Jean-Paul Sartre And Simone De Beauvoir: The Key Figures In The Philosophy Of Existentialism

1590 Words7 Pages
Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were key figures in the philosophy of existentialism. Existentialism is defined as the philosophical theory that highlights individual existence, choice and freedom. It is the idea that human beings determine their own meaning in life, and venture to make rational decisions in spite of living in an illogical and unreasonable universe. Essentially, this principle calls into question human existence and the notion that individuals do not have a purpose in life. Like her lover Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir had a lot to say about existential conditions and the ethical dilemmas that we are faced with as we journey from life to death. Another philosopher that had a lot to say about a particular system of thought was…show more content…
Philosophers have tried to mask this ambiguous dimension of existence by trying to reduce the mind to the body, for instance (Tuncel). However, to have an ethical life, this sense of ambiguity must be accepted. Beauvoir explains this with her description of the development of man. In The Ethics of Ambiguity, there are several direct and indirect references to Sartre considering he also delivered a famous lecture titled Existentialism is a Humanism as a defense against its critics: mostly communists who thought of existentialism as a form of bourgeois ideology and Christian critics who believed this theory ignores the Commandments of God (Tuncel). From Sartre’s own words: “existentialism is a doctrine that does render human life possible; a doctrine, also, which affirms that every truth and every action imply both an environment and a human subjectivity” (p. 4). In her book, Beauvoir agrees that human nature does not exist and that individuals have a choice. In other words, we are what we do and human freedom is absolute.

More about Jean-Paul Sartre And Simone De Beauvoir: The Key Figures In The Philosophy Of Existentialism

Open Document