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Axiom

http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/sartreol.htm

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Lesuth

http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/sartreol.htm

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I. Absolute Individuality and Absolute Freedom.
The Existentialist conceptions of freedom and value arise from their view of the individual. Since we are all ultimately alone, isolated islands of subjectivity in an objective world, we have absolute freedom over our internal nature, and the source of our value can only be internal.

II. The Existentialist View of Human Nature.
Existentialism is defined by the slogan Existence precedes Essence. This means:

1. We have no predetermined nature or essence that controls what we are, what we do, or what is valuable for us.

2. We are radically free to act independently of determination by outside influences.

3. We create our own human nature through these free choices.

4. We also create our values through these choices.

The Existentialist View (We create our own nature.): We are thrown into existence first without a predetermined nature and only later do we construct our nature or essence through our actions.

EXISTENCE PRECEDES ESSENCE



This slogan is opposed to the traditional view that Essence precedes Existence, according to which we are seen as having a given nature that determines what we are and what our ultimate purpose or value is. We are understood by analogy to artifacts which are made with a pre-existing idea or concept of what they will be and what they will be good for.

The Traditional View (which Sartre argues against):

ESSENCE PRECEDES EXISTENCE

The human situation for the Existentialist is thus characterized by:

1. Facticity (throwness): We find ourselves existing in a world not of our own making and indifferent to our concerns. We are not the source of our existence, but find ourselves thrown into a world we don't control and didn't choose.

2. Anxiety: We are faced with the lack of any external source of value and determination. We are faced with the responsibility of choosing our own nature and values, and, in doing so, we are faced we must face the awesome responsibility of choosing human nature and values for all men in our free choices.

3. Despair: In seeing the contrast between the world we re thrown into and which we cannot control and the absolute freedom we have to create ourselves, we must despair of any hope of external value or determination and restrict ourselves to what is under our own control.
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