Mennesket er ikke annet enn hva det gjør seg selv til.
Existentialism Is a Humanism, lecture (1946).
Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself.
What do we mean by saying that existence precedes essence? We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards. If man as the existentialist sees him is not definable, it is because to begin with he is nothing. He will not be anything until later, and then he will be what he makes of himself. Thus, there is no human nature, because there is no God to have a conception of it. Man simply is. Not that he is simply what he conceives himself to be, but he is what he wills, and as he conceives himself after already existing – as he wills to be after that leap towards existence. Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself. That is the first principle of existentialism.
Tittel: filosof og forfatter
Levde: 1905 - 1980
Jean-Paul Sartre var den mest fremtredende representanten for den ateistiske eksistensialismen og øvde sterk innflytelse på europeisk intellektuelt liv etter andre verdenskrig. I 1964 vant han Nobelprisen i litteratur, men avslo å motta den fordi han mente at «en forfatter burde ikke la seg bli forvandlet til en institusjon».