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Man being condemned to be free carries the weight of the whole world on his shoulders; he is responsible for the world and for himself as a way of being.

"Man is a useless passion."
[Being and Nothingness “Doing and Having,” sct. 3 (1943).]

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. [Existentialism and Humanism]

Man is not the sum of what he has already, but rather the sum of what he does not yet have, of what he could have.

Neither sex, without some fertilization of the complimentary characters of the other, is capable of the highest reaches of human endeavor.

Night is falling: at dusk, you must have good eyesight to be able to tell the Good Lord from the Devil. - The Devil and the Good Lord, act 10, sc. 2, Gallimard (1951).

Once upon a time, in Bohemia, there was a flourishing industry which seems to have fallen off. One would take children, slit their lips, compress their skulls and keep them in a box day and night to prevent them from growing. As a result of this and similar treatment, the children were turned into amusing monsters who brought in handsome profits.

One cannot become a saint when one works sixteen hours a day. - The Devil and the Good Lord, act 5, sc. 2, Gallimard (1951).

One does not adopt a new idea, one slips into it.

One is still what one is going to cease to be and already what one is going to become. One lives one's death, one dies one's life.

Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat.

Politics is a science. You can demonstrate that you are right and that others are wrong.
Methuen (1963). Dirty Hands, act 5, sc. 2, Gallimard (1948).

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist.

Should I betray the proletariat to serve truth or betray truth in the name of the proletariat?

Slime is the agony of water.

The existentialist is strongly opposed to a certain kind of secular ethics which would like to abolish God with the least possible expense.

The existentialist says at once that man is anguish.

The existentialist...thinks it very distressing that God does not exist, because all possibility of finding values in a heaven of ideas disappears along with Him; there can no longer be a priori of God, since there is no infinite and perfect consciousness to think it. Nowhere is it written that the Good exists, that we must be honest, that we must not lie; because the fact is that we are on a plane where there are only men. Dostoyevsky said, If God didn't exist, everything would be possible. That is the very starting point of existentialism. Indeed, everything is permissible if God does not exist, and as a result man is forlorn, because neither within him nor without does he find anything to cling to.

The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.

There can be no other truth to take off from than this: I think, therefore, I exist. There we have the absolute truth of consciousness becoming aware of itself.
Existentialism and Human Emotions

There are two kinds of existentialist; first, those who are Christian...and on the other hand the atheistic existentialists, among whom...I class myself. What they have in common is that they think that existence precedes essence, or, if you prefer, that subjectivity must be the turning point.

They made me take cod liver oil: that is the height of luxury: a medicine to make you hungry while the others, in the street, would have sold themselves for a beefsteak. I saw them passing my window with their signs: “Give me bread”. - Methuen (1963). Dirty Hands, act 3, sc. 3, Gallimard (1948).

Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do. Nausea (1938) "Vendredi"

To believe is to know you believe, and to know you believe is not to believe.

To eat is to appropriate by destruction. - “Doing and Having,” sct. 3, Being and Nothingness (1943, trans. 1965).

"Vertigo is anguish to the extent that I am afraid not of falling over the precipice, but of throwing myself over." [Being and Nothingness]

We are our choices.

We invent ourselves by virtue of the multitude of our choices.

We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are - that is the fact.

We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.

We write for our contemporaries; we want to behold our world not with future eyes—which would be the surest means of killing it—but with our eyes of flesh, our real, perishable eyes. We don’t want to win our, case on appeal, and we will have nothing to do with any posthumous rehabilitation. Right here in our own lifetime is when and where our cases will be won or lost.

When the rich make war, it's the poor that die. The Devil and the Good Lord (1951) act 1

Jean Paul Sartre. A french philosopher of the 20th century. Privacy Policy