's key philosophical writings and gives an essential source for readers of his paintings. Stephen Priest's transparent and important introductions make the quantity an incredible spouse to these coming to Sartre's writing for the 1st time.

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Man is, indeed, a project which possesses a subjective life, instead of being a kind of moss, or a fungus or a cauliflower. Before that projection of the self nothing exists; not even in the heaven of intelligence: man will only attain existence when he is what he purposes to be. Not, however, what he may wish to be. For what we usually understand by wishing or willing is a conscious decision taken— much more often than not—after we have made ourselves what we are. I may wish to join a party, to write a book or to marry—but in such a case what is usually called my will is probably a manifestation of a prior and more spontaneous decision.

However, if we are to have morality, a society and a law-abiding world, it is essential that certain values should be taken seriously; they must have an a priori existence ascribed to them. It must be considered obligatory a priori to be honest, not to lie, not to beat one’s wife, to bring up children and so forth; so we are going to do a little work on this subject, which will enable us to show that these values exist all the same, inscribed in an intelligible heaven although, of course, there is no God.

It opens, the fingers unfold and point. It is lying on its back. It shows me its fat under-belly. It looks like an animal upside down. , pp. 143–4) and a little later says, ‘I am. , p. 146). What disgusts Roquentin most about existence is its contingency. In philosophy contingency is contrasted with necessity. If something exists contingently then it exists but it is possible that it should not have existed: It is but it might not have been. If something exists necessarily then it exists Existentialism 23 and it is not possible that it should not have existed: It is and it could not fail to be.

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