Jean-Paul Sartre : biography
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre ( 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism.
His work has also influenced sociology, critical theory, post-colonial theory, and literary studies, and continues to influence these disciplines. Sartre has also been noted for his open relationship with the prominent feminist theorist Simone de Beauvoir.
He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature and refused it, saying that he always declined official honors and that "a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution".The Nobel Foundation (1964)."Minnen, bara minnen" ISBN 9100571407 from year 2000 by Lars Gyllensten . Address by Anders Österling, Member of the Swedish Academy. Retrieved on: 4 February 2012.
- Aronson, Ronald (1980) Jean-Paul Sartre – Philosophy in the World. London: NLB
- Gerassi, John (1989) Jean-Paul Sartre: Hated Conscience of His Century. Volume 1: Protestant or Protester? Chicago: University of Chicago Press
- Judaken, Jonathan (2006) "Jean-Paul Sartre and the Jewish Question: Anti-antisemitism and the Politics of the French Intellectual. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press
- Kirsner, Douglas (2003) The Schizoid World of Jean-Paul Sartre and R.D. Laing. New York: Karnac
- Scriven, Michael (1993) Sartre and The Media. London: MacMillan Press Ltd
- Scriven, Michael (1999) Jean-Paul Sartre: Politics and Culture in Postwar France. London: MacMillan Press Ltd
- Thody, Philip (1964) Jean-Paul Sartre. London: Hamish Hamilton
Some philosophers argue that Sartre’s thought is contradictory. Specifically, they claim that Sartre makes metaphysical arguments despite his claiming that his philosophical views ignore metaphysics. Herbert Marcuse criticized Being and Nothingness for projecting anxiety and meaninglessness onto the nature of existence itself: "Insofar as Existentialism is a philosophical doctrine, it remains an idealistic doctrine: it hypostatizes specific historical conditions of human existence into ontological and metaphysical characteristics. Existentialism thus becomes part of the very ideology which it attacks, and its radicalism is illusory".Marcuse, Herbert. "Sartre’s Existentialism". Printed in Studies in Critical Philosophy. Translated by Joris De Bres. London: NLB, 1972. p. 161 In Letter on Humanism, Heidegger criticized Sartre’s existentialism:
Existentialism says existence precedes essence. In this statement he is taking existentia and essentia according to their metaphysical meaning, which, from Plato’s time on, has said that essentia precedes existentia. Sartre reverses this statement. But the reversal of a metaphysical statement remains a metaphysical statement. With it, he stays with metaphysics, in oblivion of the truth of Being.Martin Heidegger, "Letter on Humanism", in Basic Writings: Nine Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time , trans. David Farrell Krell (London, Routledge; 1978), 208.
Philosophers Richard Wollheim and Thomas Baldwin have argued that Sartre’s attempt to show that Sigmund Freud’s theory of the unconscious is mistaken was based on a misinterpretation of Freud.Wollheim, Richard. Freud. London, Fontana Press, pp. 157-176
Brian C. Anderson denounced Sartre as an apologist for tyranny and terror because of his support for Stalinism, Maoism, and Castro’s regime in Cuba. Brian C. Anderson Paul Johnson denounced Sartre’s ideas for their influence on the Khmer Rouge: "The events in Cambodia in the 1970s, in which between one-fifth and one-third of the nation was starved to death or murdered, were entirely the work of a group of intellectuals, who were for the most part pupils and admirers of Jean-Paul Sartre–"Sartre’s Children," as I call them."Johnson, Paul, "The Heartless Lovers of Humankind", The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 1987.