[My] existence precedes [my] essence (pg 556)
what is the comparison to artifacts?
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 =
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.
- By virtue of its capacity to introduce negation into the midst of the full positivity of the in-itself
§ Following Spinoza, Sartre tells us that all distinctions, categories, determinate concepts, and order imply the existence of negation, so the capacity of human consciousness to think the negative is responsible for the existence of concepts, categories, determinate objects, and because of this, the meanings of things in the world
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?
o But is mutual respect/recognition possible?
§ In “The Humanism of Existentialism,” Sartre says: “I can take freedom as my goal only if I take that of others as my goal also.”
§ Does this make sense?