How Does Sartre Demonstrate How Free Will Exist

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Jean-Paul Sartre was a philosopher who focused on phenomenological ontology and his book, Being and Nothingness, wanted to demonstrate how free will exists. What mainly intrigued me from his book was his belief that human existence had two fundamental features. The first feature is that consciousness is intentional. Through our consciousness, we are always directing our intention onto some object or person, therefore, giving meaning to the world and the objects around us. While our consciousness is giving meaning to the objects, it is simultaneously giving meaning and purpose to our actions as well. The second feature is that consciousness is an active activity. We do not passively see objects, our consciousness influences our perception of them and deems their …show more content…

It is our consciousness that is responsible for interpreting the world around us and in order to do this, it introduce a “not” into existence. When we start our day and go into the world, we have certain expectations. But, when these expectations are not met, it is our consciousness that introduces a negation-differentiator. At first I was extremely confused about what this meant, but Sartre’s example of Pierre at the café really clarified what he meant. Sartre introduces the example as a scenario: we have a meeting with Pierre at 4 o’clock but we’re a half hour late, whereas Pierre is always punctual. When we first go into the café, all of the objects in the café form together as a background because we expect Pierre to appear out of all of the commotion in the room. Between the people, the furniture, the aromas, the sounds of voices, the colors, and the light it would appear that the room is full of being. However, when we enter the café, we quickly determine Pierre is not here. The café suddenly has an aura of emptiness because of Pierre’s absence. Although the room is full of life we have determined that “Pierre is not here” and he is missing from the whole café, therefore the whole café losses

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