Existentialism-No Excuses Guests

Existentialism-No Excuses Guests - No Excuses Excerpts from...

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N o E x c u s es : E x c e r p ts fr o m “ E x i s t e n ti a li s m a n d H u m a ni s m ” “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” —George Bernard Shaw “He only deserves his freedom who earns it each day anew.” —Johann Goethe # The following quotations derive from Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1946 lecture, “Existentialism and Humanism.” I have taken a few liberties, occasionally rearranging sentences, adding spacing, changing paragraphing and omitting words without showing ellipses. Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself . Such is the first principle of existentialism. But what do we mean by this, if not that man has a greater dignity than a stone or table? . . . If existence really does precede essence, man is responsible for what he is. Thus, existentialism’s first move is to make every man aware of what he is and to make the full responsibility of his existence rest on him. When we say that man chooses his own self, we mean that every one of us does likewise; but we also mean that in making this choice he also chooses all men. In fact, in creating the man that we want to be, there is not a single one of our acts which does not at the same time create an image of man as we think he ought to be. To choose to be this or that is to affirm at the same time the value of what we choose. . . . Man is anguish . What that means is this: the man who involves himself and who realizes that he is not only the person he chooses to be, but also a lawmaker who is, at the same time, choosing all mankind as well as himself, cannot help escape the feeling of his total and deep responsibility . Thus, our responsibility is much greater than we might have supposed, because it involves all mankind. And every man ought to say to himself, “Am I really the kind of man who has the right to act in such a way that humanity might guide itself by my actions?” And if he does not say this, he is masking his anguish. In making a decision, he cannot help having a certain anguish. All leaders know this anguish.
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This note was uploaded on 04/22/2010 for the course ENG 110 taught by Professor Whitchurch during the Spring '10 term at Golden West College.

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Existentialism-No Excuses Guests - No Excuses Excerpts from...

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