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Personal Identity II - October 12.docx

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Gary Foster

th October 12 , 2012 PP111 – Personal Identity II Jean-Paul Sartre  Phenomenology – phenomena  First person consciousness  Concerned with notions of human beings  The “being” of things is different than the “beings” of humans Two Modes of Being  Being-for-itself – this notion characterizes the way that human consciousness exists in the world; consciousness exists „for-itself‟, expresses itself as freedom, but as something incomplete (seeking completion)  Sartre was the developer of existentialism – individual freedom  Being-in-itself – this concept characterizes the nature of objects or non-conscious existence; object, unlike subjects, are complete in themselves  Subjects lack the completion or definitiveness that objects have  Transcendence – consciousness „transcends‟ empirical reality (through thought); it does not limit itself strictly to the empirical but can move beyond simple empirical experience through abstraction or through reflection  Through thought, humans are less limited by factual circumstances  Facticity – this term is contrasted with transcendence and characterize our empirical, bodily reality as well as our social circumstances; our facticity limits us in some ways, but not absolutely  “Existence precedes Essence” o “We are condemned to be free” o In condition of human kind that we are forced to make decisions – can only make decisions through the choices we make and the path that we take  Anguish (anxiety or angst) experienced in relation to “nothing” – my freedom, my “self” o Responsibility lies on us to become something, responsible for our own anguish  Fear experienced in relation to some definite object (flying, birds, clowns, etc.)  Contrasting fear (external) with anguish (internal)  No guarantee that we will make the “right” choices  In anguish i experience my transcendence or consciousness  In fear I experience myself as an object, a body vulnerable to harm (my facticity)  Fundamental project – my project of becoming a self (finding our essence)  This project rests on an original choice  The attempt to become a self is the attempt to become God (an in-itself-for-itself)  Develop our character, experiences, insights – moves us along but we can never become our “self”; we can never be complete; always changing, striving, growing th October 12 , 2012  Chasing after this goal and attempting to complete our project is what gives meaning to our existence  God is a contradictory idea – how can a being be both free and complete? o Subject and object; free and complete o Self -> object-like  Like the donkey will never reach the carrot, humans can never become object-like  Becoming something rather than being something  “Complete” – a chair is a chair, complete as it will ever be, can‟t change  Strive towards overcoming anxiety; anxiety caused because we have endless choices; endless choices because we are subjects and not objects; strive to be object-like Bad Faith  Bad Faith – consists in trying to turn our freedom into a “thing”  The “self” becomes an object (a li
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