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Existentialism and Human Emotion (A Philosophical Library Book) Paperback – December 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Series: A Philosophical Library Book
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel; Reissue edition (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806509023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806509020
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Novelist, playwright, and biographer Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) is widely considered one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. His major works include "No Exit," "Nausea," "The Wall," "The Age of Reason," "Critique of Dialectical Reason," "Being and Nothingness," and "Roads to Freedom," an allegory of man's search for commitment, and not, as the man at the off-licence says, an everyday story of French country folk.

Customer Reviews

Very important ideas here.
We need God if we are to have a meaning that will endure.
Shalom Freedman
You can read this book in a couple of hours.
Tyler Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

182 of 183 people found the following review helpful By Damon Navas-Howard on June 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Reading Jean-Paul Sartre's "Existentialism and Human Emotions" is a much easier approach to understanding Sartre's philosophy than reading Sartre's more concentrated work such as "Being and Nothingness." Although I think the best introduction to Sartre is through reading "Nausea" and the plays. This book tries to explain what Existentialism is and what it tries to do. Sartre also defends Existentialism against attacks on it by other Philosophies and the public that often assumes Existentialism is a sad philosophy; giving man no meaning and leads him to nihilistic despair. On the contrary, Sartre says that Existentialism is the only way to give man meaning and dignity. The book also touches on the idea of Man wanting to be God in a world where God does no exist. Sartre at the end gives a quick summing up of Existential Psycho-anaylis. A basic thesis of this work could be explained as the following: "Man is free when in total involvement and action and from Freedom man has an ultimate responsibility he must follow as his actions have to do with all mankind."
I would recommend "Existentialism and Human Emotions" to anyone who wants to understand Existentialism without getting a headache from reading more complicated works(i.e. "Being and Nothingness," Heideggar etc..) I am an avid reader of Philosophy and I always refer back to this book when pondering a question about Existentialism. A must for anyone who is interested in Philosophy.
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90 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Smith on February 16, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Those not wishing to slog through some of Sartre's weightier work will find "Existentialism and Human Emotions" a very useful statement and summation of the principles of Sartre's beliefs. More than half a century after existentialism came to the fore, I, for one, find the ideas as compelling as ever.
Sartre shows on the one hand that existentialism was a movement born out of the rejection of ideology. Ideas that come packaged and defined and handed to the individual for unquestioning acceptance hold no interest for the existentialist. While Sartre makes few, if any, explicit references to the disastrous totalitarian mass movements that gave rise to World War II, it's clear that these -- along with organized religion -- are his targets.
The core of Sartre's analysis lies in his assertion that "existence precedes essence." Every other piece of existentialism flows from this idea that Man, at birth, is a being for whom nothing is determined. Man, Sartre argues, creates the story that becomes his life through living, pure and simple.
From this it follows that all of our lives are shaped by choice. Another of Sartre's famous contentions emerges from the book, that even if one does nothing, that in itself is a choice. Man cannot escape that responsibility for his actions. There is, as Sartre was to famously and dramatically delineate later, "no exit."
For me, the most important idea in the book is that it convincingly refutes the shallow attack often leveled at existentialism: that it is dressed-up nihilism. Sartre shows that the existentialists do not reject meaning; they simply insist that there is no a priori meaning.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
If your interest has been picqued by existentialism, whether it be Sartre's or existentialism in general, this is a decent place to start for a theoretical work. This should be read with Nausea, as the latter is his first novel in addition to being a complete work (so is the first essay, however it is a speech and was not intended at first for publication). If you are fairly serious about understanding the complexities of Sartre's philosophy, I would highly recomend Being and Nothingness or, at least, The Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, a collection of Sartre's works as edited by Robert Cumming. Nevertheless, this was my first introduction to Sartre and though it failed to give me a full explanation of Sartre's ideas, it will satisfy those desiring a fleeting encounter with a philosophy that speaks more loudly to us even today than it did when it shouted to the resistant spirit of the French in 1943.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By dunwich on March 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book of 96 pages is a translation of Jean-Paul Sartre work. Specifically: it countains 7 sections:
* Existentialism (43p)
* Freedom and Responsability (8p)
* The desire to be God (3p)
* The Desire to be God (cont.) (5p)
* Existentialist psychoanalysis (16p)
* The Hole (7p)
* Ethical Implications (7p)
The first section "Existentialism" is the translation, by Bernard Frechtman, of the french text by Jean-Paul Sartre "L'Existentialisme est un humanisme" which was originally the text of a conference Sartre gave in Paris on 29 OCT 1945, published later in 1946.
Originally, this text was not intend to explain Existentialism, but to defend it against harsh critics from people who did not fully understand it. It is thus a fairly good introduction for anyone who whishes to recieve a first understanding of Existentialism.
The other sections are extracts from "Being and Nothingness", translated by Hazel E. Barnes, from Sartre's book "L'Être et le Néant" published in 1943.
I did not read the translation, I bought this book for my not-French girlfriend.
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