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Asses Sartre's COntribution Toward the philosophy of freedom

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Asses Jean-Paul Sartre's Contribution towards the Philosophy of Freedom Freedom as a concept is a large branch of philosophy which looks at issues such as restrictions from government in a political sense as well as a more metaphysical definition involving restrictions on our own actions due to the way in which we choose to act; it is the latter of these two issues which concerns existentialists such as Jean-Paul Sartre. In order to asses Jean-Paul Sartre's contribution toward the philosophy of freedom it is first necessary to look at other philosophers and their influence on this topic. One of the first to comment on the philosophy of freedom, in fact one of the first philosophers in the world, was Aristotle. Aristotle, the most successful product of Plato's academy, devised a four part argument of causality arguing why things come into existence; * Material Cause - The material out of which something is composed for example the material cause for a table is wood * Formal Cause - The idea existing in the first place before an object exists; the formal cause is similar to the idea of forms expressed by Plato. An example is that the formal cause of a table is the idea in the carpenters mind. ...read more.


If a person does believe they have a final cause to their lives leading them through choices they may use this belief to shift guilt or regret from themselves onto their beliefs and use the idea of a final cause to shield themselves from wrong decisions that they have made blaming it on their final cause for guiding them through their choices rather than themselves for making those decisions. The idea of a final cause may cause conflict between religious believers and scientists as to the kind of final cause we posses, a religious believer may argue that we as humans we each have a different telos, this may be seen in particular in Christianity which teaches that everyone is unique in the eyes of God. A biologist may argue that, like other animals we share a common telos is to survive and procreate in order to sustain our species at the expense of exploiting others. In contrast to Aristotle's theory of final cause, modern day philosophers such as Sartre began a new way of thinking leading to the formation of existentialism which opposes the final cause with the claim that humans exist without a purpose and define themselves through their own choices, not a ready made path throughout life. ...read more.


In Christianity man is born a sinner and must turn to God for forgiveness from sins, therefore the nature of humans before any other influence is to sin, consequently essence precedes existence since man is entirely subject to God's plan or blue-print. Leading on from religion the idea that somewhere woven into the fabric of the universe morals exist defining what is right and what is wrong can also be rejected by an existentialist who would argue that it is people themselves who must chose what is right and wrong for themselves and what is right to one person may not be to another. Although this idea does increase individuality many sceptics would argue that human nature, of some kind, does determine our views on what is right and what is wrong, even if this nature is based on primeval notions on what best suits the human species. Supposing existentialism were to be true, with the freedom we gain from defining ourselves we are also left with a great responsibility for our actions. This responsibility may be seen as a negative and many may prefer the loss of freedom to shield themselves from the consequences of their own actions and use excuses for their choices such as "I couldn't help myself" passing the blame from themselves to their nature; a concept rejected by existentialism. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jordan Beasley ...read more.

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