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Quotes by Jean-Paul Sartre on existentialism, leadership, God, truth, existence and other things.

99 Great Quotes By Jean-Paul Sartre, The Author Of Nausea

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Jean-Paul Sartre was a French novelist, political thinker, activist, philosopher and playwright, who is considered among the finest intellectuals to have ever lived. Sartre was among the leading thinkers of the 20th century and is considered to be one of the most ardent advocates of Marxism.  On the other hand, Sartre is well and truly one of the real pillars of French philosophy in the 20th century and is famous for laying the foundations of the philosophy of existentialism. Sartre was a multi-faceted thinker. One of his most famous works is the book ‘Being and Nothingness’ which he wrote in 1943, however the print version of his lecture ‘Existensialism and Humanism’ is perhaps his most famous work till date. Other than existentialism, Sartre also laid the foundations of continental philosophy, phenomenology, anarchism and existential phenomenology among others. Jean Paul Sartre’s immense body of work eventually won him a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964 but he refused the award. Here are some of the greatest quotes by this great intellectual.
 

If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Do you think that I count the days? There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.

- Jean Paul Sartre

I'm going to smile, and my smile will sink down into your pupils, and heaven knows what it will become.

- No Exit, Jean Paul Sartre

Hell is—other people!

- No Exit, Jean Paul Sartre

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Better to die on one's feet than to live on one's knees.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Freedom is what we do with what is done to us.

- Jean Paul Sartre

We are our choices.

- Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Le diable et le bon dieu, Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

You are -- your life, and nothing else.

- No Exit, Jean Paul Sartre

Everything has been figured out, except how to live.

- Jean Paul Sartre

There may be more beautiful times, but this one is ours.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Words are loaded pistols.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Life begins on the other side of despair.

- Jean Paul Sartre

She believed in nothing. Only her scepticism kept her from being an atheist.

- Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

Like all dreamers I confuse disenchantment with truth.

- Jean Paul Sartre

I want to leave, to go somewhere where I should be really in my place, where I would fit in . . . but my place is nowhere; I am unwanted.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

Life has no meaning a priori… It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose.

- Jean Paul Sartre

The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.

- Jean Paul Sartre

In love, one and one are one.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Ha! to forget. How childish! I feel you in my bones. Your silence screams in my ears. You may nail your mouth shut, you may cut out your tongue, can you keep yourself from existing? Will you stop your thoughts.

- No Exit and Three Other Plays, Jean Paul Sartre

Smooth and smiling faces everywhere, but ruin in their eyes.

- Jean Paul Sartre

It is therefore senseless to think of complaining since nothing foreign has decided what we feel, what we live, or what we are.

- Being and Nothingness, Jean Paul Sartre

I am going to outlive myself. Eat, sleep, sleep, eat. Exist slowly, softly, like these trees, like a puddle of water, like the red bench in the streetcar.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

I suppose it is out of laziness that the world is the same day after day. Today it seemed to want to change. And then anything, anything could happen.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

It answers the question that was tormenting you: my love, you are not 'one thing in my life' - not even the most important - because my life no longer belongs to me because...you are always me.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.

- Existentialism and Human Emotions, Jean Paul Sartre

Man is what he wills himself to be.

- No Exit and Three Other Plays, Jean Paul Sartre

I am. I am, I exist, I think, therefore I am; I am because I think, why do I think? I don't want to think any more, I am because I think that I don't want to be, I think that I . . . because . . . ugh!

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

She smiled and said with an ecstatic air: "It shines like a little diamond", "What does?" "This moment. It is round, it hangs in empty space like a little diamond; I am eternal.

- The Age of Reason, Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating.

- Being and Nothingness, Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

Through the lack of attaching myself to words, my thoughts remain nebulous most of the time. They sketch vague, pleasant shapes and then are swallowed up; I forget them almost immediately.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

L'enfer, c'est les autres.

- Huis clos, Jean Paul Sartre

You must be like me; you must suffer in rhythm.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

Existence is an imperfection.

- Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

Nothing happens while you live. The scenery changes, people come in and go out, that's all. There are no beginnings. Days are tacked on to days without rhyme or reason, an interminable, monotonous addition.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

People who live in society have learnt how to see themselves, in mirrors, as they appear to their friends. I have no friends: is that why my flesh is so naked?

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

I had found my religion: nothing seemed more important to me than a book. I saw the library as a temple.

- The Words, Jean Paul Sartre

Better a good journalist than a poor assassin.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Man is condemned to be free. Condemned because he did not create himself, yet is nevertheless at liberty, and from the moment he is thrown into this world he is responsible for everything he does.

- Jean Paul Sartre

The worst part about being lied to is knowing you werent worth the truth

- Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

One always dies too soon — or too late. And yet one’s whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are — your life, and nothing else.

- Jean Paul Sartre

As for me, I am mean: that means that I need the suffering of others to exist. A flame. A flame in their hearts. When I am all alone, I am extinguished.

- No Exit, Jean Paul Sartre

To know what life is worth you have to risk it once in a while.

- No Exit and Three Other Plays, Jean Paul Sartre

I found the human heart empty and insipid everywhere except in books.

- Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

There is a universe behind and before him. And the day is approaching when closing the last book on the last shelf on the far left; he will say to himself, "now what?

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

Little flashes of sun on the surface of a cold, dark sea.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

The individual's duty is to do what he wants to do, to think whatever he likes, to be accountable to no one but himself, to challenge every idea and every person.

- The Age of Reason, Jean Paul Sartre

Nothingness lies coiled in the heart of being - like a worm.

- Being and Nothingness, Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

I exist. It is soft, so soft, so slow. And light: it seems as though it suspends in the air. It moves.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

I never could bear the idea of anyone's expecting something from me. It always made me want to do just the opposite.

- No Exit, Jean Paul Sartre

I said to myself, 'I want to die decently'.

- The Wall, Jean Paul Sartre

In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Existence is prior to essence.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Your judgement judges you and defines you

- Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

It is only in our decisions that we are important.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Perhaps its inevitable, perhaps one has to choose between being nothing at all and impersonating what one is.

- The Age of Reason, Jean Paul Sartre

I am myself and I am here.

- Jean Paul Sartre

To think new thoughts you have to break the bones in your head

- Jean Paul Sartre

I wanted my own words. But the ones I use have been dragged through I don't know how many consciences.

- The Wall, Jean Paul Sartre

The aim of language...is to communicate...to impart to others the results one has obtained...As I talk, I reveal the situation...I reveal it to myself and to others in order to change it.

- Jean Paul Sartre

I'd come to realize that all our troubles spring from our failure to use plain, clear-cut language.

- Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

Life is a useless passion.

- Being and Nothingness, Jean Paul Sartre

Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough.

- No Exit, Jean Paul Sartre

I’ve dropped out of their hearts like a little sparrow fallen from its nest. So gather me up, dear, fold me to your heart – and you’ll see how nice I can be.

- No Exit and Three Other Plays, Jean Paul Sartre

I confused things with their names: that is belief.

- The Words, Jean Paul Sartre

He is always becoming, and if it were not for the contingency of death, he would never end.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

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

- Jean Paul Sartre

Death is a continuation of my life without me...

- Jean Paul Sartre

I do not think therefore I am a moustache

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

One could only damage oneself through the harm one did to others. One could never get directly at oneself.

- Jean Paul Sartre

I can receive nothing more from these tragic solitudes than a little empty purity.

- Jean Paul Sartre

An individual chooses and makes himself.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Existence is not something which lets itself be thought of form a distance; it must invade you suddenly, master you, weigh heavily on your heart like a great motionless beast - or else there is nothing at all.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

Once freedom lights its beacon in man's heart, the gods are powerless against him.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Most of the time, because of their failure to fasten on to words, my thoughts remain misty and nebulous. They assume vague, amusing shapes and are then swallowed up: I promptly forget them.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

All men are Prophets or else God does not exist.

- Jean Paul Sartre

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.

- Jean Paul Sartre

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.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Man is nothing else but what he purposes, he exists only in so far as he realizes himself, he is therefore nothing else but the sum of his actions, nothing else but what his life is.

- Jean Paul Sartre

Every word has consequences. Every silence, too.

- Jean Paul Sartre

The consciousness that says 'I am' is not the consciousness that thinks.

- Jean Paul Sartre

It is disgusting -- Why must we have bodies?

- Jean Paul Sartre

Nothingness haunts Being.

- Jean Paul Sartre

A pale reflection of myself wavers in my consciousness...and suddenly the “I” pales, pales, and fades out.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

I think that is the big danger in keeping a diary: you exaggerate everything.

- Nausea, Jean Paul Sartre

What do we mean by saying that existence precedes essence? We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world-and defines himself afterward.

- Existentialism Is a Humanism, Jean Paul Sartre

We must act out passion before we can feel it.

- Jean Paul Sartre