Being and Nothingness:
Being and Doing : Freedom

Jean Paul Sartre


Under these conditions since every event in the world can be revealed to me as an opportunity (an opportunity made use of, lacked, neglected, etc.), or better yet since everything which happens to us can be considered as a chance (i.e., can appear to us only as a way of realising this being which is in question in our being) and since others as transcendences-transcended are themselves only opportunities and chances, the responsibility of the for-itself extends to the entire world as a peopled-world. It is precisely thus that the for-itself apprehends itself in anguish; that is, as a being which is neither the foundation of its own being nor of the Other’s being nor of the in-itselfs which form the world, but a being which is compelled to decide the meaning of being within it and everywhere outside of it. The one who realises in anguish his condition as being thrown into a responsibility which extends to his very abandonment has no longer either remorse or regret or excuse; he is no longer anything but a freedom which perfectly reveals itself and whose being resides in this very revelation. But as we pointed out at the beginning of this work, most of the time we flee anguish in bad faith.