Ideas of Jean-Paul Sartre, by Theme

[French, 1905 - 1980, Born and died in Paris. Fought in French resistance. World famous later in life.]

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1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 2. Phenomenology
Phenomenology assumes that all consciousness is of something
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 6. Cogito Critique
The consciousness that says 'I think' is not the consciousness that thinks
The Cogito depends on a second-order experience, of being conscious of consciousness
Is the Cogito reporting an immediate experience of doubting, or the whole enterprise of doubting?
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / b. Scepticism of other minds
A consciousness can conceive of no other consciousness than itself
We can never, even in principle, grasp other minds, because the Ego is self-conceiving
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 5. Unity of Mind
The eternal truth of 2+2=4 is what gives unity to the mind which regularly thinks it
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / b. Essence of consciousness
Sartre says consciousness is just directedness towards external objects
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / f. Higher-order thought
Consciousness exists as consciousness of itself
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / a. Nature of intentionality
Intentionality defines, transcends and unites consciousness
16. Persons / B. Concept of the Self / 3. External Properties
Man is nothing else but the sum of his actions
16. Persons / B. Concept of the Self / 6. Denial of the Self
Maybe it is the act of reflection that brings 'me' into existence
The Ego only appears to reflection, so it is cut off from the World
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 2. Self-Knowledge
Knowing yourself requires an exterior viewpoint, which is necessarily false
How could two I's, the reflective and the reflected, communicate with each other?
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Undetectable Self
The Ego never appears except when we are not looking for it
When we are unreflective (as when chasing a tram) there is no 'I'
16. Persons / D. Self and Body / 4. Kantian Ego
If you think of '2+2=4' as the content of thought, the self must be united transcendentally
If the 'I' is transcendental, it unnecessarily splits consciousness in two
16. Persons / E. Self as Mind / 1. Self and Memory
It is theoretically possible that the Ego consists entirely of false memories
16. Persons / E. Self as Mind / 6. Self as Meta-awareness
The Ego is not formally or materially part of consciousness, but is outside in the world
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 1. Free Will / a. Nature of free will
Man IS freedom
18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content
Sartre rejects mental content, and the idea that the mind has hidden inner features
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 1. Value / c. Subjective value
If values depend on us, freedom is the foundation of all values
22. Metaethics / C. Sources of Ethics / 2. Human Nature
Man is a useless passion
Man is the desire to be God
There is no human nature
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / d. Courage
Cowards are responsible for their cowardice
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 5. Existence-Essence
Existence before essence (or begin with the subjective)
'Existence precedes essence' means we have no pre-existing self, but create it through existence
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 6. Authentic Self
Existentialism says man is whatever he makes of himself
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 7. Existential Action
When a man must choose between his mother and the Resistance, no theory can help
If I do not choose, that is still a choice
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 5. Divine Morality / d. God decrees morality
Without God there is no intelligibility or value