25 Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes About Existentialism (2022)

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After the devastation of World War II, Jean-Paul Sartre inspired a movement of existential and intellectual philosophy. This is our collection of some of the best Jean-Paul Sartre quotes.

Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris just after the turn of the 20th century, in 1905. Sartre lost his father at an early age and grew up in Paris with his mother. Sartre would grow to become a writer of critical acclaim and a leading voice in the world of existential philosophy.

Sartre did not believe in marriage, but he did hold a life-long open relationship and partnership with fellow writer, philosopher, and feminist Simone de Beauvoir (check out our Simone de Beauvoir quotes here).

Sartre served for the allies in World War II and was captured and imprisoned for a year while serving. Throughout his lifetime, he was offered many awards for his writing and philosophy, but he turned most of them down.

We hope you are inspired by these Jean-Paul Sartre quotes.

Jean-Paul Sartre quotes about life

1. “Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

2. “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

3. “Existence precedes and rules essence.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

4. “If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I’m still waiting, it’s all been to seduce women basically.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

5. “For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

6. “We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

7. “Life begins on the other side of despair.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

8. “Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

9. “Better to die on one’s feet than to live on one’s knees.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

10. “Being is. Being is in-itself. Being is what it is.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre quotes about humanity

11. “I do not believe in God; his existence has been disproved by Science. But in the concentration camp, I learned to believe in men.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

12. “Hell is other people.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

13. “Man is fully responsible for his nature and his choices.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

14. “You must be afraid, my son. That is how one becomes an honest citizen.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

15. “All human actions are equivalent and all are on principle doomed to failure.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

16. “Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make abstract that which is concrete.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

17. “Justice is a human issue, and I do not need a god to teach it to me.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

18. “As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

19. “We do not judge the people we love.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

Wise Jean-Paul Sartre quotes

20. “Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

21. “If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

22. “It is only in our decisions that we are important.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

23. “Words are loaded pistols.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

24. “Only the guy who isn’t rowing has time to rock the boat.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

25. “Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

Do you ever get lost in existential thought?

Existentialism is the philosophical theory that humans are entirely free and determine their own fate through acts of free-will.

Existentialism is often associated with the existential crisis. When one has an existential crisis, they are filled with dread at the thought that nothing matters and their lives have no purpose.

In following the theory of existentialism, it can be easy to fall into an existential crisis, but the philosophy is not as bleak as it seems.

Existentialism theorizes that there is no external purpose or meaning given to humans upon existence, but rather, that the purpose you create for your life is what gives it meaning.

So the next time you are feeling lost on an existential train of thought, think of these Jean-Paul Sartre quotes and learn to find your own purpose in your life.

Did you enjoy these Jean-Paul Sartre quotes and sayings? Which quote was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.


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