Existentialism Is a Humanism


Jean-Paul Sartre

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Existentialism Is a Humanism can help.
One of the groups whose disapproval of existentialism Sartre was trying to address. These Christian critics worry that existentialism is a pessimistic doctrine that excludes the possibility of condemning people for evil. Sartre responds that existentialism is actually optimistic and allows people to condemn others for living in bad faith, which fulfills the same purpose as moral condemnation (although is more honest in its foundation).

The Christian Critics Quotes in Existentialism Is a Humanism

The Existentialism Is a Humanism quotes below are all either spoken by The Christian Critics or refer to The Christian Critics. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Existence, Essence and the Human Condition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Yale University Press edition of Existentialism Is a Humanism published in 2007.
Existentialism Is a Humanism Quotes

It makes me wonder if what they are really annoyed about is not its pessimism, but rather its optimism. For when all is said and done, could it be that what frightens them about the doctrine that I shall try to present to you here is that it offers man the possibility of individual choice?

Page Number: 19-20
Explanation and Analysis:

When God creates he knows exactly what he is creating. The concept of man, in the mind of God, is comparable to the concept of the paper knife in the mind of the manufacturer: God produces man following certain techniques and a conception, just as the craftsman, following a definition and a technique, produces a paper knife. Thus each individual man is the realization of a certain concept within this divine intelligence.

Related Characters: Jean-Paul Sartre (speaker), The Christian Critics, God
Related Symbols: Paper Knife
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Existentialism Is a Humanism LitChart as a printable PDF.
Existentialism Is a Humanism PDF

The Christian Critics Character Timeline in Existentialism Is a Humanism

The timeline below shows where the character The Christian Critics appears in Existentialism Is a Humanism. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Existentialism Is a Humanism
Radical Freedom, Choice, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Existentialism and Its Critics Theme Icon
...have been brought against it.” He names four charges: two from Communists and two from Christians. The Communist accusations are that, first, existentialism is an action-averse, merely contemplative philosophy, and secondly,... (full context)