Hey /lit/! I'm reading this right now, and I wanted to know what you think of Sarte's "Existentialism is a Humanism".
It seems to me like he's clearly a big fan of Nietschze, or at least some parts of his philosophy are.
I gleamed this from the passage about the paper-knife, how mankind is made without purpose, unlike the knife, which is formulaic and crafted with use. It seems like he means to imply that without God man has no purpose, but this is how it is.
This I believe is where it ties in with his earlier rantings about peoples "disgust" with existentialist's, or how some people are hopping aboard the philosophical bandwagon.
What do you guys think? Any of you agree?
Sartre isn't denying that we have biological conditions which are very real parts of our existence. He's making the case that who we "are" is not predetermined. Thus we have biology, but what that essentially means is not clear until it's put into the context of what we choose to be. It's fair to argue against his idea that "existence preceeds essence", but it is a common misreading to think that Sartre is denying facticity completely.
Existensialism is a Humanism is a good intro to Sartre's thought, but it's certainly not going to give you the full picture. The purpose of the lecture was to defend what Sartre is calling "existensialsm" against some of the misreadings he felt were popular during the time as it was making its way into pop culture. He specifically addresses the Marxist and Christian attacks on his position (which is where the disgust you're referring to comes in).
Sartre is probably one of the most disliked and therefore misread philosophers in the Continental tradition. Most people disagree with his foundational arguments for free will pretty quickly and never give his ideas a chance. I would recommend giving him a chance and trying to read him on his own terms. He has some good thoughts and at the very least he will push you to formulate arguments against him, which is important if you're interested in philosophy.