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The Origin of the Moral Sense

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Title: The Origin of the Moral Sense


1
The Origin of the Moral Sense
Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
2
MAN AND MORALITY
  • For Darwin, the most important thing that
    distinguishes man from the lower animals is
    morality.
  • When we are moral we regulate our behavior
    according to moral principles. Other animals do
    not do this.
  • We use moral principles to evaluate certain
    behavior of others and certain of our own
    behavior. Other animals do not do this.
  • Darwin calls the moral sense the most noble
    characteristic of all of the attributes of man.

3
ANIMALS AND MORALITY
  • Darwin thinks that the study of the lower animals
    may better enable us to understand human
    morality.
  • According to Darwin, any animal whatever,
    endowed with well-marked social instincts . . .
    would inevitably acquire a moral sense or
    conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers
    had become as well, or nearly as well developed,
    as in man.

4
ANIMALS AND GROUPS
  • Animals have social instincts that lead them to
    take pleasure in the company of other animals of
    its kind.
  • More particularly, they do not seek the company
    of all other animals of the same species, but
    other animals of the same species with whom they
    associate.
  • They feel a certain amount of sympathy for
    these animals, and perform various services for
    them.

5
ANIMALS AND MEMORY
  • Darwin says that the social instinct in higher
    animals that are sufficiently intelligent to have
    such an instinct would be enduring and always
    present.
  • Darwin says that once an animals mind or brain
    was sufficiently well-developed it would recall
    past actions and motives that pertained to its
    various instincts, including social instincts.
  • Darwin says that a stronger instinct may
    overpower the social instinct, but it would be
    recalled that the social instinct had yielded to
    some other instinct. This in turn could result
    in feelings of dissatisfaction or even misery,
    that would indicate having a conscience.

6
LANGUAGE AND SYMPATHY
  • The acquisition of language by an animal would
    allow the wishes of the community to be
    expressed, and how each member of the social
    group was expected to act for the public good
    could be communicated.
  • Guides to action could then be expressed in
    language.
  • Darwin our regard for the approbation and
    disapprobation of our fellows depends on
    sympathy.
  • For Darwin, sympathy forms an essential part of
    the social instinct, and is indeed its
    foundation-stone.

7
SOCIAL INSTINCT AND HABIT
  • Darwin says that habit would be an important part
    of a species development of morality since the
    social instinct, together with sympathy is, like
    any other instinct, greatly strengthened by
    habit.
  • Habit would condition the species to be obedient
    to the wishes and judgment of the community.

8
DIFFERENT MORALITIES
  • Recall that Darwin thinks that any species of
    sufficient intelligence would develop a moral
    sense.
  • However, he does not maintain that they would
    necessarily acquire the same moral sense as
    ours.
  • They may acquire a sense of right and wrong
    without thereby having our sense of right and
    wrong, or behaving the same way that we think
    that people ought to behave.

9
CHARACTERISTICS OF SOCIAL ANIMALS
  • Darwin says that animals of many kinds are
    social, and that social animals mutually defend
    one another.
  • He says that some animals have some qualities,
    including love and sympathy, that are connected
    with the social instinct that, when they appear
    in us we call moral.
  • He thinks that dogs have something very like a
    conscience.
  • He maintains that social animals must in some
    degree be faithful to one another for both
    attack and defense.
  • And animals that follow a leader must in some
    degree be obedient.

10
SOCIETIES
  • Darwin says that animals are not first social and
    then decide to live together because they are
    social, but they understand that they would
    benefit from living together, and that is why
    they are social.
  • And he thinks that the pleasure that social
    animals get from societies is an extension of
    the parental or filial affections, which come
    from a long childhood, and that is due to natural
    selection.
  • Beings that were very social would escape
    various dangers through the protection that a
    society can provide, and their genes would be
    passed on.

11
MAN IS A SOCIAL BEING I
  • As social beings we dislike solitude and seek the
    company of people beyond our own families.
  • As social, Darwin thinks that we inherit a
    tendency to be faithful to our friends, to be
    obedient to leaders, and to join others in
    defending members of our society.
  • This faithfulness and obedience results in some
    degree of self-command.

12
MAN IS A SOCIAL BEING II
  • Although man as a social animal is guided by
    instincts to aid members of the same community,
    we are also guided in part by love and sympathy,
    as each is assisted by some amount of reason
    and experience.
  • Instinctive sympathy, for Darwin, leads man to
    value the approval of others.
  • And people are influenced by the wishes,
    approbation, and blame of his fellow-men, as
    expressed in their gestures and language.

13
MAN IS A SOCIAL BEING III
  • Some of our better actions are due to our social
    instinct, according to Darwin, but he thinks that
    our actions are in a higher degree determined by
    the expressed wishes and judgment of his
    fellow-men, and unfortunately very often by his
    own strong selfish desires.
  • Darwin thinks though that selfishness can be
    overcome as love, sympathy, and self-command are
    strengthened by habit and assisted by reasoning.
  • When that happens a person might declare I will
    not in my own person violate the dignity of
    humanity.

14
MY CONFESSION
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
15
TOLSTOYS DESPAIR
  • In later life Tolstoy found himself depressed
    with life and did not know how to live or what to
    do.
  • At the same time he realized that the most
    significant thing for him was his own death.
  • And he failed to find meaning in any aspect of
    his life, including his writing and his
    celebrity.

Tolstoys Grave
16
THE VANITY OF LIFE
  • Tolstoy thought that my life is a stupid, mean
    trick played on me by somebody. (Schopenhauer
    said man ought not to have existed.)
  • Tolstoy thought that there was nothing in life
    and never would be.
  • Things that formerly satisfied Tolstoy, such as
    his family and his writing, no longer satisfied
    him or were capable of preventing him from seeing
    that life simply ended in death, and that that
    alone was the truth about life.

17
LIFE IS MEANINGLESS
  • Tolstoy was wealthy and famous, but wealth and
    fame did not satisfy him.
  • They did not make life meaningful.
  • He had lost the belief that life had some sense -
    sense through family and art, for instance - and
    now thought that life was meaningless and
    terrible.

Tolstoys House and Dining Room
18
SCIENCE AND MEANING
  • If Tolstoy could not find any meaning in life
    where he formerly found it - and could not just
    live without thinking about lifes meaning - then
    perhaps he could find the meaning of life in
    science.
  • But he found that science considers the nature of
    the universe, and not the meaning of life.
  • So he found that he could get no answers here
    that he was not willing simply to give himself.

Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
19
PHILOSOPHY AND MEANING
  • Tolstoy also found no help from speculative
    knowledge or philosophy.
  • This is because philosophy only seemed to say
    that human life was an incomprehensible part of a
    larger, perhaps infinite, whole that itself was
    incomprehensible.
  • So philosophy does not answer the question of
    lifes meaning, according to Tolstoy.

The Long Room, Trinity College Library, Dublin
20
IRRATIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND MEANING
  • If reason could not give the meaning of life
    either through science or philosophy, what was
    left?
  • Tolstoy looked to the common man and his lack of
    a rational attitude towards human existence.
  • The average man had faith - what Tolstoy called
    irrational knowledge.

Peasants in a Russian Village
Russian Peasant Girl with Bread
21
MEANING AND CHRISTIANITY
  • Specifically, the average person had faith in
    God, and more specifically in Christianity.
  • Reason seemed to show that life was an evil and
    men knew it. Schopenhauer.
  • From faith it followed that, in order to
    understand life, I must renounce reason.

St. Petersburg, St. Isaacs Cathedral
22
REASON, FAITH, AND MEANING
  • For Tolstoy, only reason seems to demand meaning.
  • But if we look to reason we reach Schopenhauers
    conclusion about the pointlessness of life.
  • The answer to the meaning of life, for Tolstoy,
    lies in faith Christian faith.
  • And it is irrational faith, rather than rational
    knowledge that makes it possible to live.
  • Rational knowledge makes life meaningless.
  • Irrational faith alone makes meaningful living
    possible.

23
FAITH AND MEANING
  • Tolstoy Faith gives to the finite existence of
    man the sense of the infinite - a sense which is
    not destroyed by suffering and death.
  • In faith alone then can we find the meaning and
    possibility of life.
  • For Tolstoy, faith is the power of life.
  • Faith is the knowledge of the meaning of human
    life, in consequence of which man does not
    destroy himself but lives.
  • Without faith one cannot live, and if man
    lives he believes in something.

24
IS FAITH THE SOURCE OF MEANING?
  • Tolstoys thinking that faith alone is the source
    of the meaning of life can be, and would be,
    challenged by many philosophers and other
    thinkers.
  • Many thinkers would insist that a large number of
    people live quite contently without faith in God
    - or anything else - and without believing in
    something beyond life on earth.

25
THE FINITE AND THE INFINITE
  • For Tolstoy, if man understands the limitations
    of the finite it is because he believes in the
    infinite.
  • The simple folk who had faith showed Tolstoy a
    knowledge of the meaning of life and how to live
    that he did not have before.
  • Mans life was given meaning by his relation to
    the infinite - God.
  • And the answer to how a person is supposed to
    live is according to Gods law.

26
PAST AND FUTURE
  • Tolstoy thinks that the result of each persons
    life will not be what he leaves behind, but in
    what is ahead for him in terms of infinite reward
    or punishment.
  • According to him, the meaning of life cannot be
    destroyed by death since there will be infinite
    union with God after death.

27
FAITH AND REASON
  • The faith that gave meaning to the life of
    peasants differed greatly from the reason of
    intellectuals - reason that seemed to make life
    meaningless.
  • To get rid of his despair, Tolstoy decided to
    side with the ignorant bliss that followed from
    the faith of the peasants.

The Long Room, Trinity College Library, Dublin
Peasants in a Russian Village
28
A FREE MANS WORSHIP
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
29
MAN AND NATURE I
  • For Russell, man is a logically accidental
    product of purely natural forces.
  • He thinks that there is no life after death.
  • Indeed, just as each person is destined to die,
    so, he points out is the universe.

The Milky Way Galaxy
30
MAN, NATURE, AND PHILOSOPHY
  • Wisdom, meaning, and maturity, for Russell,
    require that we recognize the truth about
    ourselves and the universe that is suggested by
    science.
  • No philosophy which rejects them these
    scientific truths can hope to stand.
  • Only within the scaffolding of these truths
    about ourselves and the universe, only on the
    firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the
    souls habitation henceforth be safely built.

Milky Way Galaxy Center Sagittarius
31
MAN AND NATURE II
  • Nature omnipotent but blind produced man, who,
    although subject to the power of nature, is
    gifted with sight, with knowledge of good and
    evil and with judgement.

African Savannah
32
MAN AND NATURE III
  • In spite of death . . . man is yet free, during
    his brief years, to examine, to criticize, to
    know, and in imagination to create.
  • To him alone as far as we know this freedom
    belongs and in this lies his superiority to the
    resistless forces that control his outward life.

J. M. W. Turner, Rain, Steam and Speed, 1844
33
PRIMITIVE MAN AND POWER
  • Russell says that primitive man felt impotent
    before the powers of nature. As a result he
    worshipped gods to which power was attributed
    without asking if they deserved to be worshipped.
  • This resulted in a pathetic and very terrible
    history of cruelty and torture, of degradation
    and human sacrifice, that endured in the hope
    of placating the jealous gods.
  • Since the independence of ideals in primitive
    man is not yet acknowledged, power may be freely
    worshipped and receive an unlimited respect,
    despite its wanton inhumane infliction of pain.

34
MORALITY, POWER, AND THE IDEAL I
  • Russell as morality grows bolder, the claim of
    the ideal begins to be felt and worship, if it
    is not to cease, must be given to gods of another
    kind than those created by the savage.
  • For Russell, naked power is not worthy of worship
    whether in the form of primitive man, any
    modern religion that prizes power, or those who
    base their morality upon the struggle for
    survival, maintaining that the survivors are
    necessarily the fittest.

35
MORALITY, POWER, AND THE IDEAL II
  • Russell others, not content with an answer so
    repugnant to the moral sense, namely, basing
    morality on power and the survival of the
    fittest will adopt the position which we have
    become accustomed to regard as specially
    religious, maintaining that, in some hidden
    manner, the world of fact is harmonious with the
    world of ideals.
  • Thus man created God, all-powerful and all-good,
    the mystic unity of what is and what should be.

36
MAN, MORALITY, AND POWER I
  • A problem here, according to Russell, is that
    the world of fact . . . is not good and, in
    submitting our judgement to it, there is an
    element of slavishness from which our thoughts
    must be purged.
  • Russell thinks that in all things it is well to
    exalt the dignity of man, by freeing him as far
    as possible from nonhuman power.
  • This would include the nonhuman power attributed
    to God by theism.

37
MAN, MORALITY, AND POWER II
  • When we have realized that power including
    nonhuman power is largely bad, that man, with
    his knowledge of good and evil, is but a helpless
    atom in a world which has no such knowledge, the
    choice is again presented to us Shall we worship
    force, or shall we worship goodness?
  • Shall our God exist and be evil, or shall he be
    recognized as the creation of our own
    conscience?
  • For Russell, The answer to this question is very
    momentous and affects profoundly our whole
    morality.

38
MAN, MORALITY, AND POWER III
  • For Russell, The worship of force . . .
    Nietzsche is the result of failure to maintain
    our own ideals against a hostile universe.
  • Russell thinks that we should preserve our
    respect for truth, for beauty, for the ideal of
    perfection which life does not permit us to
    attain.
  • And he thinks that we should do this even though
    none of these things meet with the approval of
    the unconscious universe.

39
MAN, MORALITY, AND POWER IV
  • Russell thinks that power is bad, and that human
    freedom lies in rejecting power and cultivating a
    love of the good.
  • For Russell, if we are going to create a God,
    then we should create a good God rather than
    merely a God of power, so that we worship
    goodness rather than power.
  • For Russell, we should respect only the heaven
    which inspires the insight of our best moments.

40
THOUGHT AND REALITY I
  • As physical, embodied beings we are subject to
    the forces of nature and the laws of science.
  • But in thought we are free free from our fellow
    men, free from the petty planet on which our
    bodies impotently crawl, free even, while we
    live, from the tyranny of death.
  • Let us learn, then, that energy of faith which
    enables us to live constantly in the vision of
    the good and let us descend, in action, into the
    world of fact, with that vision always before us.

41
THOUGHT AND REALITY II
  • For Russell, thought is liberating and of great
    importance to humanity.
  • From the freedom of our thoughts springs the
    whole world of art and philosophy, and the vision
    of beauty by which, at last, we half reconquer
    the reluctant world.
  • But the vision of beauty is possible only to
    unfettered contemplation, to thoughts not
    weighted by the load of eager wishes and thus
    freedom comes only to those who no longer ask of
    life that it shall yield them any of those
    personal goods that are subject to the mutations
    of time.

42
WHAT DOES A FREE PERSON WORSHIP? I
  • Worship is extravagant respect or admiration for,
    or devotion to, an object of esteem.
  • For Russell, the free person is the one who
    questions received beliefs, common opinions, and
    investigates and reflects on the nature of
    reality in an honest way, while both recognizing
    that his or her opinions might be wrong, and that
    things may not in fact be the way that he or she
    would like them to be.

43
WHAT DOES A FREE PERSON WORSHIP? II
  • According to Russell, the free person worships
    reason, honesty, and goodness and all that can
    profitably result from them.
  • We look to the best that life has to offer in
    the realm of imagination, in music, in
    architecture, in the untroubled kingdom of
    reason, and in the golden sunset magic of lyrics,
    where beauty shines and glows, remote from the
    touch of sorrow, remote from the fear of change,
    remote from the failures and disenchantments of
    the world of fact.
  • In the contemplation of these things the vision
    of heaven on earth will shape itself in our
    hearts.

44
LOVE, KNOWLEDGE, AND PITY
  • Russell Three passions, simple but
    overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life the
    longing for love, the search for knowledge, and
    the unbearable pity for the suffering of
    mankind.
  • Love is important because it brings ecstasy . .
    relieves loneliness, and gives us a sense of the
    heaven imagined by saints and poets.
  • Russell wanted to understand as much as possible,
    but admits that he ended up knowing only a
    little.
  • Pity for mankind would always bring Russell back
    to the harsh reality of life from which love and
    knowledge could temporarily take him away.

45
IS LIFE WORTH LIVING?
  • Yes, according to Russell, at least for the free
    man, the free man who values love, knowledge, and
    pity, and who guides his or her life by the use
    of reason, and who pursues goodness.
  • Russell This has been my life. I have found it
    worth living, and would gladly live it again if
    the chance were offered me.

46
EXISTENTIALISM AND FREEDOM
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)
47
EXISTENCE PRECEDES ESSENCE
  • Sartre says that, according to existentialism,
    existence precedes essence, and that
    subjectivity must be the starting point.
  • The view that existence precedes essence is
    opposed to the view that man is created by God
    according to a certain concept of humanity, that
    each person is the product of creation by God
    according to a certain idea that he fulfills in
    being that kind of thing.
  • According to the view that God creates man
    according to the concept of man, there is first
    the essence of man, and then the existence of
    man.
  • But Sartre says that man has no essence prior to
    existence. Instead, everything begins for man at
    existence.

48
CONCEPTS, ENTITIES, AND MAN I
  • Some kinds of thing that exist are preceded by a
    concept according to Sartre - human artifacts,
    for example.
  • Artifacts are constructed to fulfill a purpose,
    and so their existence as the kind of thing that
    they are follows first from the concept of that
    kind of thing.
  • We are not like artifacts.

49
CONCEPTS, ENTITIES, AND MAN II
  • In order for someone to make an artifact, such as
    a paper cutter, he or she must have an idea of
    what a paper cutter is and what it is supposed to
    do.
  • That is, the existence of the paper cutter is
    preceded by a concept of what it is and what it
    is supposed to do.
  • This is not so in the case of man. There is no
    concept of man by which he is preceded.

50
ATHEISTIC EXISTENTIALISM
  • Some people think of God as making man the way
    some people make paper cutters - that God has an
    idea of man and then works on the matter of
    nature to produce her.
  • But for Sartre there is no God, or any other
    supernatural being, that is the cause of man.
  • Thus there is no concept of human nature that
    precedes mans existence the way the concept of a
    paper cutter or the essence of a paper cutter
    precedes a particular paper cutter in the world.

51
NO UNIVERSAL HUMAN ESSENCE I
  • And for Sartre there is no universal concept man
    that makes man what he is even if there is no
    God.
  • Thus, some philosophers have thought that, even
    if there is no God, there is still a concept of
    man that precedes the existence of any particular
    man or woman, and thus each person is an instance
    of the universal man. Plato

52
NO UNIVERSAL HUMAN ESSENCE II
  • Thus every human being would have a particular
    number of the same qualities in virtue of being
    human - nothing is human that does not satisfy
    the prior concept of humanity.
  • But Sartre says that man has no essence in this
    sense. There is no universal essence of man.
  • Accordingly, there is no universal essence that
    precedes the individual existence of every man
    and woman who has ever lived or will live.

53
EXISTENCE AND ACTIONS
  • Existence precedes essence means that man first
    exists and then, after existing, defines himself
    by his actions.
  • In this sense, we are each nothing at birth, and
    we spend our lives defining ourselves by the
    actions we choose to perform.
  • Sartre There is no human nature because there
    is no God to conceive human nature.
  • Since we do not come equipped at birth with a
    prior human nature we make ourselves what we are.

54
RESPONSIBILITY AND ACTIONS
  • The responsibility for each individual making
    himself or herself what he or she will be rests
    with that person.
  • Thus each of you have decided to partially define
    yourselves or determine what kind of person you
    are or want to be by taking a class in
    philosophy.
  • And you determine who you are by doing or not
    doing everything else that you either decide or
    decide not to do.
  • Man is only what he makes of himself. This is
    a central principle of existentialism.

55
MAN AND THE FUTURE
  • Man firsts exists and then becomes what he makes
    of himself.
  • Because man is only what he makes of himself, in
    making himself, man is directed towards the
    future.
  • Man is directed towards the future because our
    goals can only be realized in the future.
  • We conceive of a goal in the present, and we
    begin to act in the present, but what the act is
    meant to accomplish can only come after the act,
    and so can only be realized in the future.

56
MAN, PLANS, AND RESPONSIBILITY
  • Man differs from inanimate objects like chairs
    and trees because he makes plans to make himself
    a certain way, a certain kind of person.
  • Man will be what he will have planned to be.
  • And if existence precedes essence, and man must
    make himself, then man is responsible for what he
    is.
  • Existentialism makes man realize that he has no
    prior nature of which he is a copy, but is a
    being who makes himself.
  • And in making himself, man is responsible for
    what he makes of himself.

57
SUBJECTIVITY
  • Sartre uses the word subjectivity to mean that
    man makes himself as objects such as stones and
    stars cannot.
  • Subjectivity means that an individual chooses and
    makes himself into the person he is.
  • Subjectivity is a condition that man cannot
    transcend and it makes him what he is.
  • Man cannot transcend subjectivity because man
    simply is subjectivity - man cannot escape the
    fact that he is responsible for making himself.

58
CHOOSING I
  • Sartre says that in choosing the kind of person I
    want to be I choose the kind of person I want to
    be seen as.
  • That is, I create an image of myself for all
    people.
  • In being responsible for myself and how I want to
    be seen I am responsible for how all people see
    me.

59
CHOOSING II
  • In addition, in choosing what I do I think that I
    am choosing correctly. In this sense I am
    choosing what I think is correct for everyone.
  • I am creating an image of myself that is a
    correct image of man, and so in choosing what is
    good for myself I am choosing what I think is
    good and right for all.
  • Thus I want my choice to be seen as valid for all
    humanity and in this way my choosing for myself
    involves everyone.

60
CHOOSING III
  • In acting one should always ask himself What
    would happen if everyone acted this way? Would
    it be okay for everyone to act this way?
  • For every man, everything happens as if all
    mankind had its eyes fixed on him and were
    guiding itself by what he does.
  • And every man ought to say to himself, am I
    really the kind of man who has the right to act
    in such a way that humanity might guide itself by
    my actions?

61
ANGUISH
  • That when I choose for myself I choose for
    humanity involves each person in what Sartre
    calls anguish or anxiety.
  • Having to choose, not only for myself, but in
    such a way that I would choose for all humanity
    to act similarly in the same situation creates
    anguish for me.
  • Choices involve anguish because in choosing we
    cannot escape a sense of total and deep
    responsibility.

62
CONCEALING ANGUISH
  • For Sartre people who do not feel anxious from
    choosing are hiding their anxiety from
    themselves, they are fleeing from it.
  • If I dont recognize that fundamental truth about
    myself and my choices then I am concealing that
    anguish from myself.

63
FORLORNNESS I
  • Another existential concept in addition to
    anguish is forlornness.
  • Forlornness 1. deserted, forsaken 2. wretched 3.
    nearly hopeless Heidegger - means that we have
    to face the consequences of what it means for
    humanity that God does not exist.
  • That God does not exist is disturbing to the
    existentialist since it means that there can be
    no transcendent source of value.

64
FORLORNNESS II
  • Since God does not exist, Sartre says that man
    cannot find any values to cling to which can be
    used to legitimize our conduct.
  • And since existence precedes essence, we cant
    look within ourselves to a fixed and determined
    nature that would tell us right from wrong.
  • Our forlornness comes from the fact that man is
    alone in the world with nothing to appeal to
    either within himself or beyond himself.

65
CONDEMNED TO BE FREE I
  • For Sartre man is condemned to be free.
  • Man is condemned to be free because he is free
    but did not create himself in that he did not
    bring himself into the world. At his birth, his
    entrance into the world was not his choice.
  • But once he is in the world he cannot escape his
    freedom, and is responsible for everything he
    does.

66
CONDEMNED TO BE FREE II
  • Man, with no support and no aid, is condemned
    every moment to invent man.
  • And man has to invent himself because he has no
    prior essence.
  • He first exists, is straddled with his freedom,
    and is responsible for making himself.

67
DESPAIR I
  • A third existential concept for Sartre is
    despair.
  • Despair means recognizing that when we want
    something we always have to deal with certain
    probabilities given the nature of the world.
  • Despair means recognizing that we choose and act
    within a world, and the nature of the world
    determines what actions are possible.

68
CHOICE AND REALITY
  • What I will is limited by possibilities and
    probabilities given the nature of reality and so
    my will to act a certain way should concern the
    probabilities of reality.
  • A person chooses to wait for her friend who is
    arriving by train, which makes sense only if
    there are trains, and trains arriving where she
    is waiting within a certain time frame.
    Otherwise it would make no sense, no matter how
    much she would choose to have her friend arrive
    when she expects him.

69
DESPAIR II
  • Sartre No god, no scheme can adapt the world
    and its possibilities to my will.
  • Thus, as there is no God to whom I can appeal I
    can only choose for myself given the nature of
    reality.
  • And so, that what we would choose for ourselves
    must concern the nature of reality is the cause
    of despair.
  • I must choose and act only in accordance with the
    nature of the world that will make my action
    possible.

70
MAN MAKES HIMSELF
  • Man has no choice but to make choices because of
    his freedom, and in making choices man makes
    himself.
  • Because man is free, and there is no human nature
    to depend on, things will be as man will have
    decided they will be.
  • Sartre puts this another way by saying that man
    is nothing else than his plan he exists only to
    the extent that he fulfills himself he is
    therefore nothing else than the collection of his
    acts.
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