Miljak Mishabjelic


(Rationalist views of human life ultimate ends – an existentialist selection*)
Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am), a slogan by French philosopher Rene Descartes, has become eventually one of the corner stones of Existentialism. However, other than human living creatures, such as this Arabic horse on the photo above, are not covered by that postulate. The same is the case with the credos of majority of World’s religions (except Hinduism).

 * Sartre friends and all interested in the subject are kindly requested to cooperate in the Selection
presented here which is entirely a voluntary project; presently in drafting stage. Please note that only written comments in the space reserved for it in SCRIBD, relevant to this subject, are considered.

The famous slogan of the rationalist philosophers “cogito ergo sum”, in its original version in Latin reads as: “Ego cogito, ergo sum sive existo” – I think, therefore I exist. The second mentioned version of the slogan, forged by French philosopher René Descartes (1596–1650) and often referred to as Cartesian concept, includes a reference to “Existence”; indicating creation of the philosophy of subjectivity on which modern Existentialism is based. This essay is dedicated to the roots from which Sartre’s subjective and materialist version of Existentialism has been constructed.
(In order to facilitate the researches an ADDENDUM at the end of this essay includes the names of authors mentioned in it. It is recommended also to consult SCRIBD items under: Sartre Jean-Paul (1905 – 1980) and under: “mishabjelic Sartre”, as well as the Encyclopedias philosoficas available in Internet).

Early Rationalism
“Eppur si muove”.
Rationalism was a precursor of all modern philosophies of subjectivity, including Sartre’s existentialism. Its modern version originated in the seventeenth century, although its roots can be traced back to ancient Greek thinkers. Rationalism came after a long period of an idealism-materialism ontological controversy that use to exclude or obliterate each other; while the “Ego cogito” of rationalist Philosophy of subjectivity is focused on individual human being and his, or her, existential problems. This was a natural result of the than new scientific discoveries showing that the mankind represent just a conglomerate of the inhabitants of a single planet lost in the cosmic multitude, and specially after Galileo Galilei open the way to the idea that everything could, and should, be scientifically explained. His courageous “Eppur si muove” ("And yet it does turn around"), an early example of existential personal engagement acts in spite of the Inquisition threat. It is possible that the early rationalism in Occidental Europe, during the Descartes time, emerged also as one of the consequences of the Thirty year war in Europe, terminated 1648; in a similar way that two World Wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945) affected Sartre, Camus and other twentieth century existentialists. Together with the literary figures such as Shakespeare in tragically inspired dramas, and Dostoyevsky in his novel translated into English as “Poor folks”; or Franz Kafka depicting the imprisoned humanity, the best thinkers and artistic talents of Europe were engaged, and still are, in trying to understand why the rational and enlightened Homo sapiens never abandoned his arms and his cruelty that largely over pass the animals urge to kill for food. Terrible consequences of these wars, fought in Europe but felt also on inter-continental scale, included millions of people of all ages dead or disabled. Millions of families lost their breadwinners and had their homes and property destroyed. No wander that the best brains of Europe and of the World started considering the rationality of human beings and the futility of human life; abandoning gradually the purely ontological problems of classical philosophy in favor of more practical and to individual human person oriented forms of empiricism, rationalism and existentialism. Eventually Sartre, Simon de Beavoire, Camus and other existentialists practically abandoned the theoretical aspects of philosophy in favor of fighting against censure for total freedom of expression and political engagement. They also started promoting active engagement in political and social struggle while using not only media but also literature, theatre and film (movies) as weapons - rather than the ontological arguments. Some others turned to Buddhism and different oriental religions-philosophies but most found a refuge in Pragmatism as a convenient means, permitting growing non-political materialism. Only in that sense (and in this historical context) one could agree with Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy, which in its article on “Existentialism” states that: “Like ´rationalism´ and ´empiricism, ´ existentialism is a term that belongs to intellectual history.”

In this context also, it should be understood that Sartre´s version of existentialism (divisible in two stages: ontologically inspired and ethically or politically motivated one) could be considered a materialistic extension of Descartes dualism, described in the following section. Or to say that Sartre is rather rooted in Descartes than in completely idealistic and to mysticism inclined Kierkegaard.

Descartes and Kierkegaard (The Cartesian Philosophy of subjectivity)
Ilustration of dualism by Rene Descartes. (Sensory signals are passed to the brain and from there to the immaterial spirit):

Turning to Descartes and comparing him in more details with Kierkegaard, one cannot but conclude that he, way before Kierkegaard, was an initiator of the existentialist way of thinking. Both philosophers were deeply concerned with individual human’s life destiny and both cited passion as a means to overcoming life anguishes and desperations. But for Kierkegaard philosophy was an instrument of religion while to Descartes his rationalism was a means to interpreting the ways of human existence by using the objective, erroneous sometimes, scientific method (see the illustration below). In his “Principles of philosophy” Descartes states clearly that "…despite all the assumptions more extravagant, we could not but believe that this conclusion: I think, therefore I exist, is not true; and therefore that it is first that occurs to classify orderly our thoughts. " In his essay “Discurso del Método” Descartes reiterates that his postulate “I thing therefore I exist” (implying also dualism of human physical brain and soul) was so waterproof that “…no critic could possibly brake it”. However, as in his times everything had to be justified by the Bible, Descartes indicates also that a holistic dualism has been mentioned in Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament describing the Creation. Thus one is led to conclude that the “Cartesian philosophy” (the name of which is probably a Latin derivation of the Descartes name: “Des-cartes”) is a theory of

human existence that is based on the dual biblical, i.e. religious, experiences end the ontologically rational causative reasoning rooted in scientific experiences. The influence of the Cartesian philosophy was felt during the period of seventeentheighteenth century and, in some of its aspects, beyond; to be gradually replaced during the nineteenth and the twentieth century Europe and elsewhere by Existentialism and Pragmatism with all their variants. However, it should be mentioned that two grand rationalist philosophers who were also Descartes contemporary: Spinoza and Leibniz, rejected his biblically inspired dualism. And, referring to the photo of the Arabic horse above, it should be also mentioned that Descartes himself indicated that his “dualism substantial” between the human spirit (res cogitans) and the physical body (res extensa), does not cover the animals; as they only can be considered as kind of “machines” (or mechanisms) without a soul. This postulate, among other controversial ones, contributed to the radicalization of Descartes’´ theoretical position and resulted in the eventual criticism of him by Diderot, Rousseau and Voltaire. The period between Descartes and Kierkegaard is characterized by controversies provoked between idealistic and materialistic version of Rationalism. French philosopher and scientist Blaise Pascal should be mention here as he created his philosophy in direct confrontation with Descartes ideas; but indicating various points, elaborated in more details by Kierkegaard, along which modern existentialism developed from the first version of the philosophy of subjectivity. Pascal declared (1654): “I cannot forgive Descartes. In all his philosophy he would have been quite willing to dispense with God. But he had to take Him in order to set the world in motion; beyond this, he has no further need of God.” (Three centuries after, Sartre “dispensed” with the God altogether).

Another similar example is Berkeley. In his metaphysically oriented works, Irish philosopher and priest Berkeley not only defended idealism but also denied any materialist alternative for spiritualist existential solution. Berkeley believed that the material world does not exist, not even in the form of the Cartesian and Lockean versions of dualism. German philosopher Schopenhour in his “The World as Will and Representation” (1819) states: “…Berkeley and Kant called to mind that all is only
phenomenon of the brain, and is encumbered by so many great and different subjective conditions that its supposed absolute reality vanishes, and leaves room for an entirely different world-order that lies at the root of that phenomenon; in other words, is related to it as is the thing-in-itself to the mere appearance.”

From a materialist side, it can be mentioned that La Mettrie published (1748) an essay entitled “The man-machine” in which stated that the human body functions as a machine, capable of not only affecting the spirit but also influencing it. (La Mettrie was a French medical doctor by profession and the philosopher-materialist by conviction). But in spite of the criticism both from the “materialists” and the “spiritualists” side, the Descarate´s inspired “orderly classified” human dualism idea was all but buried, though. It was re-interpreted and used again both by Sartre and other existentialists;

under the names “in-itself” and “for-itself“ – which can be analyzed in the next Chapter of this study.

Much earlier than modern existentialists and almost a century after Descartes that actually started it, Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855), had developed further the ideas of the philosophy of subjectivity. His ideas were inspired by the Cartesian concept but based entirely on religious dualism of “flesh and soul”; as it can be illustrated by the following text often cited by Sartre and other existentialists: “What I really have to clarified in my mind is what I am to do, not what I am to know… Important is to understand my own self and to see what God really wants me to do: the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.” (My underlining) “... I certainly do not deny that I still recognize an imperative of knowledge and that through it one can affect men; but it must be assimilated into my life...”(Søren Kierkegaard, from the letter to Peter Wilhelm Lund dated August 31, 1835). However, even in promoting the Cartesian version of the philosophy of subjectivity Kierkegaard emphasis the need for a personal approach in philosophy, mentioning the example of Descartes in a way revealing his deep appreciation for him: “Descartes was a venerable, humble and honest thinker who did what he said and said what he did…. Whose writings no one can read without the deepest emotion, as he did not cry "Fire!" nor did he obliged anybody… Descartes was a quiet and solitary thinker who modestly and quietly admitted that his method had importance for him alone…”. It can be remarked in relation to this point that early Sartre either “…did not cry "Fire!" nor did he obliged anybody” but had limited himself to ontological discussions and some existentialism inspired literature and theatre. But when the Second World War ended and the clash of ideologies became political, on the verge to become an arm confrontation, Sartre transformed his existentialism in a flag waiving and guru type venture; in particular oriented to young people and well educated ones. It should be also mentioned that this short presentation of the early manifestations of existentialist history does not dwell on the classical philosophy represented by Kant (1724-1804) and Hegel (1770-1831); except to say that the Kierkegaard´s writings (in particular “Either-Or”, “Fear and Trembling”, “The Present Moment”) consider the human existence problem as an idea of the philosophy of subjectivity; while the classical ontology writings, culminated in those by Kant and Hegel, were still mostly preoccupied with the integral existence problem and with finding its, possible objective, rules to be formulated in Logic and Dialectic. (Sartre developed his existentialism on the principles of subjectivity and rejected any “objective rules” governing the destiny of human beings – a subject to be elaborated in the next chapter). It should be mentioned also that the first systematic criticism of the above-described Cartesian dualism was started by Baruch Spinoza, who is considered presently as one of the precursors of the great philosophy of Enlightenment described in the next Section. Spinosa did it using a combination of both scientific and biblical arguments, a

“cocktail” more tolerated by the Lutheran Protestantism prevailing in northern part of Europe of his time.

The reign of the brain (The Age of the reason)
“To be a human person is to be a being capable of intelligent thinking that can know itself as itself” - John Locke (1632–1704). The Descartes´ version of the “Philosophy of subjectivity” draw the attention of the than scientific society to the individual human being and his, or her, personal existential problems. But its limitations and, especially, its presumed but not scientifically proved dualism of the human body (brain) and the soul, could not satisfy the purely empirical requirements of the 18-the century and its exact Science and Enlightenment. Besides, it should not be forgotten that Descartes still worked on his theories under the Church power to prescribe and even condemn to death extremely radical thinkers. One of the first and the very basic postulate of the Age of the reason was a doubt regarding the survival of human soul after death. The Christian faith was very clear on that point: while our physical bodies may perish, the spiritual one, the Soul, continue its existence. And nobody, at last not publicly, dared to write, or show on the stage, about a possibility that after a person’s death everything would perish. Not before Shakespeare and the Elizabethan reign in England (1558–1603) at least. And not before the Thirty years war waged in Europe was coming to the end 1648; coinciding with the gradual introduction of Protestant reformation in Northern Europe.

During the Elizabethan times in England Shakespeare in his drama introduced a clear concern about the meaning of human life and its ultimate ends (considering both its valor “weight” and total perish after death). Let us just recall these lines from Shakespear´s “Hamlet”:
“What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable…-and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”

Some times later Voltaire, on the onset of the Age of reason in continental Europe, wrote well-known verses: “Is our Spirit surviving ourselves? Alas! It will perish as well.” And the than much debilitated church authorities in France, escaping from the Vatican dictum, did not impede him to write also: "Liberty of thought is the life of the soul." (In an Essay on Epic Poetry, 1727). During the same period (mid-eighteenth century) Rouseau introduced the notion of the “natural laws” that governed the primitive (pre-human) condition, i.e. without morality norms. It is the same situation in which all the animals still are; except that the so called “social animals”, such ants and bees, do obey the established norms by their own internal “social contract” – mostly following the division of labors. As the human

society developed, however, the division of labor became too complex and the introduction of the private property required the humans to adopt institutions of law. For such observations, not much disputed nowadays, and for the obvious reference to “natural laws” as a root to moral ones, Voltaire ironized Rouseau´s theses in a letter to him saying: “One feels like crawling on all fours after reading your work”. (One can only imagine what Voltaire would say if he could read Darwin (1809-1882). Or Sartre for that matter.) But even if Rouseau´s human development ideas more resemble laters, i.e. Darwinist’s ones, his literary and essayistic writings are oriented to individual persons and their problems in every day life. Just to mention here: “Émile: or, On Education” and sentimental novel Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse where the main characters are no more Kings and noble gents, but common folks facing the existence problems. His “Discourse on the Origin of Inequality” and his “On the Social Contract” are, since the French revolution, influencing modern political and social thinking. The last mentioned essay “On the social contract” (1762) contains the slogan: “Man is born free but only later is enchained” that Sartre used as a cornerstone of his existential freedom theory. It should be mentioned here that English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) was, if not a precursor, certainly one who influenced the coming of the European (continental) “Age of reason”. This was the time when the Anglo-Saxon “empirical” spirit and way of thinking of the Elizabethan era started to mingle with the ideas of the French Enciclopedists and later of those inspiring the French revolution; ablate interpreted in different ways. John Lock started by opposing Descartes ideas of duality between the human spirit and the brain, arriving in his empirically oriented research to some ideas that could have been Sartre´s too; but some more than 200 years before! In his “An Essay concerning human understanding” Lock postulated that there are no ideas “stamped upon the mind” from birth, as all human knowledge is rooted in practical experience. His personal identity theory favoring human identity formation based on such experiences rather than on the innate ideas also resembles closely Sartre´s existentialist concepts of Ego building through the every day’s action. Adam Smith and David Hume represented also British (or more precisely: Scottish) empiricism that eventually has been transformed into the philosophies inspired by pragmatism; frequently going on opposing rails taken by modern existentialism (Sartre, Camus and others). It should be mentioned that the historical and economical conditions of Europe during and after “Elizabethans era” were also becoming different. While actively participating in Napoleon’s and later wars in Europe, the English speaking countries remained only indirectly involved and achieved vigorous industrial revolution. All this was backed by conquest of new colonies worldwide where they not only exploited natural resource but found the market for its products (example: export of textile products to India). Smith’s friend David Hume is now recognized as one of the most influential “British empiricists”; in particular for his philosophical works —“ A Treatise of Human Nature” (1740), the “Enquiries concerningHumanUnderstanding” (1748) and “Concerning the Principles of Morals” (1751), that address the human social and existential problems from radically opposite aspect than Sartre and for that reason is a must for any study of the roots of modern existentialism.

Hume’s academic colleague, Adam Smith, can be considered also as a precursor of the “free market” economic and consumers´ social concept. In addition to that, Smith was a professor of ethics whose moral teaching can be cited here as diametrically opposite to Sartre’s individualistic ethic theory (a human personality is re-born every day), based on denigration of any in-born human nature; as it can be seen from the fragments taken from Smith’s “The Theory of Moral Sentiments”:
“Man, it has been said, has a natural love for society… The orderly and flourishing state of society is agreeable to him, and he takes delight in contemplating it. Its disorder and confusion, on the contrary, is the object of his aversion, and he is chagrined at whatever tends to produce it. He is sensible too that his own interest is connected with the prosperity of society, and that the happiness, perhaps the preservation of his existence, depends upon its preservation. Upon every account, therefore, he has an abhorrence at whatever can tend to destroy society, and is willing to make use of every means, which can hinder so hated and so dreadful an event.”

It should be also mentioned that Adam Smith’s social and economic theory eventually was opposed by Karl Marx (1818 – 1883), but it is a topic of the next chapter of this study.

Human sensibility re-discovered (From Minstrel culture to Sigmund
Freud) The human and very personal areas of love and sensuality, including sexuality, were well represented in ancient Greek and Roman art and literature. With the notable exception of the post-Roman medieval period of early Christianity, these topics started to flourish again during the Renaissance. After centuries when they were completely banned by the Inquisition that systematically censored any open manifestation of common versions of love inspired sensuality, these topics surfaced (a blight rather symbolically) in the heroic epics of the Middle Ages and were at first transmitted orally, by popular singers or actors. The human individuality in these epics, as it was the epic of “Roland” - a popular legendary figure in the medieval France, Spain and wherever the so-called Minstrel cultures prevailed. They treated mostly heroic figures with warrior’s traits – probably inspired also by the Crusades military ventures. (Later similar epics surged in Germany, Russia and in other European countries). But as the grip of the Inquisition became looser, human individual’s common life problems and his, or she, existence dilemma, gradually replaced the heroic figures and their destiny in general. It was still done on the bases of medieval epics or legends, while maintaining the same principal personalities, but giving them more common human traits and feelings. Destinies of common human beings, individual worries in solving the problems of daily life of Marias, Martins, Georges or Annas started to be dealt with in existential spirit. In this context we should mention again William Shakespeare and, in particular, his “no-royalties” inspired plays such as, for example “Romeo and Juliet”. While in ACT 5 (SCENE I) ROMEO says: “--- And breathed such life with kisses in my lips, That I revived, and was an emperor. Ah me! how sweet is love itself possess'd, When but love's

shadows are so rich in joy!”; JULIET (in the same SCENE I) replies, in old English but completely in modern sense: ”O gentle Romeo, If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully: Or if thou think'st I am too quickly won, I'll frown and be perverse an say thee nay, So thou wilt woo; but else, not for the world.”

Another, much recent, example of the influence of the rapid progress of Philosophy of subjectivity as applied in literature can be found in Goethe’s epic drama-poems “Faust” (its final version was published posthumous 1832). “Faust” and his “Werter” were among the books, which contributed to changing the “heroic” tradition in public literature. Goethe’s “Werter” (published 1774 as: “The Sorrows of Young Werther”) was completely immerged into sensible and very personal area of love and sensuality. “The Sorrows of Young Werther” (Die Leiden des jungen Werthers in German) was written partially as an autobiographical novel - probably first of the kind in the world literature (a revised edition of it was published in 1787 and, within a year, was translated into English). In case of “Faust” it should be also mentioned that four years after Johann Spies published an earlier version of it in German (under the name “Historia von D. Johann Fausten”), Christopher Marlow adapted its English version and published it in London. Translation of it was done in a few other European languages. “Faust” and “Werther” were published during the era of German literature denominated as the “Sturm and Drang” (Storm and urge in English – note its existential context) and, together with the similar contemporary works in the rest of Europe, initiated the Romantic literary movement in novels, drama and poetry. It should be particularly emphasized that Goethe in his “Faust” treated some crucial problems of “Philosophy of life”, such as the human temporality and the pact with the evil forces as a possible solution to it; categories that eventually became among the predilect subjects of Sartre’s existentialism. According to the Internet “Wikipedia”, the Dostoyevsky´s Notes from the Underground (1864) is considered by many to be the world's first existentialist fictional novel. Walter Kaufmann called it "best overture for existentialism ever written" (1975). Similar opinion can be found in Will Durant´s The Pleasures of Philosophy (1953). Dostoyevsky also wrote some memoirs-type pieces showing that he not only extensively traveled through Europe but also was well acquainted with the works not only of Shakespeare but also of Pascal, Victor Hugo and other exponents of Romanticism. Before his exile to Siberia Dostoyevsky had some leftist political sympathies and read progressive publications too. His complete devotion to the Christian Orthodox Church started after the return from the exile. “If there is no God, everything is permitted” is an often cited quote from Dostoyevsky´s The Brothers Karamazov (1880) which is usually interpreted in religious sense, i.e. as a devastating criticism of atheism. But there is a possible different interpretation. One can reason also as follows: `If there is no God, is there any moral view, which keep the humanity ethically coherent? ` (In the next chapter there is an attempt to show if Sartre’s existentialism can offer a solution).

Another Russian literate from the same period, with an inclination to describing existential type of traumas and despair among his personalities, was Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol. His personality in The Overcoat (1842), for example, representing a humble public employee worried about his official uniform, pre sages Franc Kafka´s description of lunatic atmosphere in which burocracy imprisons its subjects – an example of Sartre’s suppressed free will. Some scientists and medical doctors who worked in the domain of psychology during the 19-th century, and in particular Sigmund Freud, entered into existential type of problems while studding the stress situation of their patients. Freud, for example, in his essay entitled "Dostoyevsky and Parricide" (1928), argued that father's personality complex influenced the erratic behavior of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov in Dostoyevsky´s famous novel. Although the Freud’s postulates in his psychoanalysis are still questioned by medical scientists, his contribution to the philosophy of subjectivity and to the introduction of latent sexuality urge as a category of modern Existentialism is considered very important. In particular during the later, “post-ontological”, development of its Sartre’s version. (Sartre himself wrote a few works devoted to Freud) And to finish the fragments on sensibility and revealed sexuality impulse behind human behavior, it can be mentioned that eventually, after the Second World War, there occurred an unlikely artistic cooperation between Sartre and the north-American movie director John Huston. It is customary to believe that it was a result of Huston’s interest in hypnosis. But, at least as Sartre is concerned, the story has an existential background. Immediately after the war, returning to New York from the army, Huston directed Jean-Paul Sartre's play No Exit in a Broadway’s theatre. Stimulated by the success of it he wanted to direct No Exit as a full time movie. Nothing came out of the project but, when Huston eventually decided to direct a movie on Sigmund Freud, he remembered Sartre and decided to engage him as a scriptwriter. But result was something like engaging Dante to write verses for Marilyn Monroe song presentation; as Sartre produced a manuscript of a few hundred pages that had to be, in Huston’s view, not only cut but also completely redrafted! The name of the movie, when it was finally finished, was “Freud, the Secret Passion”. Sartre, when seeing the redrafted scenario, informed Huston that he wants his name withdrawn from the movie titles and its poster. The end result of all this was that, after mutual criticism and some noise in the contemporary press, Huston returned to the carrier in film industry following his pragmatic paradigm while Sartre continued with his attempt to re-build his existentialism; attempting to “guru” it in the manner of Buddhist pattern, as described in the next chapter of this study. All these events, together with a rapid progress in scientific research by the turn from 19 to 20 centuries, threw a new light not only on the perception of human being as such but on an integral human conception of the world (“weltanschauung” - philosophy of life).

Engagement as a life potential impulse
"Many things are considered as impossible until they are actually done!" Pliny the Elder (From his“Historia naturalis”)

By citing the ancient Roman warrior and historian-philosopher Pliny the Elder we are entering the stage of “engagement” which eventually dominated the second, post “ontological”, phase in the development of Sartre’s existentialism. In this connection, Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche should be mentioned as the much recent predecessors of Sartre’s moral theory and the “life philosophy” concept. These two, together with much more pacifically oriented Henry Bergson and Max Scheler, attempted to find hidden impulses which urge men and women to be engaged individually and to act within a free determined philosophy of life. Schopenhauer in his “The World as Will and Representation” (1918) indicated that the individually determined human intentions (sublimated in human Will) can not only move the mountains but also help suppress the anguish provoked by pessimistic view of the existence in the world. In Schopenhauer's view the existing world is really what we recognize as the result of our will-power. A hundred year before Sartre he felt that there was a need for a change not only in literature presentation of human life but also in “Weltanschauung”, or “Lebensphilosophie” in German (the Philosophy of life in English). He opted for prevailing pessimism and, also on this point, he influenced Sartre and Camus, as well as numerous other writers. Friedrich Nietzsche, according to Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy was a philosopher “whose convictions challenged the very foundation of Christianity”. His philosophy was well studied by Sartre during his post-diploma stay in Germany. Nietzsche’s attack against the traditional morality made him famous but resulted in a number of opponents as well. Also referred to as one of the first existentialist philosophers Nietzsche came to the conclusion that emotional, physical, and sexual desires can never be entirely fulfilled and that it is the permanent source of our despair and anxiety. Nietzsche recommended a lifestyle similar to the teachings of Vedanta and Buddhism to alleviate human anxiety. However, his late post-Darwinist kind of ideas of “superman” (Übermensch in German) was extensively used by Hitler in developing his racist concept of Arian supremacy and of his dream of white Arian controlled Europe and Asia. (Hitler also toyed with a project of dividing the World between Anglo-Americans and European Arians authorities). Henri Bergson´s conception of metaphysics as a necessary complement to scientific investigation of reality affirms the difference in kind between matter and spirit (or memory or life – as he terms it). He argues for the necessity of introducing two methods, namely scientific intellect and philosophical intuition, to investigate different realities. His essay The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1932), was one of the

obvious sources for Sartre´s critics of ontological intuitive dualism and, eventually, for development of his ethical concept based on engagement. German philosopher of phenomenology Max Scheler, who was a specialist in philosophy of social science, is important for the study of Sartre’s social concept and the problem of an individual human being in relation to “the others”. He is known for his value ethics, as well as a founder of philosophical anthropology and the sociology of knowledge. The Nazi party in Germany banned his writings. Scheler presented his sociology of knowledge in the Society and the Forms of Knowledge and in the Cognition and Work (1926) where he considers the three forms of knowledge: of salvation (religious knowledge), of essences (philosophical knowledge), and of rational control (scientific knowledge). He considers Pragmatism as valid approach, but only within the domain of scientific knowledge. The philosophers from the 19-th and the beginning of 20-th century mentioned here do not complete the list of the important thinkers from the period. However, they are cited in this section as those who attempted, as Sartre did during his post-Second World War period, to build up a modern “Lebensphilosophie” that integrates the philosophical, the scientific and the social development of Europe. Please note that the philosophers considered as modern existentialists are presented in the next chapter of this study, provisionally titled as “SARTRE XXI”.


Introduction for “Sartre XXI” study

– In drafting stage

From the above essay on the roots of Sartre’s version of rationalism and existentialism it can be concluded that classical philosophy is reduced now days to Pragmatism and Existentialism, which are both, in a way, similar but in substance divergent. Similar is the way they both excludes Religion in their basic ontological concepts: Sartre’s existentialism by eliminating the notion of God altogether and Pragmatism by letting it entirely to different churches and their dogmas. And the main difference consists in their approach. While enlisting followers: Pragmatism counts on obvious material stimulus provided by practical scientific and technological progress as well as on the rapid economic unhindered development. Sartre’s existentialism, on the other hand, is based on unhindered free will of all and on the need to determine (define) the human person every day on the bases of his, or her, engaged action.

(Please note that more of the substantial divergences between two remaining basic philosophies are among the subjects of the “Sartre XXI” presently in drafting stage).

ADDENDUM (Names of the authors whose works are mentioned in the study - listed by birth year). William Shakespeare (1564-1616) René Descartes (1596–1650) Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662) John Locke (1632–1704) Baruch Spinoza (1632 – 1677) Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646 – 1716) George Berkeley (1685 – 1753) Voltaire (1694-1778) Julien Offroy de La Mettrie (1709 –1733) David Hume (1711-1776) Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778) Denis Diderot (1713 – 1784) Adam Smith (1723–1790) Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860) Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (1809 - 1852) Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855) Karl Heinrich Marx (1818 – 1883) Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (1821– 1881) Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (1859 – 1938) Henri Bergson (1859–1941) Franz Kafka (1883 –1924) Karl Theodor Jaspers (1883 – 1969) William James Durant (1885 - 1981) Martin Heidegger (1889 – 1976) Sartre Jean-Paul (1905 – 1980) Walter Arnold Kaufmann (1921 – 1980)

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