Jean-Paul Sarte's Theory of Human Freedom: A Critical Analysis.

Ndubuisi, N.F (1990)

Thesis

Freedom, a word that is most cherished by humanity, looks such an invaluable asset that everyone feels it is worth possessing. It is, however, not a settled matter as to what constitutes a man's freedom. Questions abound therefore as to its length and breadth, features and characteristics, it is puzzling as to the kind of freedom which a man that is limited by a lot of factors enjoys. Such constraints range from accident of birth and death, fear and emotions to psychological and mental influences which are beyond man's control. In the midst of these obvious facts in which a man is restively submerged, it is still maintained that freedom constitutes part of his being. Jean Paul Sartre sets out to solve this titanic problem. He looks into the problem in all its ramifications. He x-rays what the concept implies, its reality to man in practical life and the entailed consequences. Some Philosophers and Psychologists alike have tried to dismiss the notion of freedom as a mere illusion. For instance, Sigmond Freud, the father of psycho-analysis is of the view that all human actions, says, Freud, are therefore far from being free. On the contrary, they are the necessary effects of certain internal causes which Freud calls the "LIBIDO". Similarly, the metaphysical determinists such as Spinoza and Leibniz, the Pantheists such as Hegelians and the Stoics, the Theological determinists such as Calvin and Jansen, the fatalists and the economic determinists, all have negative and sceptical attitude to the view of human freedom as championed by Sartre. They believe that there are factors higher than man that controls his action, since man cannot separate himself from the forces in the world. In this dissertation, therefore, I am pre-occupied with how Sartre sets out to debunk some of the doubts that surround human freedom, the interpersonal relationship between the individual man and the world in which he lives. I also examine how he solves the problem of constraints to human freedom.

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