49 Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes from the French Philosopher

Jean-Paul Sartre, born in Paris in 1905, was a well-known philosopher and writer.

After studying at the École Normale Supérieure and teaching philosophy, he lived as an independent writer post-World War II.

His existentialism, influenced by Husserl and Heidegger, became iconic and celebrated during the 1940s.

This philosophy posits that atheism is a given, with humans condemned to freedom. Life’s meaning is not predetermined but created by man, requiring the solidarity of others.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Sartre believed literature to be a morally committed art. Despite his earlier works going relatively unnoticed, “Nausea” (1938) and “The Wall” (1938) established his reputation.

His philosophical magnum opus is “Being and Nothingness” (1943). Moreover, his plays like “The Flies” (1943) and “No Exit” (1947) solidified his repute. Sartre also delved into literary criticism and penned biographies.

I have made a list of the top quotes by Jean-Paul Sartre.

Best Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

1. “We are our choices.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).


2. “Every word has consequences. Every silence, too.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

3. “Commitment is an act, not a word.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

4. “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

5. “Man is condemned to be free.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

6. “We make our own hell out of the people around us.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

7. “It is up to you to give life a meaning.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

8. “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

9. “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).

10. “Words are loaded pistols.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

11. “Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

12. “There may be more beautiful times, but this one is ours.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).


 13. “If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

14. “Once we know and are aware, we are responsible for our action and our inaction. We can do something about it or ignore it. Either way, we are still responsible.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

Top Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

15. “I hate victims who respect their executioners.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

16. “To know what life is worth you have to risk it once in a while.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

17. “Only the guy who isn’t rowing has time to rock the boat.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

18. “Better to die on one’s feet than to live on one’s knees.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

19. “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).

20. “All that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

21. “Life begins on the other side of despair.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

Famous Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

22. “Life is a useless passion.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

23. “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).


24. “Death is a continuation of my life without me…” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

25. “Man’s existence precedes his essence.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

26. “We do not judge the people we love.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

27. “I can always choose, but I ought to know that if I do not choose, I am still choosing.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

28. “Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

29. “Man is fully responsible for his nature and his choices.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

30. “It is only in our decisions that we are important.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

Popular Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

31. “Consciousness is a being the nature of which is to be conscious of the nothingness of its being.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

32. “We must act out passion before we can feel it.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

33. “When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

34. “I am myself and I am here.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).


35. “Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

36. “Is there really nothing, nothing left of me?” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

37. “Introspection is always retrospection.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

38. “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).

Inspiring Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes

39. “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).

40. “Hell is other people at breakfast.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

41. “To think new thoughts you have to break the bones in your head.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

42. “What is life but an unpleasant interruption to a peaceful nonexistence.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

43. “I wanted pure love: foolishness; to love one another is to hate a common enemy: I will thus espouse your hatred. I wanted Good: nonsense; on this earth and in these times, Good and Bad are inseparable: I accept to be evil in order to become good.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

44. “Man is what he wills himself to be.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

45. “The coward makes himself cowardly, the hero makes himself heroic.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

46. “Several hours or several years make no difference once you have lost eternity.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

47. “All I can do is make the best of what I am, become accustomed to it, evaluate the possibilities, and take advantage of them the best I can.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

48. “I found the human heart empty and insipid everywhere except in books.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

49. “In a word, man must create his own essence: it is in throwing himself into the world, suffering there, struggling there, that he gradually defines himself.” ~ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar