Linked inTwitterFacebookSubscribe to Halcyon Headlines Feed

Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

See Halcyon's unique reporting on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and contact us to discuss how we may be able to help you contribute to and/or create value from the SDGs.

Follow Halcyon's forthcoming 52:52:52 campaign on Twitter, which will feature 52 issues and 52 responses over 52 weeks.

On Jean-Paul Sartre




Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself. That is the first principle of existentialism

Jean-Paul Sartre introduces us to the idea of our absolute freedom. While he admits that we are limited by some physical and social circumstances, he places us utterly in charge of ourselves.

Are we "condemned" to be free, as Sartre would seem at first glance to have it, or is such freedom more, as he would perhaps really contend, an opportunity staring us in the face if only we'd pay attention?

However, as his understanding of how social and economic limitations on our freedom to choose increased he began to stop identifying as a pure existentialist and openly declared himself to have always been an anarchist

A Quartz writer took an interesting and recognisable angle on Sartre, claiming that long before she read him, she had a clear idea of who he was. Or who she thought he was. She knew all about the turtleneck-wearing, chain-cigarette-smoking, moody sort of soul, with a melancholy philosophy to match. After opening his books, though, it became clear to her that this brooding reputation didn’t match the reality. His words didn’t read like those of a poet in crisis, but like something that would not look out of place in a self-help book.