Jean-Paul Sartre Existentialism Is Humanism

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Existentialism Is a Humanism is philosophical writing by Jean-Paul Sartre and its goal is to defend his philosophical theory of existentialism against many reproaches put forward by many different critics. Sartre is a firm believer that we have no greater purpose, no pre-determined plans, no ultimate meaning. We have, in Sartre’s words, no human nature, since there is nothing outside of us in which would conceive of it for us. We are simply here, and it is up to us to define ourselves. As Sartre states, “Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.” One of the main critiques of Sartre’s view is that it is overly pessimistic and gloomy. Sartre attacks the critics head-on by claiming that they are actually the pessimists, while the existentialist are optimists. The main critics of…show more content…
Anguish to Sartre is the feelings developed when you believe you make every decision by thinking that all of humanity is watching you and you have the burden of making a decision for everyone. Furthermore, Sartre believes the pain of anguish comes from the fact that we choose for everyone in this way, yet we don’t have any proof that we’re choosing the right thing. Sartre uses a military leader in explaining anguish by expressing the feeling of a military leader who sends his soldiers to death. Another emotive term Sartre uses is despair. Despair comes from the realization that we must depend on others without being sure how they will act. In his work, Sartre pushes the idea that we as single parts in a big world and individuals have no control on how things will turn out. Sartre believes that we should not rely on anything outside our realm of control, but he also clarifies that this should not cause us not to act on our ideas. Sartre actually believes that this lack of outside help should cause us to act even more on our thoughts and ideas because there is no reality except in
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