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Sartre's Philosophy Of Existence Precedes Essence

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One of Sartre’s philosophy is the idea of “existence precedes essence”. In order to understand what this proposal means, we need to define “existence” and “essence”. In my opinion, “existence” is the presence of things, the part that identifies us as who we are, while “essence” is the nature part, the blueprint, the description that we were born. Thus, the Sartre’s philosophy of “existence precedes essence”, in my interpretation, states that we, human first exist and then determine our essence by means of choices and actions. Or in another words, we are what we are through what we do, not through what we’ve given at birth. Some people argue with this philosophy considering the human being as an image and likeness of God, which means we, human,…show more content…
In that case, essence is claimed to be the basic building blocks of human being, thus it has to come first before human even exists as in human being. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that “essence” determines our life. for example, some Christians believes that “God” creates human for a purpose. A killer might claim that he kills because it’s the plan that “God” gives him – to kill. I personally don’t agree with this belief, however, let’s consider “God” is real, and that there is a “purpose” created for each of us. In that case, no one knows who/what “God” is, and thereby, no one knows what that “purpose” is. Consequently, no one can be sure that killing, for example, is “God’s” will. I believe that at the moment before doing the killing, the killer does have a choice of either killing or not killing. I don’t believe that anyone has the power to take away that choice. Therefore, if he kills, it’s his choice, and thus, his responsibility. He can’t blame it to “God” or to anyone rather than himself. Sartre also mentions this idea as in “we are condemned to be…show more content…
Sartre believes that freedom, in terms of free choices, is a center and unique potentiality, which human all have in nature. We can choose to do what we want. It is the right that no one can take away from us. Freedom, in my opinion, is subjective because it exists in our mind, and only we can be aware of it. Sartre also ignores the determinism theory, which states that everything has be set up in a certain way, and that we can only follow that pathway. I, in the other hand, agree on both theories: freedom and determinism. It is true that we human have our choices to choose for our life. However, we don’t absolutely have choice for everything. Everything has its limit, so does choices. For example, we can choose to work on whatever field we want, and we can pursue the career we dream about. However, a blind man cannot choose to be a painter. He can’t see whatever he wants to see. Or in the other words, our choices are limited by our capacity and our ability. However, this is the only perspective that I consider the presence of determinism. Most of the time, I strongly agree to Sartre’s freedom of choices because it is also my motor. I could do whatever I want, but whatever I choose I’m the one responsible for it. For instance, I was born in a traditional Vietnamese family. Since I was young, because of my parents’ wish, I was always trying my best to become a doctor, which means less
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