Philosophy Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 7 - Question 2
90 Days Philosophy Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 24-Dec-2018
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24-Dec-2018 - Question 2
How does Sartre connect inauthenticity with bad faith? Why does Sartre show that inauthenticity and bad faith lead to alienation? Discuss (2018)
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In Existentialism and Human Emotions (1957:66) Sartre says, “Freedom is existence, and in it, existence precedes essence. The upsurge freedom is immediate and concrete and to be distinguished from its choice; that is from the person himself. But the structure under consideration can be called the truth of freedom, that is, it is the human meaning of freedom.”
Sartre uses the term BAD FAITH to refer to the attempt to deny our freedom. A free man his accountable to his own acts, but when he willingly avoids his own freedom that is considered as bad faith. For Sartre, Bad faith is an attempt to escape from the anguish which men suffer when they are brought face to face with their own freedom.
He has also opposed LABELLING, He says, “I am not what I am, but I am what I am not”, human beings play different roles in a society. Labelling refers to that situation where a person’s essence is identified with the various responsibilities he maintains in the society, this is bad faith. So, in any case a person should not deny his freedom, if he does, he is in bad faith.
We feel a need to be a being-in-itself, a being that is defined, that has an identity, it has no freedom and potentiality in it. So, if one is denying freedom, then he is trying to be being-in-itself, and he does this because facing freedom brings along with it burden of accountability and experience of Anguish, Despair , Anxiety and Alienation.
So, Sartre advices that you are condemned to be free therefore choose, and do not deny your freedom, which is an inauthentic existence. Only when we self-consciously choose our future, only then bad faith is removed and authenticity is reached.
According to Sartre human being plunges into Anguish since he is totally free to structure the world around him and derives meaning of the world with full accountability. In this context, in he says “Authenticity….. consists in having a true and lucid consciousness of situation assuming the responsibilities and risks that it involves, in accepting it in pride or humiliation, sometimes in horror and hate.” When human escapes from accountability he normally goes into the direction of bad faith. And when that happens, it may lead to Alienation as given below
[ snippet taken from From Socrates To Sartre, The Philosophic Quest, T.Z. Lavine]
Sartre says that “Apart from our own consciousness, all else it otherness, from which we are estranged. Science has also alienated us owing to its highly specialized concepts that are non-understandable to a layman. So is man alienated from human institutions (state and governments), as all of them appear to be impersonal and not human-centric having a life of their own despite human. Human beings live in alienation even out of history, as we no longer see a sense of reflecting a meaningful past or moving towards a meaningful future. We do not belong to the past, the present, or the future.”