The paper "Existentialism and Human Emotions by Sartre" is a delightful example of an article on sociology. Sartre in his article “ Existentialism and Human Emotions” defends existentialism by stating that many people complain about existentialism as they misunderstand the philosophy as too much pessimistic and gloomy. Sartre categorizes existentialists into Christian and atheistic existentialists and he considers himself as an atheistic existentialist; he believes that essence precedes existence and exhorts that “ there is no human nature since there is no God to conceive it” (p. 15). Sartre stresses that it is one’ s will and conscious decision that makes him human; one should understand what he is and should be responsible for his own individuality.
Existentialism also stresses the element of subjectivity and individual responsibility; the choices and actions of one man can affect all men and as a result, one’ s responsibility deepens as it involves all mankind. Thus every man is supposed to be exemplary in his actions and this sense of deep responsibility can create a sort of existential anguish in man’ s mind. Sartre argues that this anguish should lead to prompt actions rather than making one inactive.
Sartre is of the opinion that a man leaves nothing in this world rather than what he does; thus, for him “ reality alone is what counts” and man’ s hopes, dreams, and expectations are nothing (p. 33). Sartre purports that existentialism is not a philosophy that promotes quietism, pessimism or inaction; rather it is a philosophy of life that promotes action and optimism. Existentialism holds that “ man’ s destiny is within himself” and that one can fulfill his hopes only through his action (p. 35-36).
However, the ethics of action and involvement is subject to private subjectivity even though one’ s thoughts can make one a unique individual who is moved by self-awareness of one’ s consciousness. Sartre goes on to argue that existentialism does not reduce man to mere objects whereas it upholds human dignity (p. 36-37). Sartre concludes by stating that there is a universal essence in human nature and considers the universality of all men as a key characteristic of the existential point of view (p. 38-39).