Ideas of Jean-Paul Sartre, by Theme

[French, 1905 - 1980, Born and died in Paris. Fought in French resistance. Lifelong partner of Simone de Beauvoir.]

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1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 2. Phenomenology
Phenomenology assumes that all consciousness is of something
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / h. Dasein (being human)
For Sartre there is only being for-itself, or being in-itself (which is beyond experience) [Daigle]
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 5. Cogito Critique
The consciousness that says 'I think' is not the consciousness that thinks
The Cogito depends on a second-order experience, of being conscious of consciousness
Is the Cogito reporting an immediate experience of doubting, or the whole enterprise of doubting?
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism
Appearances do not hide the essence; appearances are the essence
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / b. Scepticism of other minds
A consciousness can conceive of no other consciousness than itself
We can never, even in principle, grasp other minds, because the Ego is self-conceiving
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 5. Unity of Mind
The eternal truth of 2+2=4 is what gives unity to the mind which regularly thinks it
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / b. Essence of consciousness
Consciousness always transcends itself
Sartre says consciousness is just directedness towards external objects [Rowlands]
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / f. Higher-order thought
Consciousness exists as consciousness of itself
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 2. Unconscious Mind
Since we are a consciousness, Sartre entirely rejected the unconscious mind [Daigle]
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / a. Nature of intentionality
Intentionality defines, transcends and unites consciousness
16. Persons / A. Concept of a Person / 4. Persons as Agents
Man is nothing else but the sum of his actions
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 4. Presupposition of Self
If you think of '2+2=4' as the content of thought, the self must be united transcendentally
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 6. Self as Higher Awareness
The Ego is not formally or materially part of consciousness, but is outside in the world
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 2. Knowing the Self
How could two I's, the reflective and the reflected, communicate with each other?
Knowing yourself requires an exterior viewpoint, which is necessarily false
My ego is more intimate to me, but not more certain than other egos
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Limits of Introspection
When we are unreflective (as when chasing a tram) there is no 'I'
The Ego never appears except when we are not looking for it
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / a. Memory is Self
It is theoretically possible that the Ego consists entirely of false memories
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 4. Split Consciousness
If the 'I' is transcendental, it unnecessarily splits consciousness in two
16. Persons / E. Rejecting the Self / 4. Denial of the Self
Maybe it is the act of reflection that brings 'me' into existence
The Ego only appears to reflection, so it is cut off from the World
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 1. Nature of Free Will
Man IS freedom
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 3. Emotions / a. Nature of emotions
An emotion and its object form a unity, so emotion is a mode of apprehension
Emotion is one of our modes of understanding our Being-in-the-World
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 3. Emotions / c. Role of emotions
Emotions are a sort of bodily incantation which brings a magic to the world
Emotions makes us believe in and live in a new world
18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content
Sartre rejects mental content, and the idea that the mind has hidden inner features [Rowlands]
22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / e. Human nature
Man is a useless passion
Man is the desire to be God
There is no human nature
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / a. Nature of value
There are no values to justify us, and no excuses
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Subjective value
Sartre's freedom is not for whimsical action, but taking responsibility for our own values [Daigle]
If values depend on us, freedom is the foundation of all values
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / g. Love
Love is the demand to be loved
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / e. Character
In becoming what we want to be we create what we think man ought to be
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / d. Courage
Cowards are responsible for their cowardice
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 3. Universalisability
When my personal freedom becomes involved, I must want freedom for everyone else
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 1. Existentialism
Existentialists says that cowards and heroes make themselves
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 3. Angst
Fear concerns the world, but 'anguish' comes from confronting my self
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 5. Existence-Essence
Existence before essence (or begin with the subjective)
'Existence precedes essence' means we have no pre-existing self, but create it through existence [Le Poidevin]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 6. Authentic Self
Sincerity is not authenticity, because it only commits to one particular identity [Aho]
We flee from the anguish of freedom by seeing ourselves objectively, as determined
It is dishonest to offer passions as an excuse
Existentialism says man is whatever he makes of himself
Authenticity is taking responsibility for a situation, with all its risks and emotions
Sartre gradually realised that freedom is curtailed by the weight of situation [Daigle]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 7. Existential Action
If I do not choose, that is still a choice
When a man must choose between his mother and the Resistance, no theory can help [Fogelin]
24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 1. Purpose of a State
States have a monopoly of legitimate violence [Wolff,J]
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 9. Communism
The truth about events always comes from the oppressed and disadvantaged [Bakewell]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / d. God decrees morality
Without God there is no intelligibility or value