Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

A list created by Lee Sonogan

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Founder of existentialist philosophy, his work has influenced philosophers for over 100 years in modern times. Diverse in many areas, the French philosopher also made his mark writing through fiction, essays, criticism and political beliefs. Some of his most notable ideas include “existence precedes essence,”, Nothingness, “Situation Transcendence of the Ego and Bad faith.

  1. The existence precedes essence. This means that man first exists, occurs, arises in the world, and he then defines himself.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  2. “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  3. “Actually, we are a freedom which chooses, but we do not choose to be free: we are condemned to freedom.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  4. “Conscience is really a consciousness of consciousness, because to be aware of world consciousness must be consciousness of itself.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  5. “So, that’s hell. … I never thought You remember: sulfur, bonfire, the grill … Ah, what a joke. No need to grill: Hell is other people.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  6. “Violence is not a means among others to reach the end, but a deliberate choice to reach the end by any means.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  7. “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  8. “It’s quite an undertaking to start loving somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment right at the start where you have to jump across an abyss: if you think about it you don’t do it.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  9. “There are two types of poor people, those who are poor together and those who are poor alone. The first are the true poor, the others are rich people out of luck.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  10. “Like all dreamers I confuse disenchantment with truth.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  11. “Through the lack of attaching myself to words, my thoughts remain nebulous most of the time. They sketch vague, pleasant shapes and then are swallowed up; I forget them almost immediately.” – Jean-Paul Sartr
  12. “People who live in society have learnt how to see themselves, in mirrors, as they appear to their friends. I have no friends: is that why my flesh is so naked?” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  13. “Better a good journalist than a poor assassin.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  14. “As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  15. “As for me, I am mean: that means that I need the suffering of others to exist. A flame. A flame in their hearts. When I am all alone, I am extinguished.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  16. “Little flashes of sun on the surface of a cold, dark sea.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  17. “The individual’s duty is to do what he wants to do, to think whatever he likes, to be accountable to no one but himself, to challenge every idea and every person.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  18. “I never could bear the idea of anyone’s expecting something from me. It always made me want to do just the opposite.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  19. “Your judgement judges you and defines you.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  20. “Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  21. “Perhaps its inevitable, perhaps one has to choose between being nothing at all and impersonating what one is.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  22. “To think new thoughts you have to break the bones in your head.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  23. “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

In 1964, this man won the Nobel Prize in Literature despite attempting to decline it stating “a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution,”. I can personally relate to many of the quotes within this quote list. I am considering to post one to my Facebook profile

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