The accidental and the necessary

One sort of madness consists in seeing the accidental (or contingent) as necessary. We meet someone and later think that the meeting was fated; it was written in the stars. In La Nausée (1938), Sartre explores this issue. Nothing is actually necessary; it’s all contingent. Everything that has happened could have happened differently—or not have happened at all.

The Burden of Freedom

“The astonishing thing is not that some people steal or that others occasionally go out on strike, but rather that all those who are starving do not steal as a regular practice, and all those who are exploited are not continually out on strike: after centuries of exploitation, why do people still tolerate being humiliated and enslaved, to such a point, indeed, that they actually want humiliation and slavery not only for others but for themselves?”

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