Sartre’s Understanding of Moral PhilosophyJune 27, 2021
Although Sartre did not establish an ethics in Being and Nothingness, he pointed out the necessity of an ethics at the end of this work. He wrote The Notebooks for an Ethics, which remained in draft form during these years. Sartre’s existentialism has been criticized for not being able to contain a morality based on objective values. The reason for this is Sartre’s atheism, his refusal to explain transcendent values on the ground of theology.
In “Existentialism is a Humanism,” Sartre says that what brings values, leaving aside their historical existence, into human reality is my choosing them, my freedom taking over them, my attachment to them. Choosing a value is proposing it to all humanity. Although conservatives have tried to see Sartre’s understanding of freedom as immoral, it has often been overlooked that freedom means responsibility in Sartre. In fact, Sartre is the philosopher not of frivolous and arbitrary freedom, but of excessive responsibility. It should be noted that in late thought we cannot distinguish between Sartre’s political philosophy and his morals. Sartre’s responsible subject tries to take responsibility for it by establishing the intelligibility of history.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook