Jean Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness: How to Download a Free Pdf Version Online
Jean Paul Sartre Being and Nothingness Pdf 21: A Guide to the Existentialist Masterpiece
If you are interested in existentialism, philosophy, or human psychology, you might have heard of Jean Paul Sartre's magnum opus, Being and Nothingness. This book, published in 1943, is widely regarded as one of the most influential and challenging works of the 20th century. But what is it about? And why should you read it?
Jean Paul Sartre Being And Nothingness Pdf 21
In this article, we will provide you with a brief introduction to Sartre's life and thought, a summary of the main ideas and arguments of Being and Nothingness, and some of the common criticisms and responses to his philosophy. We will also give you some tips on how to access a free pdf version of the book online, as well as some suggestions for further reading if you want to explore Sartre's existentialism in more depth.
Who was Jean Paul Sartre?
Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980) was a French philosopher, novelist, playwright, and political activist. He is widely considered as the founder and leader of existentialism, a philosophical movement that emphasizes human freedom, responsibility, and choice in a world without inherent meaning or value.
Sartre was born in Paris to a wealthy family, but his father died when he was only two years old. He grew up with his mother and grandfather, who encouraged his intellectual pursuits. He studied philosophy at the prestigious École Normale Supérieure, where he met his lifelong partner and fellow philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. He also became friends with other influential thinkers such as Albert Camus, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Raymond Aron.
Sartre served as a soldier in World War II, but was captured by the Germans in 1940. He spent nine months as a prisoner of war, during which he read Martin Heidegger's Being and Time, a seminal work of existential phenomenology that influenced his own philosophy. After escaping from captivity, he joined the French Resistance and wrote several plays and essays that expressed his political and ethical views.
After the war, Sartre became a prominent figure in the French intellectual scene. He founded the journal Les Temps Modernes, which published articles on various topics such as literature, art, politics, and philosophy. He also wrote several novels, such as Nausea (1938) and The Roads to Freedom trilogy (1945-1949), which explored the themes of existentialism through fictional characters.
Sartre's most famous philosophical work is Being and Nothingness, which he published in 1943. In this book, he developed a comprehensive account of his existentialist ontology, or theory of being. He also applied his philosophy to various aspects of human existence, such as consciousness, perception, emotion, desire, sexuality, interpersonal relations, and ethics.
Sartre was also involved in many political and social causes throughout his life. He supported Marxism, communism, anti-colonialism, and human rights. He opposed fascism, imperialism, racism, and sexism. He participated in protests, strikes, and demonstrations. He also refused to accept the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964, stating that he did not want to be associated with any institution or ideology.
What is Being and Nothingness?
Being and Nothingness is a book that aims to provide a philosophical analysis of human existence. Sartre describes it as "an essay in phenomenological ontology". Phenomenology is a branch of philosophy that studies the structures of human experience and consciousness. Ontology is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of being and reality.
Sartre's main question in Being and Nothingness is: what does it mean to be? He argues that there are two fundamental modes of being: being-in-itself and being-for-itself. Being-in-itself is the mode of being of things that exist independently of human consciousness, such as rocks, trees, or chairs. Being-for-itself is the mode of being of human consciousness, which is aware of itself and its relation to the world.
Sartre claims that human consciousness is characterized by nothingness, or the ability to negate or transcend the given reality. For example, when we imagine something that is not present, or when we question something that is taken for granted, we are creating a distance or a gap between ourselves and the world. This nothingness is also the source of our freedom, as we can always choose how to act or interpret our situation.
However, Sartre also argues that human consciousness is often in bad faith, or self-deception. Bad faith occurs when we deny our freedom and responsibility, and pretend that we are determined by external factors or fixed essences. For example, when we say that we cannot do something because of our nature, our circumstances, or our fate, we are avoiding the fact that we can always change ourselves or our situation.
Sartre also discusses how human consciousness relates to other people. He claims that other people are both a threat and a necessity for us. They are a threat because they can judge us and reduce us to objects in their gaze. They are a necessity because they can recognize us and confirm our existence. Sartre explores the various ways that we try to deal with this conflict, such as love, hate, sadism, masochism, and indifference.
Why is Being and Nothingness important?
Being and Nothingness is important because it is one of the most original and influential works of existentialism. Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emerged in the 20th century in response to the crises of modernity, such as world wars, totalitarianism, alienation, and nihilism. Existentialism challenges the traditional assumptions and values of Western philosophy and culture, and offers a new perspective on human existence.
Being and Nothingness is also important because it addresses some of the fundamental questions and problems that we face as human beings. It invites us to reflect on our own being and nothingness, our freedom and responsibility, our authenticity and bad faith, our relation to others and ourselves. It challenges us to confront the absurdity and ambiguity of our situation, and to create our own meaning and value in a world without inherent purpose or direction.
The main concepts of Being and Nothingness
Being-in-itself and being-for-itself
The first distinction that Sartre makes in Being and Nothingness is between being-in-itself (l'être-en-soi) and being-for-itself (l'être-pour-soi). These are two different modes or ways of being that characterize different types of entities.
Being-in-itself is the mode of being of things that exist independently of human consciousness. These things are concrete, solid, inert, passive, determined, identical to themselves. They have no awareness or intentionality. They simply are what they are. Examples of being-in-itself are rocks, trees, chairs, animals.
Nothingness and freedom
The second concept that Sartre introduces in Being and Nothingness is nothingness (le néant). Nothingness is not a thing but a relation or a negation. It is the ability of human consciousness to create a distance or a gap between itself and the world. It is also the source of human freedom and creativity.
Sartre argues that human consciousness is essentially nothing. It has no fixed essence or nature. It is always in a state of becoming or making itself. It can always transcend or change its situation by imagining or projecting something different. For example, when we are bored, we can imagine being somewhere else. When we are unhappy, we can imagine being happy. When we are faced with a dilemma, we can imagine different possibilities.
This nothingness is also what makes us free. We are not determined by our past, our circumstances, or our fate. We can always choose how to act or interpret our situation. We are responsible for our own existence and for the consequences of our actions. For example, when we are late for work, we can choose to blame the traffic, our alarm clock, or ourselves. When we are in love, we can choose to be faithful, unfaithful, or indifferent.
However, this nothingness and freedom also entail anxiety and anguish. We are aware that we have no predefined meaning or value in a world without inherent purpose or direction. We are aware that we have to create our own meaning and value by making choices and commitments. We are aware that we have to face the uncertainty and unpredictability of the future. We are aware that we have to face the possibility of failure and death.
Bad faith and authenticity
The third concept that Sartre discusses in Being and Nothingness is bad faith (la mauvaise foi). Bad faith is a form of self-deception or lying to oneself. It occurs when we deny our nothingness and freedom, and pretend that we are determined by external factors or fixed essences. It is also a way of escaping from our anxiety and anguish.
Sartre gives several examples of bad faith in Being and Nothingness. One of them is the case of a waiter who acts too much like a waiter. He moves with exaggerated precision and politeness, as if he were playing a role or following a script. He identifies himself entirely with his profession, as if he had no other aspects of his personality or life. He denies his freedom and responsibility, as if he had no choice but to be a waiter.
Another example of bad faith is the case of a woman who goes on a date with a man who tries to seduce her. She knows that he is interested in her sexually, but she pretends to ignore his intentions. She lets him hold her hand, but she does not reciprocate his gesture. She acts as if she were an object without consciousness or desire. She denies her freedom and responsibility, as if she had no choice but to follow his lead.
The opposite of bad faith is authenticity (l'authenticité). Authenticity is a form of honesty or truthfulness to oneself. It occurs when we acknowledge our nothingness and freedom, and accept our anxiety and anguish. It is also a way of affirming our existence and creating our own meaning and value.
Sartre does not give a clear definition or criterion of authenticity in Being and Nothingness. He does not prescribe any specific way of living or acting authentically. He does not claim that authenticity is easy or desirable. He only suggests that authenticity involves being aware of our situation and choices, being consistent with our values and commitments, being open to change and growth, being respectful of others' freedom and dignity.
The look and the other
The fourth concept that Sartre examines in Being and Nothingness is the look (le regard). The look is the way that human consciousness relates to other people's consciousness. The look is both a threat and a necessity for us.
The look is a threat because it can judge us and reduce us to objects in its gaze. When we encounter another person's look, we become aware of ourselves as seen by them. We lose our freedom and spontaneity, and become fixed and defined by their perspective. We feel shame, guilt, pride, or envy depending on how they evaluate us. For example, when we are caught stealing, lying, or cheating, we feel ashamed and exposed by the look of the other.
The look is a necessity because it can recognize us and confirm our existence. When we encounter another person's look, we also become aware of ourselves as different from them. We gain our freedom and individuality, and assert our own perspective. We feel respect, admiration, love, or hate depending on how we relate to them. For example, when we are praised, admired, or loved, we feel respected and affirmed by the look of the other.
Sartre explores the various ways that we try to deal with the conflict between the look and the other. He analyzes the phenomena of love, hate, sadism, masochism, and indifference. He argues that all these phenomena are attempts to overcome the separation and opposition between ourselves and the other, and to achieve a unity or a synthesis of being. However, he also argues that all these attempts are doomed to fail, because they either deny our own or the other's freedom and reality.
Summary of the main points
In this article, we have provided you with a guide to Jean Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness, one of the most influential and challenging works of existentialism. We have discussed the following points:
Sartre was a French philosopher, novelist, playwright, and political activist who founded and led existentialism.
Being and Nothingness is a book that aims to provide a philosophical analysis of human existence.
Sartre distinguishes between two modes of being: being-in-itself and being-for-itself.
Sartre claims that human consciousness is characterized by nothingness and freedom.
Sartre argues that human consciousness is often in bad faith or self-deception.
Sartre examines how human consciousness relates to other people's consciousness through the look.
Recommendations for further reading
If you want to read Being and Nothingness for yourself, you can find a free pdf version online at this link: https://www.scribd.com/document/340092024/Jean-Paul-Sartre-Being-and-Nothingness-pdf
If you want to learn more about Sartre's existentialism and philosophy, you can check out these books:
Existentialism Is a Humanism by Jean Paul Sartre. This is a short and accessible introduction to Sartre's existentialist ethics.
Sartre: A Very Short Introduction by Christina Howells. This is a concise and comprehensive overview of Sartre's life and thought.
The Cambridge Companion to Sartre edited by Christina Howells. This is a collection of essays by various experts on different aspects of Sartre's philosophy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the common questions that people have about Being and Nothingness:
What does Sartre mean by "existence precedes essence"?
This is one of Sartre's famous slogans that summarizes his existentialist view of human nature. It means that human beings do not have a predefined essence or nature that determines who they are or what they should do. Rather, human beings exist first, and then create their own essence or nature through their choices and actions.
What does Sartre mean by "hell is other people"?
This is another one of Sartre's famous slogans that comes from his play No Exit. It means that other people can make us suffer by judging us and reducing us to objects in their gaze. It also means that we can never fully understand or communicate with other people, because they are always different from us and have their own perspectives and secrets.
What does Sartre mean by "bad faith"?
Bad faith is a form of self-deception or lying to oneself. It occurs when we deny our nothingness and freedom, and pretend that we are determined by external factors or fixed essences. It is also a way of escaping from our anxiety and anguish.
What does Sartre mean by "authenticity"?
and creating our own meaning and value.
What does Sartre mean by "the look"?
The look is the way that human consciousness relates to other people's consciousness. The look is both a threat and a necessity for us. It is a threat because it can judge us and reduce us to objects in its gaze. It is a necessity because it can recognize us and confirm our existence.
We hope that this article has helped you to understand and appreciate Sartre's Being and Nothingness. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading! 71b2f0854b