Sartre and Freedom


Sartre: A Philosopher of Freedom

After the previous articles on Sartre’s ethics, his quotes, a synthesis of his philosophy and a review of the lecture “Existentialism is a humanism”, let’s make a point about freedom in Sartre’s thought.

Freedom is the theme going through all of his work, from the Nausea to the Critique of Dialectical Reason through his major work, Being and Nothingness.

Freddom in Sartre is too often caricatured, this topic is very complex and has evolved in this existentialist thinker.

Sartre: “Acting is changing the face of the world”

Be free, according to Sartre,  is flowing into the world to get lost in attempt to change it, act on it.

Freedom is a void in the human reality (Being for itself). This nothingness is man behind a noncompliance: the man is still to be done. Freedom is absolute, insofar as it decides the meaning of the constraints.

Freedom is not a whim of course, the act resulted from a project, the choices that man makes of himself. Yet the will is not an omnipotent power, the will has meaning only in the original draft of a freedom always intentional.

Allows freedom of conscience freedom from artificiality. Freedom is not a simple attribute of man, freedom founded the world, shapes it.

The cause can not be that being and, if man is included in the build process, it will leave him be. Must ask if this process is to say the challenge, he must be able to keep it under his view as a whole, that is to say to put himself outside of being and thereby weaken the structure to be. However it is not given to “human reality” to destroy, even temporarily, the mass is to be laid in front of her. It can be changed is his relationship with this being. For her, put out an existing one particular circuit, it will put itself out of circuit in relation to the existing one. In this case it escapes, it is unattainable, it does not act on it, it was withdrawn beyond a nothingness. This ability to secrete the human reality of a nothingness which isolates it, Descartes, following the Stoics, has given him a name: it is freedom.”


Cite this article as: Tim, "Sartre and Freedom, April 23, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, April 23, 2012,

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