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Jean Paul Sartre

Old 11-16-2007, 04:34 PM
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Jean Paul Sartre

Anyone into him, (so to speak!)?

Would love to hear what people make of his ideas. I can just about, just about, understand them...

Liberty, in'it.
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:08 PM
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Hey T.Man,
I am just reading about Sarte, very new to it all.
Here's what I'm listening to:
http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/coursede...tual%20History

The author stated Sarte wrote 20 pages a day for 60+ years.
One of the main ideas i took away is how our reactions to our emotions is a choice we make. We can't use 'emotion' as an excuse for why we behaved or reacted a certain way.

The prof is going over Sarte's novel Nausea. I haven't read it, nor have I read anything by Sarte. Truthfully, i'm being a bit cautious wading into a bunch of existentialism theory. It can be somewhat dour, with lots of focus on the futility of it all.
But i'm exploring it from the outside, seeing if i'll follow up on it.

Have you read anything by him?
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:03 PM
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I was very "into" Sartre in my late-teens/early 20s--a long time ago now, and about the same time that I got heavily into other bad habits.

Not that the bad habits were Sartre's fault, but self pity/self abuse went well with statements like "Every living thing is born without reason, preserves itself out of cowardice, and dies by chance." I'm quoting that from memory, but it was something like that. Oh, yeah, and the last line from No Exit, "Hell is other people." Gotta love that one, especially when in-laws are visiting.

I did like his novels--not Nausea so much as The Age of Reason and Troubled Sleep--and his plays, but the philosophy was just too much Hegelian hijinks to make sense to me.

I vaguely remember the distinction between Being in-itself and Being for-itself, or at least my interpretation of it: We human folks are being for itself, having constantly to make decisions, choices, etc--we never have the luxury of simply "being,"
in the way of being-in-itself (physical objects, abstract ideas, etc)--we are "condemned to be free"--but are always attempting to act otherwise, since the act of constantly making choices is painful. So we declare "I'm in love" as if it were a permanent state when in fact it requires constant work--especially for a horndog like my man Sartre. We live in bad faith when we convince ourselves that we simply "are" something.

Probably interesting for someone who calls himself an "alcoholic" to think about, but not necessarily healthy. Today I worry about myself if I spend too much time in heavy abstract reading--it's a pleasant way to pass time but doesn't do me nearly as much good as going out and doing things, being with other people...all the stuff I avoided in the past.

Tonight's philosophy lecture has been brought to you by Really Strong Coffee: Have a cup today! What the heck, have two!
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Yardbird View Post
Not that the bad habits were Sartre's fault, but self pity/self abuse went well with statements like "Every living thing is born without reason, preserves itself out of cowardice, and dies by chance."...
Today I worry about myself if I spend too much time in heavy abstract reading--it's a pleasant way to pass time but doesn't do me nearly as much good as going out and doing things, being with other people...all the stuff I avoided in the past.
I agree. It is wandering around without a base. And when a base is found, to mock it and feel bad about finding it. It doesn't lead to feeling strong in the world.

He can “muddy the shallow water, just to make it seem deep".
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:49 AM
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Thanks for your posts - I enjoyed reading them. I am half-way through Nausea...

I know what you mean about 'influence' - JPS smoked about a hundred ciggys a day, never owned a thing, sat in Paris cafes, went from women to women - hardly someone whose work I perhaps should let influence me.

I think what appeals though is the idea of personal responsibility. A sort-of irrational mind pitched against irrational universe - but actually celebrating that fact, embracing it, and striving to become more free and more peaceful, happy, caring, giving etc. Well within one's means, a series of choices, no less.

Anway, thanks for your really interesing responses!
Yardbird, I agree about the abstract etc - not always healthy. I've known plenty of people, myself included, who have modelled themselves on self destructive 'intellectuals'...but the problem being they have not the money or talent to actually be like them! Role models are important. But I think there is places for JPS in recovery! Some of his work can be read in an impowering way.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:48 AM
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No Exit is my favorite book of all time... I've read it many times... I've also read THE FLIES...
His writing is soooooo deep and I completely connect with what he's trying to say...
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:03 AM
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Nietzsche is peachy but Sartre is smarter.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:27 AM
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Am I allowed to post the lyrics to Monty Python philosophers' drinking song?
(They were just joking, and so am I! I'm not suggesting that anyone goes out and drinks!)

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
who was very rarely stable,
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
who could think you under the table,
David Hume could out-consume Schopenhauer and Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.
There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
'bout the turning of the wrist,
Socrates himself was permanently pissed...
John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
with half a pint of shandy was particularly ill,
Plato, they say, could stick it away,
half a crate of whiskey every day,
Aristotle, Aristotle was a beggar for the bottle,
Hobbes was fond of his dram,
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart,
"I drink therefore I am."
Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker
but a bugger when he's pissed.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:10 PM
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It's a classic.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by AcceptingChange View Post
One of the main ideas i took away is how our reactions to our emotions is a choice we make. We can't use 'emotion' as an excuse for why we behaved or reacted a certain way.
"We live in our actions and our reactions."
It's a line in a song by the Great Lake Swimmers.

We do have the power to choose our reactions. Understanding why our emotions influence/ affect us as we do is the key to making better choices.

Not to suggest I have that figured out yet, but I get the idea. It's like The Man said, it's about personal responsibility. Each responsible for one's own self. No-one has the power to control another. Only suggest.
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:02 AM
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I've read Albert camus.
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