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Jean Paul Sartre-Philosophy-Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself

Critique of Sartre ‘s Concept of “Existence Precedes Essence ‘Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself . Such is the first principle of existentialism . – Sartre (p .349 )Existentialism evolved as an attempt to come up with an authentic response to the existential angst of modern man in search of his identity and place in existence . Perhaps the very first existentialist thinker and philosopher in history , Socrates , put fundamental stress on the enquiry of the question “Who am I ‘ On the other hand , the twentieth century philosopher with whom the movement of existentialism is most commonly associated with , Sartre , says that with man , existence precedes essence . That is to say , there is no essence as such which man can discover inside his being . He has to create it , as it were , from nothing , through his efforts and choices . This is the central tenet of Sartre ‘s brand of existentialism . In a way , it sounds very pessimistic ,but at the same time , such an observation can lead us to realize the freedom of man ‘s being , inspiring us to attain greater meaning in our lives . Sartre ‘s stance seems to be very heroic , and his attitude can fill us with new energy to act and create . However , as we shall see ,considered purely on a logical and philosophical basis , his theory rings completely hollow , indeed as hollow as the “nothingness ‘ he talks about .In his essay “Existentialism as Humanism ” Sartre most eloquently sets out to clarify what exactly is meant by existentialism in the proper sense of the word . This he does with amazing simplicity , putting the essence of the philosophical system of which he is one of foremost proponents just in three words : existence precedes essence .If God does not exist , there is at least one being in whom existence precedes essence , a being who exists before he can be defined by any concept , and that this being is man , or , as Heidegger says , human reality (p .349 )Sartre proceeds to explain us the meaning of these two concepts essence and existence and the two view points based on them , namely “essence precedes existence ” and “existence precedes essence ” in a very lucid style .Sartre gives the example of a simple object , a paper cutter , to illustrate how in the case of this object essence precedes existence ,and how it is the other way around in humans . To enter into a “conversation ‘ with Sartre , however , I would like to provide the example of a simple machine here , a typewriter , to illustrate the same point . Like a paper cutter , a typewriter too is mass-produced , according to a predetermined model . Therefore , a typewriter is clearly an instance of essence preceding existence . Now let us take a very high power computer . This computer is as much mass-produced and made according to a preexisting model as a simple typewriter , here too essence precedes existence . However , whereas a typewriter can do only one thing in a fairly rigid manner , a computer can do a…

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