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77+ Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes From The French Philosopher And Writer

Find Jean-Paul Sartre quotes from the various books written by him.

Jean-Paul Sartre was an incredibly well-known French philosopher, writer, literary critic, novelist, playwright, and much more.

The existential school of philosophical thought about the individuality of existence was worked upon majorly by Jean-Paul Sartre. He thought it full of possibilities but limited by choices.

Jean-Paul Sartre spoke a lot about freedom and choice in his various books while exploring existentialist ideas. The essence of what Jean-Paul Sartre propounded was that you're the result of your choices; that whatever you do — that's what you are.

We have gathered the best Jean-Paul Sartre quotes, including Jean-Paul Sartre 'Nausea' quotes, along with exceprts from his various novels and literary works.

If you enjoy reading these Jean-Paul Sartre quotes, you'll be sure to enjoy these [Schopenhauer quotes] and [Sigmund Freud quotes] too.

Sartre Quotes About Freedom

Sartre spoke of freedom in fewer words and more metaphors.

1. "Better to die on one's feet than to live on one's knees."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

2. "Freedom is what we do with what is done to us."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Critique Of Dialectical Reason, Volume 1'.

3. "Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give life a meaning."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Existentialism Is A Humanism'.

4. "He was free, free in every way, free to behave like a fool or a machine, free to accept, free to refuse, free to equivocate; to marry, to give up the game, to drag this death weight about with him for years to come."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'The Age Of Reason'.

Sartre Quotes About Individualism And Life

Sartre believed in the importance of individuality and how it is important to be a thinker.

5. "Hell is other people."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'No Exit'.

6. "I am. I am, I exist. I think, therefore I am."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

7. "I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Nausea'.

8. "To be or not be, right?"

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

9. "I exist because I think, and I can't prevent myself from thinking."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 1938.

10. "In a world, man must create his own essence. It is in throwing himself into the world, suffering there, struggling there, that he gradually defines himself."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 1944.

11. "If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Essays In Aesthetics'.

12. "We are our choices."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

13. "In order to make himself thoroughly undesirable, he will speak."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

14. "Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

15. "Life begins on the other side of despair."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

16. "He could do what he liked, no one had the right to advise him, there would be for him no Good or Evil unless he thought them into being."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'The Age Of Reason'.

17. "Man is nothing but what he makes of himself."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

18. "Everything has been figured out, except how to live."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

19. "Man is not the sum of what he has already, but rather the sum of what he does not yet have, of what he could have."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

20. "Smooth and smiling faces everywhere, but ruin in their eyes."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

21. "To believe is to know you believe, and to know you believe is not to believe."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

22. "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

23. "Every existing thing is born without a reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

24. "Life has no meaning a priori... It is up to you to give it a meaning."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Existentialism Is A Humanism'.

Quotes About Beliefs, God, And Religion By Sartre

Sartre's ideas about God and religion were rather straightforward. These ideas may confuse one into wondering whether he believed in God, or what he thought of religion. Take a look at these quotes below to understand what the confusion is all about.

25. "I tell you in truth: all men are Prophets or else God does not exist."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

26. "For those who want 'to change life' or 'to reinvent love' God is nothing but a hindrance."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

27. "I do not understand! I understand nothing! I cannot understand nor do I want to understand! I want to believe!"

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

28. "Jean-Paul Sartre has said that if there is no God, everything is permitted."

-Katharena Eiermann, 'Existententialism And Dostoevsky'.

29. "I confused things with their names: that is belief."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

30. "I am going to outlive myself. Eat, sleep, eat, sleep. Exist slowly, softly, like trees, like a puddle of water, like the red bench in the streetcar."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

31. "God is absence. God is the solitude of man."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

32. "Ah! Do not judge the gods, young man, they have painful secrets."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 1943.

33. "It is, therefore, senseless to think of complaining, since nothing foreign has decided what we feel, what we live, or what we are."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

34. "The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

35. "I know only one Church, the society of men."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'The Devil And The Good Lord'.

36. "Night is falling; at dusk, you must have good eyesight to be able to tell the Good Lord from the Devil."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

37. "I think of death only with tranquility, as an end. I refuse to let death hamper life. Death must enter life only to define it."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'No Exit'.

38. "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.

39. "Like all dreamers, I confuse disenchantment with truth."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

40. "You are perhaps not lying, but you are not telling the truth."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

Sartre Quotes About Wealth, Poverty And Social Issues

Sartre spoke strongly for the oppressed, the poor, the exploited, and the unfortunate.

Sartre always took the side of the oppressed and the poor, when it came to social issues and the problems of the economy, like wealth and poverty.

41. "There are two types of poor people, those who are poor together and those who are poor alone. The first are the true poor, the others are rich people out of luck."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

42. "One cannot become a saint when one works sixteen hours a day."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

43. "As for us, my little friend, we entered because we were tired of dying of hunger."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

44. "This is the contradiction of racism, colonialism, and all forms of tyranny. In order to treat a man like a dog, one must first recognize him as a man."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Critique Of Dialectical Reason'.

45. "In order to change poverty into wealth, one must start by displaying it."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

46. "The colony is both settlement and exploitation."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

47. "All human activities are equivalent."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Being And Nothingness'.

48. "Who can exhaust a man? Who knows a man's resources?"

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

49. "When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, translated from 'Le Diable Et Le Bon Dieu' ('The Devil And The Good Lord').

Quotes By Jean-Paul Sartre About Literature, Reading, Words, And Writing

Sartre lived for literature and he lived in literature. He was as avid a reader as he was a writer, and the quotes below are embodiments of his love for the literary world.

50. "I had found my religion: nothing seemed more important to me than a book. I saw the library as a temple."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'The Words'.

51. "This desire to write is rather strange all the same and is not without a certain 'cracked' quality."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

52. "Words are loaded pistols."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

53. "If literature isn't everything, it's not worth a single hour of someone's trouble."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

54. "I considered calmly that I was born to write."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

55. "In reality, people read because they want to write. Anyway, reading is a sort of rewriting."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, interview for 'Les Ecrivains En Personne', 1959.

56. "That is exactly the writer's problem; What does literature stand for in a hungry world?"

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

57. "In Les Mots, I explain the origin of my madness, of my neurosis. This analysis may help the young who dream of writing."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

58. "Like morality, literature needs to be universal."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

59. "All that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

Quotes By Jean-Paul Sartre About Love

Sartre quotes about love come from a unique place, seeing as he himself was in an open relationship with the woman he married. Nevertheless, these quotes are rather relatable to a lot of us today.

60. "In love, one and one are one."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

61. "We must act out passion before we can feel it."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

62. "Since he unable to be the beloved, he will become the lover."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Saint Genet, Actor And Martyr'.

63. "My love, you are not 'one thing in my life' - not even the most important - because my life no longer belongs to me, because you are always me."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

64. "When we love animals and children too much, we love them at the expense of men."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

65. "I have no need for good souls; an accomplice is what I wanted."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

66. "It’s quite an undertaking to start loving somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment right at the start where you have to jump across an abyss: if you think about it, you don’t do it."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

67. "We do not judge the people we love."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

Quotes By Jean-Paul Sartre About Work And Time

Sartre said that three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.

Sartre commented several times about ideas of time and how it passes us by in his various books.

68. "There may be more beautiful times, but this one is ours."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

69. "I suppose that it is out of laziness that the world is the same day after day. Today it seemed to want to change, and then anything, anything could happen."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

70. "The best work is not what is most difficult for you; it is what you do best."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

71. "I think they do it to pass the time, nothing more. But time is too large, it can't be filled up. Everything you plunge into it is stretched and disintegrated."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 2 February 1938.

72. "The past is the luxury of proprietors."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

73. "There may be more beautiful times, but this one is ours."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

74. "Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do."

-Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Nausea'.

75. "This moment shines. It is round, it hangs in empty space like a little diamond; I am eternal."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

76. "The real nature of the present revealed itself; it was what exists, all that was not present does not exist."

-Jean-Paul Sartre.

Notable Quotes About Sartre

Whether from close or afar, the people who knew Sartre had a lot to say about him. For the final installment of Jean-Paul Sartre quotes, find out what others thought of him.

77. "He believed in the strength of reason and in the contagious power of the idea of freedom."

-Louis Althusser,' Our Jean-Jacques Rousseau', 'Le Monde', 1980.

78. "According to Jean-Paul Sartre, 'hell is other people,' but I'm not sure that Sartre wanted to spend the whole of eternity by himself."

-Northrop Frye, 'Symbolism In The Bible'.

79. "The comradeship that welded our lives together made a superfluous mockery of any other we might have forged for ourselves."

-Simone de Beauvoir.

At Kidadl, we have created lots of family-friendly quotes for everyone! If you liked these Jean-Paul Sartre quotes, why not take a look at these Wittgenstein quotes or activism quotes too?

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