Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost.

Acting is a question of absorbing other people’s personalities and adding some of your own experience.

Acting is happy agony.

Ah! yes, I know: those who see me rarely trust my word: I must look too intelligent to keep it.

All human actions are equivalent and all are on principle doomed to failure.

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

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

Being is. Being is in-itself. Being is what it is.

Better to have beasts that let themselves be killed than men who run away.

Commitment is an act, not a word.

Every age has its own poetry; in every age the circumstances of history choose a nation, a race, a class to take up the torch by creating situations that can be expressed or transcended only through poetry.

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

Everything has been figured out, except how to live.

Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make abstract that which is concrete.

Existence precedes and rules essence.

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

Fear? If I have gained anything by damning myself, it is that I no longer have anything to fear.

For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it.

Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.

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.

God is absence. God is the solitude of man.

Hell is other people.

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.

I am not virtuous. Our sons will be if we shed enough blood to give them the right to be.

I confused things with their names: that is belief.

I do not believe in God; his existence has been disproved by Science. But in the concentration camp, I learned to believe in men.

I hate victims who respect their executioners.

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

I say a murder is abstract. You pull the trigger and after that you do not understand anything that happens.

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

If a victory is told in detail, one can no longer distinguish it from a defeat.

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.

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

If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company.

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

It is only in our decisions that we are important.

Life begins on the other side of despair.

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

Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.

Man is fully responsible for his nature and his choices.

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.

My thought is me: that is why I cannot stop thinking. I exist because I think I cannot keep from thinking.

Neither sex, without some fertilization of the complimentary characters of the other, is capable of the highest reaches of human endeavor.

No finite point has meaning without an infinite reference point.

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

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.

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

One is still what one is going to cease to be and already what one is going to become. One lives one’s death, one dies one’s life.

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

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

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

That God does not exist, I cannot deny, That my whole being cries out for God I cannot forget.

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

The existentialist says at once that man is anguish.

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

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.

There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.

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

To eat is to appropriate by destruction.

Total war is no longer war waged by all members of one national community against all those of another. It is total… because it may well involve the whole world.

We do not judge the people we love.

We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.

We must act out passion before we can feel it.

What do I care about Jupiter? Justice is a human issue, and I do not need a god to teach it to me.

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

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

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

Words are loaded pistols.

Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think.

You must be afraid, my son. That is how one becomes an honest citizen.

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