Philosophy Paper #1

Philosophy Paper #1 - Wyatt McCallum #2597176 The Judgment...

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Wyatt McCallum #2597176 The Judgment of Freedom Tuesday, January 24 th Guy Elgat The Judgment of Freedom Existentialism as defined by Sartre consists of a few main qualities. First, existentialism realizes the fact that “existence precedes essence” (292) by stating that a man merely exists before he is anything. That means that man defines himself by his actions after his creation; there is no “human nature” that all men share before they go out into the world. In this sense, “subjectivity is the starting point” because “Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself” (293). This gives him the freedom to be whomever he chooses to be through his actions. Sartre places a lot of importance on these choices. He says, “To choose to be this or that is to affirm at the same time the value of what we choose, because we can never choose evil. We always choose the good, and nothing can be good for us without being good for all,” (293). This
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means when making a choice, we are choosing what we think is right, and therefore are choosing what we think is right for everybody else to do as well. This leads to what Sartre calls anguish, which is the sense of anxiety a person feels upon shouldering the responsibility to choose what is right for both mankind and himself. The other difficulty humanity is faced with in achieving their essence through making choices is a feeling of forlornness. This forlornness results from the realization that man is totally free, and therefore must accept all the responsibility for his own choices. While God may exist, he’s only giving guidelines for behavior, and the average person can interpret the Bible to mean whatever they want it to mean. The same goes for searching for advice from other people; you interpret the advice as you see fit. This means there is no excuse for a person’s actions, and that feeling of abandonment is something we must also deal with when making our choices. Sartre gives us advice on how to deal with these feelings. He says that mankind must embrace its freedom and each person must make choices that authentic to themselves. Restated, this means that each person must make choices based on the essence they have determined for themselves, and must not deny their personal freedom to choose. We must face the despair that
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2012 for the course PHIL 210 taught by Professor Saarbaker during the Winter '07 term at Northwestern.

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Philosophy Paper #1 - Wyatt McCallum #2597176 The Judgment...

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