Existentialism is a Humanism

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Yale University Press, 2007 - Philosophy - 108 pages
101 Reviews
This book presents a new English translation of two seminal works by Jean-Paul Sartre, the most dominant European intellectual of the post-World War II decades. The volume includes Sartre's 1945 lecture “Existentialism Is a Humanism” and his analysis of Camus's The Stranger, along with a discussion of these works by acclaimed Sartre biographer Annie Cohen-Solal. This edition is a translation of the 1996 French edition, which includes Arlette Elkaïm-Sartre's introduction and a Q&A with Sartre about his lecture. In her foreword, intended for an American audience, acclaimed Sartre biographer Annie Cohen-Solal offers an assessment of both works.
It was to correct common misconceptions about his thought that Sartre accepted an invitation to speak on October 29, 1945, at the Club Maintenant in Paris. The unstated objective of his lecture (“Existentialism Is a Humanism”) was to expound his philosophy as a form of “existentialism,” a term much bandied about at the time. Sartre asserted that existentialism was essentially a doctrine for philosophers, though, ironically, he was about to make it accessible to a general audience. The published text of his lecture quickly became one of the bibles of existentialism and made Sartre an international celebrity.
The idea of freedom occupies the center of Sartre's doctrine. Man, born into an empty, godless universe, is nothing to begin with. He creates his essence—his self, his being—through the choices he freely makes (“existence precedes essence”). Were it not for the contingency of his death, he would never end. Choosing to be this or that is to affirm the value of what we choose. In choosing, therefore, we commit not only ourselves but all of mankind.

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a fantastic overview of existentialism. - Goodreads
a great introduction to existentialism philosophy. - Goodreads
It is merely a starting point from which to build. - Goodreads

Review: Existentialism Is a Humanism

User Review  - Yognik Baghel - Goodreads

You are responsible... coz whatever you do, you engage yourself in it... a human in it... you engage humanity in it. Freedom in true sense, to do anything... including the freedom to work out and tackle its consequences... Read full review

Review: Existentialism Is a Humanism

User Review  - Παναγιώτης Βαλλιανάτος - Goodreads

The book that offered me a philosophical cloth for my perspective on life. First comes existence then substance; one bears a huge responsibility: to submit one's proposal for the concept of "human ... Read full review


Introduction by Annie CohenSolal
Existentialism Is a Humanism
A Commentary on The Stranger
About the Author

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About the author (2007)

Philosopher, playwright, and novelist Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) was the most dominant European intellectual for the three decades following World War II. In 1964, he was awarded but declined the Nobel Prize in Literature. Annie Cohen-Solal is the author of the acclaimed Sartre: A Life, an international best-seller that has been translated into sixteen languages.

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