Jean-Paul Sartre

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Biography Of Jean-Paul Sartre

Feelosofi –  Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the most controversial and influential philosophers of the 20th century. Born on June 21, 1905 in Paris, France, he grew up in an aspiring and educated family. Sartre spent most of his childhood in his grandparents’ house, which gave him a deep understanding of religion and education. However, after the death of his father when he was still a teenager, Sartre felt called to pursue thinking and writing.

Sartre’s education was impressive. He studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he met Simone de Beauvoir, who would become his lifelong partner. Together with Beauvoir, he became one of the central figures in the intellectual and philosophical movement of existentialism . His main work, ” Being and Nothingness ” (1943), became the foundation of existentialist thought .

Sartre is also famous for his role in World War II. Although he was initially declared unfit for military service due to health problems, he managed to enlist in a French Army Regiment during the German occupation. His experience as a prisoner of war for several months influenced his thinking about individual freedom and autonomy.

After the war, Sartre became one of the most influential voices in French political debate. He was active in supporting civil rights and spoke at many student and labor union demonstrations. His work not only influenced the world of philosophy , but also became the basis for social and political thought throughout the world.

However, Sartre was not without controversy. He took a pro-communist stance, which sparked sharp criticism from some quarters. In addition, his complicated personal life, including his open relationship with Simone de Beauvoir and his addiction to alcohol, made Sartre a figure constantly in the media spotlight.

Jean-Paul Sartre died on April 15, 1980, but the legacy of his thought and work lives on. He is one of the leading philosophers in history, who made existentialism and its ideas about freedom, responsibility and uncertainty an important element in the world of modern philosophy. Although controversial, his legacy continues to inspire and stimulate critical thinking today.

Jean-Paul Sartre’s Thoughts


Existentialism is a school of philosophical thought that places the existence of individual humans as the main focus. This school emerged in the 19th century and reached its peak in the 20th century, with Jean-Paul Sartre being one of its central figures. Existentialism has several distinctive characteristics that can be expanded:

  • Absolute Freedom : One of the main elements of existentialism is the emphasis on individual freedom. Existentialists argue that humans are born free and have absolute freedom to make their choices and actions. This means that we are creators of meaning in our own lives through the choices we make.
  • Responsibility : With freedom comes responsibility. Existentialism emphasizes that we must face the consequences of our actions and that we are responsible for our choices. There is no external authority or moral rules governing us, so we must determine for ourselves what is right and wrong.
  • Uncertainty and Meaninglessness : Existentialism faces the reality of uncertainty and meaninglessness in human life. According to existentialists , the world itself has no inherent meaning, and we must create meaning ourselves. Our freedom and responsibility in the face of this uncertainty creates a sense of anxiety and confusion that is often called “nausea”.
  • Individualism : Existentialism emphasizes the existence of individuals as unique entities. Every individual has an existence that cannot be reduced to natural laws or social forces. Therefore, existentialism rejects views that ignore individual uniqueness.
  • Respect for Subjectivity : Existentialism encourages respect for the personal views and experiences of individuals. Subjectivity is considered important in understanding meaning and value.
  • Feelings of Loss : Existentialism is often identified with feelings of loss or emptiness in human life. This view reflects the understanding that humans are stranded in a world without clear guidance or meaning.
  • Rejection of Religion : Many existentialists reject religion or views that rely on religious moral guidance. They are more likely to develop an ethic that stems from individual freedom.
  • Search for Meaning : Existentialist thinking includes humans’ efforts to search for meaning in their own lives. This often involves self-examination, reflection, and a deeper understanding of who we are and what is important in life.


In the context of existentialism , freedom is considered one of the central concepts that distinguishes the existentialist view of the world and life. Philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre considered humans to have absolute freedom, meaning they were not bound by fate or external moral rules. This freedom means that humans have the ability to make their own choices and actions. However, with that freedom also comes responsibility. Existentialists argue that we are responsible for our actions and choices, and this creates feelings of anxiety and confusion. Humans often have difficulty dealing with the consequences of their actions, and freedom can be a heavy burden. Furthermore, freedom creates a feeling of uncertainty in human life. In a world that has no inherent meaning, humans must create meaning themselves through their actions and decisions. Freedom is a call to reflect on and take full responsibility for our lives, seeking meaning in a life that may be full of uncertainty and meaninglessness. In many existentialist works , such as ” Being and Nothingness “, the concept of freedom is emphasized as the core of human existence and invites us to understand its important role in forming meaning in life.


Consciousness, in the context of existentialism , is a concept that plays an important role in humans’ understanding of themselves and the world around them. Jean-Paul Sartre, a famous existentialist , developed the idea of ​​complex consciousness.

Consciousness, according to Sartre, is “self-awareness,” meaning that humans are always aware of themselves while they are aware of the world around them. This creates the understanding that we are always present in reality and that we view the world through our own subjective lens. This self-awareness gives us the ability to reflect on ourselves, question the meaning of life, and make decisions about our actions. However, Sartre also highlights the paradoxical aspects of consciousness. He notes that while we are always aware of ourselves, we also tend to see ourselves from the perspective of others, especially in social interactions. This created the concept of “ the Other ” in his thinking, which describes how other people’s views of us influence how we see ourselves. Consciousness in existentialism also connects itself to a unique individual existence, where each person has a unique experience and understanding of themselves and the world. In a world without inherent meaning, consciousness is the primary tool that allows humans to seek meaning and value in their own lives.

In conclusion, consciousness in existentialism is not only about understanding oneself, but also about how we interact with the world and other people. It is a tool for contemplating existence and searching for meaning in life, which is an important theme in existentialism .


Meaninglessness is a deep and often complex concept in existentialist thought . Within the framework of existentialism , meaninglessness refers to the idea that the world itself has no inherent meaning or clear purpose. This means that there are no naturally existing moral compass or values, and humans must create meaning and value in their own lives.

Jean-Paul Sartre, a leading existentialist , often emphasized this meaninglessness in his work. He argued that the world is “absurd” in the sense that there is no universal purpose or design that governs human life. In this situation, people often feel stranded and confused. They search for meaning in their lives, but realize that meaning does not inherently exist. This creates a feeling of “nausea” or deep confusion about the nature of human existence.

Meaninglessness is also closely related to freedom in existentialism . Freedom means that humans have the power to make their own choices, but also have to face uncertainty and meaninglessness. In other words, freedom comes with the burden of responsibility to create meaning in their lives.

In the face of meaninglessness, existentialists often reflect on two approaches. First, they emphasize the importance of seeking meaning through individual actions and choices. This means that we must live our lives with integrity, honesty, and responsibility, creating meaning through our actions. Second, existentialists recognize that the search for meaning may not always be successful, and that we must learn to accept meaninglessness as part of the human condition. In other words, we must learn to live with feelings of confusion and stranding, without avoiding the fact that the world is absurd.

Meaninglessness in existentialism is a concept that highlights the uncertainty, meaninglessness, and absence of inherent moral guidance in human life. This creates an existential challenge for individuals to seek and create meaning in their own lives, even in a world that lacks inherent meaning.

Politics And Anti-Colonialism

In a deeper understanding, Jean-Paul Sartre’s relationship with politics and anti-colonialism reflects the important role he played as an intellectual actively involved in contemporary social and political issues. Sartre is an example of a public intellectual who used his influence in thought and writing to support the anti-colonialism movement and the struggle for national independence in various countries that were still colonized.

  • International Solidarity : Sartre saw himself as a citizen of the world and emphasized that the anti-colonial struggle in one place was the struggle of everyone. He understands that injustice in colonized countries is a humanitarian problem that must be faced together. This approach reflects the idea of ​​universal solidarity in its politics, which states that we have a moral responsibility for the struggle for national independence in countries that are still colonized.
  • Political Engagement : Sartre pushed the concept of “engagement” or political involvement as an integral part of individual freedom. For him, indifference to social and political issues is a form of betrayal of moral and human values. He was active in condemning the practice of colonialism, both in his writings and in his speeches, and encouraged people to get involved in the struggle for independence.
  • Active Support : Sartre not only expressed his support verbally, but also financially. He provided financial assistance to anti-colonialism movements and independence struggles. Its support includes assistance to fighters and organizations fighting for national liberation.
  • Criticism of the Bourgeoisie and Imperialism : Sartre firmly criticizes the bourgeoisie and imperialistic countries that support the practice of colonialism. He stated that the bourgeoisie often maintains the structures of injustice and exploitation that exist in the colonial system. His critique of imperialism underscores the complex relationship between politics, economics, and colonialism.
  • Role as an Activist : Sartre was not only a theoretical intellectual, but also a political activist who was involved in campaigns, protests, and political actions supporting the anti-colonialism movement. He took concrete steps to voice the struggle for national independence and emphasized the importance of political action in social change.

In this context, Sartre’s connection with politics and anti-colonialism illustrates the important role of intellectuals in the struggle for human rights, justice and national independence. He uses his philosophical thinking to support and encourage political action that fights for positive social change and an end to colonial rule. This reflects the strong role it plays in international solidarity and support for national freedom struggles around the world.

Imagination, Phenomenology & Literature

Imagination, phenomenology , and literature are three interrelated elements in Jean-Paul Sartre’s thought. Let’s talk more about how these three elements are related in Sartre’s thought:

  • Imagination in Sartre’s Existentialism : Sartre considered imagination to be an important component of human experience. He argued that humans have the ability to imagine and create worlds in their own minds. In the context of existentialism , imagination allows humans to go beyond empirical reality and explore other possibilities. Imagination is a tool that allows individuals to understand themselves, see potential, and reflect on various scenarios and choices in life.
  • Phenomenology in Sartre’s Thought : Sartre was a phenomenological philosopher , which means he emphasized the importance of understanding phenomena or conscious experiences in his thinking. In literature, this means that Sartre attempted to detail the subjective experiences of the characters in his works. It depicts characters’ thoughts, feelings, and actions in the context of situations that influence their understanding and interactions. With this phenomenological approach, Sartre creates profound and realistic literary works, which provide rich insight into the characters’ thoughts and feelings.
  • Literature as a Means of Expression and Reflection : In his work as a writer and playwright, Sartre used literature as a means of expression and reflection. He utilizes fictional stories and dialogue in his work to investigate existentialist concepts, such as freedom, responsibility, and meaninglessness. His literary works, such as “Being and Nothingness,” and plays such as “No Exit,” create a stage in which his characters face complex ethical and existential dilemmas, reflecting human struggle in a world that lacks inherent meaning.

Thus, imagination, phenomenology, and literature in Sartre’s thought are closely intertwined. Imagination is a tool that allows individuals to explore and explore meaning in life, while phenomenology is an approach used to understand human experience in literature. Sartre used his works to reflect on existential issues and provide deep insight into the human condition through powerful and realistic literature. In this case, imagination, phenomenology, and literature become complementary tools in the exploration of Sartre’s thoughts about humans and their world.


Intersubjectivity is an important concept in Jean-Paul Sartre’s thought, referring to the relationship between individuals in a social context. In Sartre’s existentialism , this concept refers to the way individuals relate to each other, interact, and form a shared understanding of the world and themselves.

In Sartre’s thought, humans are defined by their freedom, but are also trapped in social situations that influence how individuals view themselves. Intersubjectivity reflects the understanding that we are always in relationship with other people and that their views of us can influence our identity and self-perception. In this context, individuals view and measure each other, create social norms, and influence each other’s experiences.

For example, when someone feels ashamed or guilty, these feelings can arise because they realize that they are being observed or judged by others. In social situations, a person may try to understand how others see him and try to conform to expectations or norms that exist in society.

However, Sartre also emphasized that although there are social influences on how individuals view themselves, they still have the freedom to choose how they will act. Freedom is essential in Sartre’s existentialism , and individuals have the responsibility to determine their own actions, regardless of social influence.

Thus, the concept of intersubjectivity in Sartre’s thought highlights the complexity of social relationships and how individuals’ views of themselves can be influenced by others. However, at the same time, he emphasized the importance of individual freedom in choosing their own actions and determining the course of their lives, even in the context of complex social relationships. This is one

The Work Of Jean-Paul Sartre

  • “ L’Être et le Néant ” (1943)
  • “ Huis Clos ” (1944)
  • “ La Nausée ” (1938)
  • “ L’existentialisme est un humanisme ” (1946)
  • “ Les Mouches ” (1943)
  • “ Les Mots ” (1964)


Jean-Paul Sartre was a famous philosopher, writer, and playwright who was instrumental in the development of existentialism , a school of thought that emphasized individual freedom, responsibility, and the meaninglessness of life. In Sartre’s thinking, existence precedes essence, meaning that humans exist first before they determine the meaning and value of their lives. His thinking also includes the concept of “artism” and the drive to seek meaning in a life that appears to be without inherent purpose.

Sartre was active in supporting anti-colonialism and human rights movements, using his influence as an intellectual to protest colonial oppression and advocate for the right to national independence. He emphasized the idea of ​​international solidarity and individual political involvement as a form of responsibility for freedom and justice.

Sartre’s works, including philosophical essays, novels, and plays, reflect existentialist principles and a deep understanding of the human condition. He played an important role in bringing existentialist thought to literature and the stage, creating works depicting moral conflict, individual freedom, and the meaninglessness of life.

Overall, Sartre was a figure who influenced 20th century philosophical, political, and literary thought, and his work made a major contribution to understanding humans’ relationship to the world, freedom, responsibility, and the search for meaning in life.


Who Is Jean-Paul Sartre?

Jean-Paul Sartre was a famous French philosopher who lived in the 20th century. He is known for his work in the fields of existentialism and phenomenologySartre was also a famous writer and playwright.

What Is Existentialism, And How Is This Concept Related To Sartre’s Thought?

Existentialism is a philosophical school that emphasizes the importance of individual freedom, choice, and responsibility in life. Sartre played a key role in the development of existentialism with his famous works, such as “Being and Nothingness” (L’Être et le Néant), in which he described this concept.

What Is Meant By “Absolute Freedom” In Sartre’s Thought?

Sartre argued that individuals have absolute freedom, meaning that we are free to make choices and determine meaning in our lives without guidance or determination from a divine entity. This is the essence of Sartre’s existentialism .

What Is Meant By “Unconsciousness” (Bad Faith) In Sartre’s Thinking?

“Unconsciousness” is a concept in Sartre’s thought that refers to individuals who ignore their freedom and follow existing social norms or roles. This causes them to live in pretense and not realize their potential for freedom.

What Impact Did Sartre’s Work Have On Literature And Popular Culture?

Sartre’s work, both in the form of philosophical writing and drama, has had a great influence on literature and popular culture. Plays like “No Exit” (Huis Clos) and novels like “Nausea” (La Nausée) continue to be appreciated in literature, and Sartre’s existentialist thinking influenced many intellectuals and artists around the world.


  • “ The Cambridge Companion to Sartre ” – Edited by Christina Howells (1992)
  • “ Sartre: A Life ” – Annie Cohen-Solal (1987)
  • “ Sartre ” – Terrence Des Pres (1979)
  • “ Sartre: A Philosophical Introduction ” – William L. McBride (1997)

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