Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980) was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism, a French playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic.

If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company.--Jean-Paul Sartre

His work has influenced sociology, critical theory, post-colonial theory, and literary studies, and continues to do so.

Here is a collection of Jean-Paul Sartre most inspiring quotes: Jean-Paul Sartre quotes on love, life and freedom. Quotes and sayings about existentialism, religion and marriage by Jean-Paul Sartre.


Jean-Paul Sartre Famous Quotes and Sayings

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


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


In love, one and one are one.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


I am alone in the midst of these happy, reasonable voices. All these creatures spend their time explaining, realizing happily that they agree with each other. In Heaven's name, why is it so important to think the same things all together.

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


It's quite an undertaking to start loving somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment right at the start where you have to jump across an abyss: if you think about it you don't do it.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Hell is other people.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


My thought is me: that's why I can't stop. I exist because I think… and I can't stop myself from thinking. At this very moment - it's frightful - if I exist, it is because I am horrified at existing. I am the one who pulls myself from the nothingness to which I aspire.

― 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


So this is hell. I'd never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the "burning marl." Old wives' tales! There's no need for red-hot pokers. Hell is -other people!

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


It is up to you to give life a meaning.

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― 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!

― Jean-Paul Sartre


We are our choices.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


He was free, free in every way, free to behave like a fool or a machine, free to accept, free to refuse, free to equivocate; to marry, to give up the game, to drag this death weight about with him for years to come. He could do what he liked, no one had the right to advise him, there would be for him no Good or Evil unless he thought them into being.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


I felt myself in a solitude so frightful that I contemplated suicide. What held me back was the idea that no one, absolutely no one, would be moved by my death, that I would be even more alone in death than in life.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Life begins on the other side of despair.

― 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


You are your life, and nothing else.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Everything has been figured out, except how to live.

― 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.

― 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?

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Like all dreamers I confuse disenchantment with truth.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Man is what he wills himself to be.

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Words are loaded pistols.

― 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


Every word has consequences. Every silence, too.

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Existence is an imperfection.

― 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


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Better a good journalist than a poor assassin.

― 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


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.

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― 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


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


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

― 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


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― 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.

― 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


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


your judgement judges you and defines you.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Life is a useless passion.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


I do not think, therefore I am a moustache.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


I am myself and I am here.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


I confused things with their names: that is belief.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


It is only in our decisions that we are important.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Nothingness haunts Being.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― 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


Existence is prior to essence. Death is a continuation of my life without me...

― Jean-Paul Sartre


There is no reality except in action. Man is nothing else than his plan; he exists only to the extent that he fulfills himself; he is therefore nothing else than the ensemble of his acts, nothing else than his life.

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.

― 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


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


A madman's ravings are absurd in relation to the situation in which he finds himself, but not in relation to his madness.

― 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.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


What is important is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us.

― 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


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


People are like dice. We throw ourselves in the direction of our own choosing.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


It's strange. I felt less lonely when I didn't know you.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


An individual chooses and makes himself.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


All men are Prophets or else God does not exist.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


It is disgusting - Why must we have bodies?

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Commitment is an act, not a word.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


We do not judge the people we love.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


The Nausea has not left me and I don't believe it will leave me so soon; but I no longer have to bear it, it is no longer an illness or a passing fit: it is I.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Everything has been figured out, except how to live.

― 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


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


I think of death only with tranquility, as an end. I refuse to let death hamper life. Death must enter life only to define it.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


What is life but an unpleasant interruption to a peaceful nonexistence.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Sometimes the truth is too simple for intellectuals.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.

― 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


In life man commits himself and draws his own portrait, outside of which there is nothing. No doubt this thought may seem harsh to someone who has not made a success of his life. But on the other hand, it helps people to understand that reality alone counts, and that dreams, expectations and hopes only serve to define a man as a broken dream, aborted hopes, and futile expectations.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


Imagination is not an empirical or superadded power of consciousness, it is the whole of consciousness as it realizes its freedom.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


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