Jean Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) was one of several popularizers of the philosophy of existentialism. Sartre's version of existentialism (different in minor components from those of his contemporaries, and modern existentialists) taught (consistent with his atheism) that life has no external meaning at all and that the moral obligation of every person was to find or define the meaning of their own life (lest life be altogether meaningless). The term 'existentialism' itself was popularized by many other individuals, but resisted by Sartre himself. Sartre was also a Communist, and was known to be in bed with the KGB. He was also responsible for the claim that the executed Bolivian Marxist revolutionary/terrorist, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, was "the most complete human being of our time," as well as ensuring that French communist/terrorist and fellow member of Guevara's cadre, Régis Debray, was released from his prison sentence 27 years early (having earlier been sentenced to thirty years in prison).
Sartre published a number of philosophical works including:
- Transcendence of the Ego, published in 1936
- The Psychology of Imagination, published in 1940
- Being and Nothingness, published in 1943
- The Age of Reason, published in 1945
- Search for a Method, published in 1957
- Critique of Dialectical Reason, published in 1960 (including Search for a Method as its introduction)
- Notebooks for Ethics, published posthumously, but written between 1947 and 1948.
Sartre also wrote a number of works of fiction based on his philosophical ideas, these include:
- Nausea, published in 1938
- The Wall and Other Stories, published in 1939
- The Flies, published in 1942
- No Exit, published in 1942
Towards the end of his life he expressed sympathy with the terrorists who kidnapped and killed Israelis during the 1972 Olympics, asserting that it was “perfectly scandalous” how the French press criticized the terrorism. He described terrorism as “a terrible weapon, but the oppressed poor have no others”.