How Does Sartre's Definition Of Human Identity Exist?

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In the department of existentialism, Jean Paul Sartre’s (1905-1980) Philosophy is considered prevalent system of thought. Throughout his life Sartre held extreme human freedom and choice in extremely high regard. To be able to live an authentic existence, one must take responsibility for all the actions that one freely chooses. It is because of the complete freedom that a state of existential distress is reached and one becomes burdened by the adversity of perpetual choice. This burden can entice a life of inauthenticity and hereby consists the idea of bad faith. “Human beings exist before the definition of human identity exists’ Bad faith is often referred to as self-deception or the denial of truth that one knows is true. Sartre believed …show more content…

Further, humans often ‘objectify’ themselves. When a human labels himself or herself i.e. Mother, Brother, Teacher, a definition is placed upon them and caps a limitation on any other possibilities. This is because at any given moment, a person is greater than any placed label. The diminution of one’s self to a category is bad faith. An authentic person is one who can free all labels and expectations. It should be noted however that a life bad faith isn’t absolute. Bad faith can be avoided if an individual’s idea of facticity and transcended are structured accordingly. A person can be educated enough to know that facticity and transcended must exist and hence the negation of bad faith when one is aware of these co-existing traits. There are two arrangements in which an individual has the ability to possess bad faith 1. Affirmation of facticity and denial of transcendence 2. Denial of facticity and affirmation of transcendence Sartre gives an example of the first method. He paints a situation of a waiter working in a café and his actions are too ‘waiter-esque’. From the way he speaks to the way he delivers and holds food. Sartre believes his (the waiter’s) exaggerated behavior is essentially programmed to how a waiter should be. He explains the man is not actually a waiter but instead merely acting as …show more content…

This reduces human life to nothing more significant than a butterfly or elephant’s life. In this way we already are living in bad faith by existing as only a life of a human. Envision the following scenario: Person 1 (35 years old)- Lives on government assistance and in governmental housing. Spends money when available on drugs and alcohol. Desires to own a sports car and beach house. Person 2 (35 years old)- Teaches at a school. Very dedicated to his students and work. Spends late nights creating modules and marking. Misses out on seeing his family. Desires to complete a PhD. Person 3 (35 years old)- Stay at home mother. Doesn’t work but takes care of her children and maintains the house. Sings while cleaning and desires only as far as to sing in an annual local talent show. It would be most obvious that person 1 is living life in bad faith as they are not self sufficient and simply wasting their time doing nothing with the desire of spontaneously coming into a sum of money to fulfill their dreams. However it doesn’t make any sense that person 3’s life is better for wanting to sing nor is person 2 better than person 1 who has been institutionalized, spending all of his time studying and neglecting his

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