Jean-Paul Sartre's Philosophy on Free-Will

page: 2
5
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join

posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 02:15 PM
link   

Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy

I just got done reading Jean-Paul Sartre's philosophy on free-will, and would like to open a discussion on it.

Basically, for those unfamiliar with his existential philosophy, he says that Determinism is impossible because existence precedes essence. In other words, man must exist first in order to give meaning (essence) to his existence, therefore......… .........

what .... ...nothing ?


then..... ?
edit on 28-4-2012 by nii900 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 02:43 PM
link   
I think that man's compulsion to continually redefine himself from nothing and in the space of nothing (unconditioned ground of being) can only lead in one of two directions; either into a persistent indentification and re-identifaction with an increasingly inauthentic self and way of being, or, with an increasingly authentic one or one that is ever more in alignment with the truth self as we really are (true nature). That is to say, once we realize or recognize that who and what we are being, at any given moment, is simply a product of our OWN creation, are we at last set free to be ourselves as we are, playing whatever role.

In this awareness, the anxiety implicit in Sartre's conclusion as to our fundamental predicament (having no nature in a purposeless and meaningless universe, compelled by freedom to "be someone") is immediately resolved satisfactorily, and not without a sigh and a brief chuckle at our own expense.

With/in the prior, already always condition of absolute freedom (prior freedom) in absolute acceptance as we are, we are not lost in a meaningless absurdity, helpless but to compulsively and forever try to re-identify our self, something which by its very nature is inauthentic to begin with!!

The only question that arises now, if we are to make an honest inquiry is - if we are not nothing, and life purposeful instead of meaningless, then just who and what ARE we as this one who has a changeable, "add-to-able" self - who and what is THAT person?

This is a similar state of uncertainty or unknowing, but with the arrow pointing inwards like a finger to the sacred heart (and with a big smile too!).

We don't and can't know who we are, but knowing this, and getting present to it, without fear or reservation, brings its own kind of knowledge, as the knowledge of experience. It is the knowledge of the humor of self-awareness laughing at the notion that we once presumed to know with absolute certainty, just who and what we were and what compelled us (as if to no end.).

So it (the occurance of life) is not absurd and meaningless - we were!



Now then we are free to re-indentify, in whatever way we wish, no longer compelled by "freedom" which is no freedom at all, but in fact set free for its own sake (value, substance, essence, nature) and that's real freedom, and in that kind of freedom, only, resides the possibility of real life (to the full), along with the capacity to really love, both ourselves, and others (as self) - AUTHENTICALLY, or genuinely (wholeheartedly).


I am, therefore I feel.

"Oh what is man that thou art mindful of him?"



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 02:53 PM
link   

Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
It means that, first of all, man exists... and, only afterwards, defines himself.


Similar to my thinking. First there's existence, then there's the question of where it came from.

I came to the conclusion while thinking about the relationship between time and energy. We can't even ask the question of "where did energy come from?" until there's time (division). It's a bit of a trick question since energy existed before the question could even be asked.

Replace energy with "god", "timelessness", "infinity", "zero", or "self-awareness" and the same concept applies. It may be better to phrase timeless energy as "potential energy" though (just playing semantics with myself before someone else does, heh).



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 03:05 PM
link   
reply to post by circlemaker
 
E? @ TM division



k?



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 03:06 PM
link   
What Sartre is suggesting is that man, in his freedom, standing in the domain of absolute uncertainty (indeterminism), cannot realize or experience his own true nature as he is, and is thus compelled to continually re-identify himself with a projection of some kind or a mental model of who he takes himself to be, and then at some point recognizing that this is not and cannot be his true nature, once again, again and again he then creates and indentifies himself with self after self ad infinitum in pursuit of his true self and thus his true nature which cannot ever be known as it is.

If Sartre is serious about this, and don't get me wrong, I'm impressed with his line of inquiry because the sate of absolute uncertainty is a very high state of awareness, when one is not wholly identified with a manufactured and therefore unauthentic or unreal self, if he himself ie: his true nature and authentic, non-particularized self, is unaware of the deep humor or gnosis that this fundamental predicament automatically and inevitably evokes from the point of view of the true self or the true nature of the "known unknower" - then I simply cannot take him seriously mysefl, no matter how impressive or compelling are his assertions that I am nothing in a meaningless and purposeless universe.


No the domain of absolute freedom is itself our true nature as created beings made in the "image" or likeness (sameness) of God as a first/last cause (unconditioned ground of being) and as the very foundation of freedom we alaady find ourselves standing in! That is our true nature (nothing of everything), it's who and what we really are.

And it's FUNNY, because relative to that, everything else that is NOT real or inauthentic (identification with the created self) is by its very nature, absurd and ridiculous by comparison (not only meaningless but without substance or value) - and so there stands man, in his true nature, with his humor restored at last.

It cannot be achieved by pure "reasoning" alone, however, because it is the knowledge of experience this state of humor of the known unknower who knows.

It's hilarious, ridiculous, and absurd, but we're not, really, and neither is life itself, the true life as it is with we ourselves included deeply and instinsically ie: in at-one-ment of self acceptance, or at peace, resting in the all-in-all, without the need or compulsion to seek any other or new self other than that which we already are, as our true nature, what I would call child-of-God state (as created being IN creation, begotten of), because it involves an evolutionary principal of reintegration and wholeness, with integrity or a type of homecoming in self-discovery.

edit on 28-4-2012 by NewAgeMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 03:45 PM
link   

Originally posted by SolidFaith
reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


I think that's fair and certainly could be a dilemma in that proposed statement as everything boils down to something we can easily connect it with that of an outcome. Though it seems that stimuli would change the factors of free will as you said in that these small implants into our knowledge base would shape our actions and then become that of predestined actions. So then for it to be that of free will we would necessarily have to limit the amount of stimuli on us; but in our current generation that is not as feasible as it once was. Though eturning to that of the proposed question in your OP I think perhaps this could go in line with the last few sentences?

"there surely is an external nature, yet it is man's free choice to view it as he sees fit. Therefore, even though nature may influence his "invention" of self, ultimately it is his choice to choose how it influences him. "

I feel like I have made a very weak connection though and really would like to expand upon it yet I just need to know if this is even going in the right direction or if somehow I slipped off because of the few tangents I was making previously. This all speaking primarily of the quote of course.


You've hit it on the head, yet I'm not really even sure if that quote is correct though. That is really the crux of the dilemma as I see it right now. Is his "free choice to view it as he sees fit" really his free choice, or is it predetermined and just merely appearing to be 'his' choice? Because when we go into who 'he' is, there seems to be no independent 'entity' separate from the environment, therefore 'he' is just a momentary referance point through which 'choices' are given conceptual significance. It is very well possible that 'his' choice to view life "as he sees fit" is in fact predetermined. It is also very well possible that there is really no entity making any choices, even predetermined ones, but rather life is just unfolding in all of its apparent complexity.



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 04:05 PM
link   

Originally posted by NewAgeMan
I think that man's compulsion to continually redefine himself from nothing and in the space of nothing (unconditioned ground of being) can only lead in one of two directions; either into a persistent indentification and re-identifaction with an increasingly inauthentic self and way of being, or, with an increasingly authentic one or one that is ever more in alignment with the truth self as we really are (true nature). That is to say, once we realize or recognize that who and what we are being, at any given moment, is simply a product of our OWN creation, are we at last set free to be ourselves as we are, playing whatever role.

In this awareness, the anxiety implicit in Sartre's conclusion as to our fundamental predicament (having no nature in a purposeless and meaningless universe, compelled by freedom to "be someone") is immediately resolved satisfactorily, and not without a sigh and a brief chuckle at our own expense.

With/in the prior, already always condition of absolute freedom (prior freedom) in absolute acceptance as we are, we are not lost in a meaningless absurdity, helpless but to compulsively and forever try to re-identify our self, something which by its very nature is inauthentic to begin with!!

The only question that arises now, if we are to make an honest inquiry is - if we are not nothing, and life purposeful instead of meaningless, then just who and what ARE we as this one who has a changeable, "add-to-able" self - who and what is THAT person?

This is a similar state of uncertainty or unknowing, but with the arrow pointing inwards like a finger to the sacred heart (and with a big smile too!).

We don't and can't know who we are, but knowing this, and getting present to it, without fear or reservation, brings its own kind of knowledge, as the knowledge of experience. It is the knowledge of the humor of self-awareness laughing at the notion that we once presumed to know with absolute certainty, just who and what we were and what compelled us (as if to no end.).

So it (the occurance of life) is not absurd and meaningless - we were!



Now then we are free to re-indentify, in whatever way we wish, no longer compelled by "freedom" which is no freedom at all, but in fact set free for its own sake (value, substance, essence, nature) and that's real freedom, and in that kind of freedom, only, resides the possibility of real life (to the full), along with the capacity to really love, both ourselves, and others (as self) - AUTHENTICALLY, or genuinely (wholeheartedly).


I am, therefore I feel.

"Oh what is man that thou art mindful of him?"


Wow, this is really great. Especially this:


That is to say, once we realize or recognize that who and what we are being, at any given moment, is simply a product of our OWN creation, are we at last set free to be ourselves as we are, playing whatever role.


I'm going to have to re-read this post a few more times over the weekend. Still though, the question remains....

Is "our OWN creation" still not also predetermined by the environment though? Where is the Free-Will in that? It seems, ironically, there is no freedom in Free-will, rather only in predetermination where there is no 'role player', no entity we call "I" or "self" which somehow has enough separation from the environment to independently influence it, and yet still remain connected to it. That doesn't make sense. So either we are influenced by 'it', thus we are 'it', or we influence 'it', thus we are separate from 'it'. Surely the latter cannot be true, unless of course we claim that all of external reality is an illusion.



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 04:10 PM
link   

Originally posted by circlemaker

Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
It means that, first of all, man exists... and, only afterwards, defines himself.


Similar to my thinking. First there's existence, then there's the question of where it came from.

I came to the conclusion while thinking about the relationship between time and energy. We can't even ask the question of "where did energy come from?" until there's time (division). It's a bit of a trick question since energy existed before the question could even be asked.

Replace energy with "god", "timelessness", "infinity", "zero", or "self-awareness" and the same concept applies. It may be better to phrase timeless energy as "potential energy" though (just playing semantics with myself before someone else does, heh).


Very good observations. Time always entails a division, and thought always entails time (because it is of the past). Therefore thought cannot grasp a hold of timelessness because it is time, just as the finite cannot grasp the infinite. Anyways, back to the topic.

Peace.



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 04:28 PM
link   

Originally posted by NewAgeMan
What Sartre is suggesting is that man, in his freedom, standing in the domain of absolute uncertainty (indeterminism), cannot realize or experience his own true nature as he is, and is thus compelled to continually re-identify himself with a projection of some kind or a mental model of who he takes himself to be, and then at some point recognizing that this is not and cannot be his true nature, once again, again and again he then creates and indentifies himself with self after self ad infinitum in pursuit of his true self and thus his true nature which cannot ever be known as it is.

If Sartre is serious about this, and don't get me wrong, I'm impressed with his line of inquiry because the sate of absolute uncertainty is a very high state of awareness, when one is not wholly identified with a manufactured and therefore unauthentic or unreal self, if he himself ie: his true nature and authentic, non-particularized self, is unaware of the deep humor or gnosis that this fundamental predicament automatically and inevitably evokes from the point of view of the true self or the true nature of the "known unknower" - then I simply cannot take him seriously mysefl, no matter how impressive or compelling are his assertions that I am nothing in a meaningless and purposeless universe.


No the domain of absolute freedom is itself our true nature as created beings made in the "image" or likeness (sameness) of God as a first/last cause (unconditioned ground of being) and as the very foundation of freedom we alaady find ourselves standing in! That is our true nature (nothing of everything), it's who and what we really are.

And it's FUNNY, because relative to that, everything else that is NOT real or inauthentic (identification with the created self) is by its very nature, absurd and ridiculous by comparison (not only meaningless but without substance or value) - and so there stands man, in his true nature, with his humor restored at last.

It cannot be achieved by pure "reasoning" alone, however, because it is the knowledge of experience this state of humor of the known unknower who knows.

It's hilarious, ridiculous, and absurd, but we're not, really, and neither is life itself, the true life as it is with we ourselves included deeply and instinsically ie: in at-one-ment of self acceptance, or at peace, resting in the all-in-all, without the need or compulsion to seek any other or new self other than that which we already are, as our true nature, what I would call child-of-God state (as created being IN creation, begotten of), because it involves an evolutionary principal of reintegration and wholeness, with integrity or a type of homecoming in self-discovery.

edit on 28-4-2012 by NewAgeMan because: (no reason given)


Your first paragraph is amazingly clear and spot-on. Then you lose me though. You say Sartre says, we continually construct an "unauthentic self" while in search of an "authentic self" and yet this "authentic self" can never be known. I agree. This is very much a Buddhist perspective. The Buddha said, there is no self to be known, all is impermanent and in constant flux, therefore any self we identify with is of our own creation and it is intrinsically false.

My whole point for this thread is that, that creation of "self", in my mind, cannot be Free-Will, as Sartre explains it, but rather a predetermined 'delusion'. Environmental pressures have caused that "creation of self", and at the same time, environmental pressures cause one to realize this "creation of self" is intrinsically false. Therefore the entire process is predetermined, and there is no need to postulate into the equation an independent entity with Free-Will. Again, maybe I'm wrong, which is why I wrote this to see what others come up with.

Peace.



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 06:32 PM
link   
reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


You assuming there's more than one "thing" "going on" or happening in some sort of mechanical interaction, but there's just one occurance of life as it is. Neither we nor it are a "thing", and neighter can the self be particularized or made separate from the environment. We are therefore a process, intrinsic to the whole process that is the occurance of life, first lost (Sartre) then found again within the framework of a monistic idealism, wherein consciousness, not matter is primary. Then we may discover that we are consciousness made by consciousness for consciousness to BE conscious, and that that is our nature, to EXPERIENCE life as it is, but this determinism is still entirely open and free, however intentioned or purposeful it may be, who's only condition is the unconditional. We are predestined for freedom, so that we might get to enjoy having at the very least the illusion of free-will - the problem isn't with the space of freedom as a domain of creativity, it's with every choice and value judgement we make. Prior to choice we are free, but once we start choosing and differentiating our reality and everything, then we lose our freedom and become immediately imprisoned in the subjective isolution chamber of all our attachments, but prior to the choice, we were free, absolutely free.

Non-judgement and acceptance then is the key to our liberation. When we want what is to be something other than what is, we then slip into the bondage of attachment (to an outcome) and the hard delusion of stupidity (as if we can stand in judgement of all that is and say that it should not be so!).

So that's why I talk about a prior freedom, as the foundation on which we stand or the domain within which we are absolutely free to choose, which is non-particularized, and therefore non-local, holographic or universal, then when we choose how to interpret something, we start erecting our own subjective isolation chamber, setting ourselves apart from reality and the real life as it is, and from ourselves as we really are, naturally or authentically.

We must STOP trying to "be someone", and then we come to know who we are, but with a smile, that we were already that one all along to begin with ie: why try to be someone or something we're not, to make what is, something other than what it is, lamenting "it should not be!"



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 07:40 PM
link   
reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


Listen, I understand what you're saying. Trust me. I share a lot of those thoughts too. Yet I am not asking what your philosophy on life is. Sure, be happy, don't latch on to concepts of self, see life for what it is not what you want it to be, yada yada yada...

I want someone to explain how Sartre's philosophy of Free-Will, can't be explained away by Determinism, which he stands in opposition to. We create our "image of self", great, but couldn't it be said that not only is our very desire to create an "image of self" due to environmental pressures, but also, isn't the entire process of "creation" influenced by environmental pressures? If so, then this is an argument for Determinism, which is the whole point for the OP. I think some people, including previously yourself, have tried to touch on this. Although I am not sure anyone has stayed on topic long enough to do so.

Anyways, Peace



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 10:42 PM
link   
reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


yes the environment determined that man would arise in his form and function... you could say god made man in his own image.....

so we simply have the macro natural cosmos, and then earth with animal and man.......... every single creative thing man has done, concepts which originated in mans mind and executed by mans mind,,, these things were allowed to be done because of the environment, and the laws of physics, but man has created so many "original" creations for man and his life.... there was no determination for the artworks and cathedrals of the world to be built, the creators could have easily died as children,, there certainly are probabilities and possibilities,, all ideas are borrowed from earlier stimuli,, the idea for the wheel can be found in nature, a fallen tree with its circular trunk rolling down a hill.... dig out the trunk for a floating canoe,,, primitive man may not have understood the qountom molecular physics of water tension and displacement, and bouyency,, and im sure birds dont know trigonometry,,, and even though cats use the laws of physics to their advantage for catching prey and jumping high they probably dont intellectually processs the mathamatical formulas they utilize for their existence..... in our modern age we are attempting to lift the veil of confusion and mystery,, every speck that can be seen shall be seen under a microscope, because we want to know the complex formulas of the laws of physics, we want to be in on higher levels of knowledge, understanding, and implementation.



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 11:43 AM
link   
reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


Sorry I meant to reply last night but found myself asleep and contemplating how I would take those papers


Hmm I think I get an even clearer idea as to what your getting at while on the one hand it does more than likely appear predetermined in these instances but I would have to say that the process of thought is what makes him the independent individual in the scenario. Where it to be similar to something like a video game where you have a choice and ultimately all choices will lead to an end point that to me would signify predetermination but in the case of this reality scenario I would say that it is still free will in that the choice they make whether influenced or not still gives the choice.

In the statement on life and as the agent sees it I simply have to break it down in time frame that of Sartre's era and then that of our own. For the most part parents heavily influence their children as to what they want them to do but at the same time leave it open for them. Such as you can be anything you want to be but you can't do this, that or the other thing. So I certainly don't want to seem like I'm picking and choosing which of the statement you have made and have them apply to what I am iterating but in the case of free choice it would still seem apparent primarily because of the thought process. While still being influenced I guess I still just see it as a benefactor to which free will can manifest itself.



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 12:30 PM
link   
reply to post by SolidFaith
 


You've done a great job in this thread of being sincere and true to the topic. I thank you for that. I am admittedly a complete novice in western philosophy, so your background is greatly appreciated.

I have a question for you. In your opinion, does a predetermined choice constitute free-will? Because that seems to be what you are saying. It seems that whatever choice we make is going to be due to our conditioning, which insinuates predetermination. (I will go left instead of right because I see a McDonalds and I am hungry, but that insinuates predetermination, which I am opposed to, so now I choose to go right, just for the heck of it. Yet that choice was still influenced by my conditioning, primarily my conditioning of attributing the quality of "good" to rebelling against predetermination. Yet this too is predetermination. In other words, I have "chose" to travel in the opposite direction from what my initial conditioning has pointed me towards, and yet this choice was also made due to previous conditioning. If I had never heard of "free-will" or "free-thought" or "determinism", would I have ever chosen to travel in the opposite direction?)

So, if this is true, which I don't see how it is not, the next obvious question is, how do we reconcile concepts like morality and justice? Maybe that is better left for a different thread though.


Peace friend.



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 01:36 PM
link   
reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


You're welcome and thank you for giving me a chance to think on something haven't felt that I have been connected to the topic but hearing you say that makes me think that maybe I am
.

Absolutely that's at least how I've come to associate free will which is certainly different than what other philosophers or even people will say. To answer the final question before delving into the meat of the paragraph I would say that yes there is still a possibility of having free choice but granted it would be one that is hard to prove (at least for me). Given that the person doesn't know Free-will, determination or the like what exactly what exactly would they be? Humanity is commonly associated with free-will and determination since it boils down to a rational/cognitive choice as to what we choose to do given our options, So in that instance if I could hazard a guess I would say that it would essentially boil down to what the body is feeling at the time. If you're hungry you are more than likely going to go towards McDonalds if not then more than likely you aren't so basically just boils down to bodily or physical demands at the time and not so much the mental faculties playing a role. At least that's what it appears to me.

Now jumping back to the paragraph itself I would have to say that all of which is free will wrapped up in that of determination. Though with that of morality and justice one could argue two-fold. One of which is that we make our own and is influenced by those around us similar to how free-will is apparent but can be wrapped up in the stimuli around us. While on the second we can simply say such a thing does not exist but we try to make it exist with what we are given. Honestly on the terms of morality and justice I am still looking into and wondering on that myself those two instances I have discussed with my teachers and have yet to reach a conclusion but have hit the ball back and forth
.



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 01:55 PM
link   
reply to post by SolidFaith
 


Yeah, I don't know. I'm still leaning towards all this being predetermined, and just appearing to have an element of free-will. It seems free-will is a perceived conscious choice by a perceived entity which is separate from its action. Obviously there is no division between the actor and the action, though. So it seems freedom is found, strangely enough, within predetermination. This is so because free-will implies a division between actor and action. And as eastern philosophies point out, this apparent separation, which is really just an illusion, is the cause of all suffering and bondage. And yet, it is this apparent separation that allows life to evolve into further complexity. (Complexity obviously meaning division).

I won't touch the morality or justice aspects of this right now. That is a whole other can of worms which should have never even been mentioned.


Peace



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 02:51 PM
link   
reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


That is certainly find and understandable as well I have heard that argument about it being an illusion and adopted to it as well when I was learning about Buddhism. Everything I repeat now is some of the things I have learned though I haven't full come to terms with what I think of Free will just yet but hoping to at least get my own standing on the issue this summer or sometime in my lifetime hopefully
. Though what I would guess in say the Eastern in comparison to the Western could be bound up in the way our lives our run just as well. How we seem to have these choices in our lives but they are bundled up with problems or are not what they appear to be. Take college for instance it gives us good education and the choice as to what we want to do. Most people say they find themselves in college but at the same time in college is where the massive amounts of debt seems to happen. If someone where to take their time in college to find themselves they will soon find that in this journey of self-fulfillment in which they had free roam they are not stuck with debt. In think in that example it can show how our idea choice in a way can be illusion but at the same time it seems fuzzy at least to me.

I will say just for the sake of laughter do we want more complications added to our lives when we are still dealing with ones such as this from times of past?
. Also yeah Morality and judgement will leave that for another thread as well haha.



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 06:10 PM
link   
Most of the existential thinkers ended up killing themselves. At least some of them did. Sartre did. That kind of proves he was wrong, no?



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 07:09 PM
link   
reply to post by Hillarie
 


Name them. Sartre died in 15 April 1980 in Paris from edema of the lung. Not sure what your point is even if that were true, which it is not.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 12:55 AM
link   

Originally posted by Hillarie
Most of the existential thinkers ended up killing themselves. At least some of them did. Sartre did. That kind of proves he was wrong, no?


Even if that were true, how does that prove him wrong?





top topics
 
5
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join