Jean-Paul Sartre: On the Other Side of Despair

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Jean-Paul Sartre: On the Other Side of Despair In an age of modern pessimism and inauthentic, insignificant existence, Jean-Paul Sartre clearly stands out amongst the masses as a leading intellectual, a bastion of hope in the twentieth century. Confronting anguish and despair, absurdity and freedom, nihilism and transcendence, "Sartre totalized the twentieth century... in the sense that he was responsive with theories to each of the great events he lived through" as Arthur C. Danto commented (Marowski and Matuz 371). As a philosopher, dramatist, novelist, essayist, biographer, short story writer, journalist, editor, scriptwriter, and autobiographer, his impact is simply undeniable. Between his expansive body of literary work and the…show more content…
He helped found the left-wing daily publication Liberation and wrote a biography of Gustave Flaubert, amongst other things. He continued his relationship with Simone de Beauvoir and was known to frequent a local café with her "every Sunday, chain-smoking, drinking scotch, and discussing the state of things" as a resident of his local area remarked at his funeral ("Sartre Cortege..."). At the age of seventy-four, Sartre died in the Parisian Broussais-Hospital on April 15, 1980. During Jean-Paul Sartre’s early philosophical work, it is quite evident just how influential Edmund Husserl and the conceptuality of phenomenology was upon his philosophical ideologies. Husserl’s work supported the idea of phenomenology, or the science of the conscious mind that attempts to understand how our minds make meanings (Turnbull 151). This time period, Sartre’s early philosophy, saw the publication of four philosophical works: L’Imagination (1936, Imagination: A Psychological Critique); La Transcendance de l’ego (1936, The Transcendance of the Ego); Esquisse d’une théorie des émotions (139, Sketch for a Theory of Emotions); and L’Imaginaire, psychologie phénoménologique de l’imagination (1940, The Psychology of the Imagination). L’Imagination is essentially a history of the theories of imagination up to the theory of Edmund Husserl; the remaining three titles, then, comprise the major early philosophical works (Howells 475). La Transcendance de l’ego is fitting with Sartre’s

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