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The Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School

The Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School

What comes first...?

Last Thursday, the group explored the idea that if God exists, then man’s essence comes before his existence and that if God does not exist, man’s existence comes before his essence.

 Last Thursday, the group explored the idea that if God exists, then man’s essence comes before his existence and that if God does not exist, man’s existence comes before his essence. We looked at the analogy used by Sartre of the paperknife as an example of a thing whose essence comes before it exists.  This is due to the idea that the  implement’s essence is formed in the mind of the artisan who constructs the knife, who makes it exist. Man, however, has no such template due to the nature of consciousness, and so creates his own essence. Sartre goes so far as to say that each human action defines the essence of all humanity, making each person responsible for the essence of all of humanity. This week, we will be looking more closely at the concepts of will, choice, good and bad faith in Sartre’s’ Existentialism is a Humanism’.

 

Image by John Bell (England, 1811-1895), Mintons Ltd. (England, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, founded 1793) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons