Existentialism is a Humanism



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Babienko English Name:_______________

“Existentialism is a Humanism” Take-Home Test



Instructions: Answer each of the following questions. This is an open-note, open-essay test – I am specifically looking for your articulation of complex points we have tackled in our various discussions over the past few weeks (not some lame Sparky summary). Submit to turnitin.com.


  1. What does Sartre mean when he says that “existence precedes essence” and how does the idea that God created man in his own image conflict with that concept?




  1. What is the role of consciousness (aka sentience, self-awareness) in existentialism? What does Sartre mean when he says, “man is not a kind of moss, or a fungus or a cauliflower”?




  1. How does Sartre distinguish between purposing/willing and wishing and why does he make this distinction?



  2. Why does Sartre bother to mention the secular moralists of the 1880s immediately preceding section that explains the concept of abandonment?




  1. Explain what Sartre means when he states that “we are unable ever to choose the worse. What we choose is always the better.”




  1. Why does Sartre insist that we must ask ourselves, “What would happen if everyone did as one is doing?” and what key concept of existentialism does this illustrate?



  2. What specific examples does Sartre bring up to illustrate the concept of abandonment?




  1. What is the Kantian ethic and why does Sartre mention it in his essay?




  1. What is the difference between feeling and action, according to Sartre?




  1. Explain how Sartre uses the terms hope and despair in his essay.




  1. How would an existentialist respond to the saying, “Once a coward, always a coward”?




  1. According to Sartre, what is the universality of the human condition (as opposed to a universality of human nature)?




  1. According to Sartre, in what sense is it possible to judge a decision? In what sense is it not possible to do so?




  1. What type of humanism is Sartre opposed to? Why? In what sense is existentialism a form of humanism?


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