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Existentialism and Human Emotions

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,672 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
The chief effort of this work is to face the implications for personal action of a universe without purpose. That man is personally responsible for what he is and what he does; that there are no values external to man and no given human nature which he is obliged to fulfill; that man chooses his values and makes himself, and may therefore choose to be a different person - ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 1957 by Citadel Press
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William Strasse
Jan 10, 2012 William Strasse rated it it was ok
The short verdict: like panning for gold. I finally made myself read this front to back (I'd previously skipped around it a couple times.) Sartre is tiresome for several reasons to me. It is mostly that he just takes himself so seriously that you have to laugh at times, especially when he starts using terms like the being-in-itself-for-itself-of-itself. At one point, I thought "Jean-Paul, if you say 'a priori' one more time..." Of course, he used it about 100 more times after that. When I got to ...more
Aug 10, 2014 Reid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only if you don't have Wikipedia
This review is purposely in bad faith. I am two sheets to the wind, and that's my excuse, but zhawn paul says there are no excuses. When I was in college this philosophy seemed important, and it still does to a degree, but will it last? Doesn't it kind of just state the obvious? But it might overstate it. Aren't there extenuating circumstances and good reasons that we're all not ubermen? So we're all responsible for ourselves, fine, but what's the consequence? Did he believe we'd all change our ...more
Eric Gold
An excellent primer by the father of Existentialist philosophy. Sartre's concept is at the same time simple and radical: man is fully responsible for what happens in the world. No excuses. No cover. No "out." If it happens: we make it happen. On the one hand, it's extraordinarily empowering. We are moral artisans, painting actions on the world's canvas. Yet the existentialist is overwhelmed by anguish (that everything I do essentially sets a standard, since none exist apriori) and despair (that ...more
May 24, 2007 علی rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
این اثر سارتر با نام های مختلف و مترجمان مختلف به فارسی برگردانده شده که به گمان من از همه بهتر "اگزیستانسیالیزم و اصالت بشر" ترجمه ی مصطفی رحیمی ست که در 1344 توسط انتشارات مروارید منتشر شده است

در مورد ژان پل سارتر، مطلبی جداگانه نوشته ام؛
Jun 17, 2014 Brandt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Seriously? Can I even start a review like that? Anyway, the overall theme of the book was good, and in a lot of respects it does do a good job of defining and analyzing human emotions through existentialist thought. However, let's be honest... The way this book is written, and the examples used throughout are trashy. I think that Sartre is very good, extremely good, but I also think that this collection of recyclables is really low quality. I picture Camus and Sartre having a conversation simila ...more
Bob Nichols
Sep 19, 2013 Bob Nichols rated it it was ok
Sartre argues that we create our essence. In a way, this is not quite accurate as a description of Sartre's philosophy as outlined in this short book. Our essence is our freedom to choose who we will become (we are always in the process of 'becoming'). We are not determined by an in-born nature (passions; emotions). This for Sartre is a radical freedom. Taking responsibility for our lives, with no excuses, is not for the faint hearted. From this conceptualization, Sartre writes that when we choo ...more
Ho Manh
Feb 08, 2015 Ho Manh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was a hard read. The thing I feel is the contradiction all the claims made by Satre about freedom of human actions with finding in sciences, typically, neurosciences. It is a good practice for the mind, trying to understand the logic, but still, too much contradiction with my view that freewill does not exist.
Jack Lindgren
Although I don't entirely agree with his philosophy the main section of this book (which is, I believe, the text of a speech he gave) illustrated Sartre's though in an easily digestible way. The later sections, which are excerpts from the massive Being and Nothingness are almost totally incomprehensible (probably in part because they're taken out of context, but probably also because they're from a massive philosophical tome instead of a speech). Um, but yes, I'm not really qualified to judge th ...more
Michael Roop
Feb 11, 2011 Michael Roop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This one is a goodin. Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the greatest free thinkers in modern history. I didn't care much for philosophy until I became curious about it from watching the Big Lebowski. When he said it must be hard being a nihilist, i wondered what that was. Unsure I hit up the book store looking for answers. Though I didn't find dude related help I did find this. Sartre was top of the list at the book store.
This book is a quick enthralling read. For like minded individuals this book wil
Nov 28, 2015 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Philosophy for a post-religious world. He gets deep into the idea of existence preceding essence, in that man is unique in that he exists before his purpose because he is writing the story of his purpose / essence / value each moment of his life. This is a departure from all religious thought, in which man's essence is assigned my God(s) and man is a tool for a purpose. That's convenient, but untrue. Plato's theory of forms, which is more of a though experiment than an explanation, discusses the ...more
Jul 24, 2014 Lloyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The chapters "Existentialism" and "Freedom and Responsibility" are a warmly written, natural link between Kierkegaard and Watts.

Short "Desire to Be God" chapters are...meh.

Everything past that is irredeemable garbage. This is a 5-star book, with one small condition: Find the page with the chapter title "Existentialist Psychoanalysis", locate a pair of scissors, and cut it out, along with every page after it. Then you will have a book worth cherishing, and reading over and over again. Don't read
Gary Patella
Some parts I found very interesting, while other part were extremely convoluted. His take on existential psychoanalysis was intriguing, and seemed to revolve around introspection. The last chapter almost seemed like nonsense to me. Fortunately, the entire book is fairly short. This means that all parts, including the ones where Sartre's philosophy seems closer to the rhetoric of Socrates than existentialism, are quickly over.
Matt Holmes
I've never read Sartre before. I don't know if I'd say he's my kind of guy, but he's certainly an existentialist. Dry and not particularly engaging, but entirely an existentialist.

This book was divvied up into sections. Some were better than others.

This was good. The first thirty pages or so were Sartre explaining that he wears sunglasses for blocking out the haters, and the remaining twenty were a brief summary of what existentialism is.

Freedom and Responsibility:
A little eight
Feb 08, 2015 Dani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psych-philosophy
I found the first half of the book to be quite insightful on the topic of existentialism even though I don't completely agree with the notion, however his train of thought takes a nose dive after that. It reads as if he was trying to get reasoning to take him to a predetermined unreasonable conclusion, I wouldn't be surprised if he has confused himself in the process.
Laurène Poret
Jun 16, 2014 Laurène Poret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The french title is way better. I really like Sartre's and I think this is is greatest work, along with a really important ideal for this whole period of time.
James Ee
This very short volume collects a series of essays and lectures Sartre wrote on separate occasions. They do not live up to the project of explaining human emotions through an existentialist outlook - and not a psychoanalytic or orthodox psychological one. The chapter on existentialism and psychoanalysis seems outmoded and awkward today - and in no ways shows how existentialism improves the psychoanalytic project. The best chapter seems to me the brief piece "The Hole" - for once in the book does ...more
Ernest Lee
Jan 06, 2016 Ernest Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
In a world without God, are there man and morals? Through the concepts of Anguish, Freedom and Will, Sartre attempts to argue that *yes*, it is man who now tries to find meaning. The first few chapters and the final one are well argued, and rest on relatively uncontroversial principles- but more strikingly, I find them more instructive and descriptive than the rest of the existentialist, or even nihilist philosophers. The psychoanalysis chapters are rather dated though, and I find that the inclu ...more
Jan 16, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lacin Tutalar
This one took me almost a year to finish. I bought it second-hand at a time I was trying to catch every title on emotion for my research causes-a hopeless cause, because things do not work that way-. I started the first couple of pages, and then it was raining heavily one day, the book soaked wet in my bag and it took a few months to dry. Then I moved, and decided to take the book with me. Maybe a feeling of guilt. In my new home,one day I was spending time thinking about free people, and affect ...more
Roof Beam Reader
I can't write a long review on this one, because I just don't feel up to it. I'm not a philosopher but, that being said, Sartre (and the translator) certainly made existentialism, to an extent, accessible to me as someone rather unfamiliar with the concepts. I appreciated a lot of what Sartre says about creating one's self and always being one's self "in production," as it were. "The Hole," however, was pretty absurd. That man lives to fill himself (and that man seeks out woman because she is, e ...more
Like a lot of pretentious high schoolers, I picked up a copy of Being and Nothingness, enchanted by the title, and barely understood a word. Since then, I've read a lot of philosophy books, and with the exception of some Eastern pieces (well, mostly takes on Eastern pieces), concluded that philosophy is generally a bunch of crap. I want to like it, I really do, but so much of it seems like nonsense to me. I've tried hard, reading original works as well as great summaries of original works (like ...more
Apr 24, 2009 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Sartre wanted to endear himself to the masses, he did himself no favors with the cover to Existentialism and Human Emotions, with his pipe-puffing professoriality conveying enough know-it-allness to give most anyone not assigned to read it a hearty guffaw. Which is a shame really, as this 96-page essay serves as an excellent primer for anyone who thinks of existentialism as a ponderous, do-nothing philosophy (If all I am to do is exist, why do anything else?), defining the terms, fielding com ...more
Keith Michael
i used to think this guy was so smart. i deified him, to be honest. but this book was just a few interesting thoughts in a sea of bland and desperate navel-gazing. the self-importance of this entire project is staggering. according to Sartre, "Existentialism and Human Emotions" exists because a few people (Christians, Marxists and the common people?) have misinterpreted his philosophy, and so he writes to tell them why they're wrong? who gives a shit? the first portion of the book is written in ...more
Wolf Price
Aug 16, 2013 Wolf Price rated it it was ok
I had some serious problems with this book, which I feel the need to address. The first is that it is a collection of writings from two other books, "Existentialism" and "Being and Nothingness". The section taken from "Existentialism" is presented under the same name, and has some wonderful points to say about the subject, although it is far too brief, but since it is an except, what can one expect but for brevity?

The other sections, taken from "Being and Nothingness" are much harder to get thro
Sep 27, 2011 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philosophy Nutjobs like Me :)
Recommended to Kristen by: Rob Clow
This is another of my Master's degree books. I'd imagine it would only be enjoyable to a fairly limited demographic. And it gets boring, as these tend to, at about the halfway point.

4/2011: Notes/Reflections

Sartre, Existentialism and Human Emotions

I could quote pages out of this book. I’m just constantly like yes - YES!

I love the description of desperate quietism. I couldn’t agree more, as that is often how I feel. I absolutely see myself as an isolated being the majority of the time. And that’
Chris Kalbach
Good book, I have read a large amount of Philosophy, this book was extremely easy to read. That is a nice change in the literature. However, as with all Existentialists, there is a large portion of the text which is begging the question. Unfortunately, there is a lot that goes on in the book that requires knowledge of his other works. I will say, beware of the section, the hole. It got a little off the beaten path on that one. But, good read and well worth the insights that can be had.
Apr 21, 2016 Michaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Sartre's musings on how to live authentically when one rejects a priori assumptions of purpose and human nature. I especially appreciate his point that existentialism is not really individualistic, because by creating ourselves we're co-creating humanity. He also makes the point that, although our past and circumstances, of course, influence us, we are continually making choices and are able to change our values. Far more accessible than most philosophers.
It was worth reading this book to get to this passage:

"I can love slimy contacts, have a horror of holes, etc. That does not mean that for me the slimy, the greasy, a hole, etc. have lost their general ontological meaning. I determine myself in this or that manner in relation to them. If the slimy is indeed the symbol of a being in which the for-itself is swallowed up by the in-itself, what kind of person am I if in encountering others, I love the slimy?"
Feb 17, 2016 Whoof added it
I like the "choice" aspect he emphasizes but there are parts of this book that make no friggin sense:

"A freedom which wills itself freedom is in fact a being-which-is-not-what-it-is and which-is-what-it-is-not, and which chooses as the ideal of being, being-what-it-is-not and not-being-what-it-is."

sorry what

Nausea was better
Elizabeth Merchant
This was pretty accessible in terms of existentialist philosophy. I definitely got lost a number of times, but it was not an exhausting or frustrating read. The first half convincingly addresses misconceptions about existentialism, and the second explains the difference between Jungian and existentialist psychoanalysis.
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  • Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre
  • Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays
  • Basic Writings of Existentialism
  • The Ethics of Ambiguity
  • The Essential Kierkegaard
  • Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy
  • Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ
  • Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction
  • Existentialism
  • Basic Writings: Ten Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time
  • Phenomenology of Perception
  • A Kierkegaard Anthology
  • Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals/On a Supposed Right to Lie Because of Philanthropic Concerns
  • Essential Works of Foucault, Vol 1: Ethics
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre, normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre, was a French existentialist philosopher and pioneer, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. He was a leading figure in 20th century French philosophy.

He declined the award of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has ex
More about Jean-Paul Sartre...

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“Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.” 221 likes
“There is no human nature, since there is no god to conceive it.” 16 likes
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