What Precedes What

Posted: July 10, 2013 in Mersadez George

Existence precedes Essence
My aim is to explain my perception of what Jean Paul Sarte means when he said “Existence Precedes Essence.” So I will start by explaining what comes to my mind when I hear the phrase and his explanation of it. Sarte explains that to be the atheistic existentialism of which he represents is to say there is no God, but it is also admitting to the fact that there is at least one being that existed prior to essence and this being existed before anyone could define any aspect of it. In this statement I believe that Sarte is not committing himself to man’s definition of how we all came to be and talks from a perspective that would be true had we not committed ourselves to being part of civilization. When considering this fact I find myself disagreeing with Sarte because even in some of the most great debates put forth by science, religion and other objectors on this particular topic man’s explanation and interpretation of our existence fall into theories rather than facts of it. I personally am not committing to anyone’s definition of how we came to be or where we are going because just like everyone else Sarte’s does not take into consideration the circumstance behind choices in how they live or die.

  1. Liam says:

    Thanks for your contribution Mersadez. I think I would like to get some clarification on some of what you said here before I give detailed commentary. So, can you say a bit more about what you mean by “man’s definition of how we all came to be”, and how that relates to Sartre’s work? Thank you!

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