plugin-sartre%20handout - Phil 155 lecture notes on Sartre...

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Phil 155: lecture notes on Sartre essence and existence in the Being-in-itself (artifacts, etc.) essence precedes and controls their existence. o for example: a paper-cutter’s essence (i) exists prior to it (ii) causes its existence, (iii) gives it a purpose: to cut; and (iv) allows us to distinguish good and bad cutters. o likewise for an acorn: its essence (i) comes from its ancestors, (ii) causes its development, (iii) specifies its telos, and (iv) and provides a norm of health or flourishing for oaks in the Being-for-itself (humans) there is no pre-existing essence that does any of these things. As a result nothing there is no pre-existing function or purpose that imposes norms for ‘good/bad humans’ or causally determines how we are to act. in other words, our existence precedes our essence. anguish begins with ‘abandonment’ or ‘forlornness’: there is no God, and no law-maker or essence- maker. Nothing comes with pre-packaged value: you must choose what to value. we are ‘condemned’ to be free, ‘thrown’ into the world without an essence: we did not choose to exist and to be burdened with the responsibility of inventing a life but we are incapable of avoiding the responsibility: we can’t choose not to choose. the intimate sense of lacking any essence leads to a ‘terrifying’ freedom. The combination
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2009 for the course PHIL 155g taught by Professor Manley during the Spring '08 term at USC.

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plugin-sartre%20handout - Phil 155 lecture notes on Sartre...

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