'Existence Precedes Essence'

The phrase 'existence precedes essence' is often used in order to summarize existential thinking. However, what it means in the context of its originating work Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre is often forgotten. At face value Nausea is a story of a man named Antoine Roquentin, who is writing a history novel in the small town of Bouville. Antoine is primarily solitary, and spends a lot of time reflecting about the many facets of life. Through his diary, or technically through the first person narration in diary format, Antoine constantly explores the 'existence precedes essence' idea. Antione uses both implication and straight-forward language in order to develop the concepts of existence and essence, allowing for a clear image of Sartre's philosophy on a literal level. Implications made by the claim 'existence precedes essence' are conferred in a similar format. Sartre allows for idea's in regards to reasoning, freedom, human nature and the traditional Christian God to be explored throughout this work. He also makes mention as to why people commonly attempt to hide from the manner in which existence precedes essence, behavior which he terms as bad faith. The most prominent points pertaining to...

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