November 29

Monday, November 29, 2021

Existentialism as a Way of Life (with Guest Lecturer Prof. Céline Leboeuf

The reading for today is Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Existentialism Is a Humanism.” Originally delivered as a lecture, the text is a popular introduction to existentialist concepts, such as freedom, responsibility, anti-essentialism, and bad faith.

Before Class

As you read the text, you should focus on three sets of questions:

  1. What does it mean to claim that “existence precedes essence”? Why does Sartre make this claim?
  2. Why does Sartre think that “in choosing for himself he chooses for all men”?
  3. What can Sartre’s ideas teach us about living a good life?

After Class