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Quotes by Jean-Paul Sartre

  • French philosopher
  • Born June 21, 1905
  • Died April 15, 1980

Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (, US also ; French: [saʁtʁ]; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism. His work has also influenced sociology, critical theory, post-colonial theory, and literary studies, and continues to influence these disciplines.


I am no longer sure of anything. If I satiate my desires, I sin but I deliver myself from them; if I refuse to satisfy them, they infect the whole soul.




Life begins on the other side of despair.




If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I'm still waiting, it's all been to seduce women basically.


Everything has been figured out, except how to live.


I confused things with their names: that is belief.




The poor don't know that their function in life is to exercise our generosity.




Who can exhaust a man? Who knows a man's resources?




One always dies too soon or too late. And yet, life is there, finished: the line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life.




She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist.




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




Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.




Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.




Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives.




Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat.




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




Man is fully responsible for his nature and his choices.




I hate victims who respect their executioners.




The existentialist says at once that man is anguish.




No finite point has meaning without an infinite reference point.




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




God is absence. God is the solitude of man.


When rich people fight wars with one another, poor people are the ones to die.


Politics is a science. You can demonstrate that you are right and that others are wrong.




I have no need for good souls: an accomplice is what I wanted.




We do not judge the people we love.




We must act out passion before we can feel it.




Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them.




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


As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become.




It disturbs me no more to find men base, unjust, or selfish than to see apes mischievous, wolves savage, or the vulture ravenous.



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