[My] existence precedes [my] essence (pg 556)
existence = “that
essence = “what
it is” (the essential properties of a thing that make it what it is)
what is the comparison to artifacts?
a. For what type of being does
existence precede essence? Answer: human beings (why?)
b. For what type of being does essence
precede existence? Answer: artifacts (why?)
1. I am what I make of myself through acting/choosing. I am my own ‘project,’ and creation.
2. My choices are free. We are “condemned to be free.” (557) It isn’t the case we’re not limited by circumstances [certain things are not up to us] But our freedom extends to a much greater range of possibilities than we are generally willing to accept. [Our ability to “transcend” our situation.]
· Facticity (557-8) =
· Transcendence = the free power of interpretation and choice that belongs to self-conscious beings
3. In choosing, I “invent” values. In choosing/acting, I create my essence, which reflects what I value, my “image of man” as he ought to be.
Being-in-itself and Being-for-itself (555-56)
I. Being-in-itself. “Being is,” Sartre tells us. “Being is in-itself. Being is what it is.”
· Being is just because it is. [it is not necessary, or derived from another being]
· Being is in-itself because it has no relationship to itself other than pure coincidence with itself, it is “full of itself.”
· Being-in-itself simply is what it is because it knows “no otherness;” non-being plays no part in it.
II. Being-for-itself. Human being, existence in which a being can become an object of its own awareness.
· Consciousness exists as directedness at some object of awareness.
· Human consciousness is at the same time a minimal awareness of self
· The possibility of the negative judgment ‘I am not the object I am aware of’
· The “decompression of being.” While it is always consciousness of something, it is also always at the same time an inexplicit, unfocused background awareness of itself as not being that thing.
· The decompression of being results in a self. ‘Self’ is a kind of presence to itself.
· But presence implies separation, a gap that has slipped in between the subject and himself, a “nothingness.”
III. Two important results
1. Being-for-itself is that being which can take some sort of stance toward itself
Prereflective (not in the foreground of consciousness) self-awareness accompanies all mental states, so the reflective stance toward the objects of consciousness is also always possible. Thus being-for-itself is that being whose own being is perpetually in question.
2. The for-itself is interpreting being. We are conscious of the "not existing" and also that one thing is not another - thus we cut the world up into meaningful chunks (this thing is not that thing) we make meaning where there is only meaninglessness (without our consciousness to impose a meaning)
Bad Faith (558-9)
The slide between facticity and transcendence:
The motivation = to flee (hide from) one’s freedom, responsibility, and therefore one’s own anxiety
The condition for the possibility of bad faith (see pg 558)
What is “authenticity?” (good faith)
Is it possible? (see 560)
Relations with Others (559-10)
· What is the nature of these relations? How is “transcendence” (freedom to assert one’s
interpretation of things) involved here?