Jean-Paul Sartre on the Meaning of Life: Objections from an Islamic Viewpoint

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Associate professor, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD candidate, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

10.22034/ri.2020.208313.1372

Abstract

Theories of the meaning of life are divided into two categories: nihilistic and anti-nihilistic. The latter is divided, in turn, into the view that life is meaningful and the view that life can be made meaningful. In this paper, we deploy a descriptive-analytic method to discuss Jean-Paul Sartre’s view of nihilism. In his view, God does not exist, the human being is born and dies without a reason, and then his life ends when he turns into a being-in-itself. Sartre’s view is subject to a host of objections, including the following: his restriction of the domain of knowledge to the empirical cannot itself be empirically established; given their confinement in the material world, human beings cannot come up with a comprehensive plan for their life; and that the meaninglessness of life is a self-contradicting idea that cannot be true in the external world.

Keywords


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