Philosophy 103

Topics: Responsibility, Luxury good, Individual responsibility Pages: 4 (1616 words) Published: December 8, 2010
Luxuries vs. Necessities
According to Sartre, a philosopher from the World War II and Cold War eras, people will create the world around them, thus manipulating their lives. By doing this, they create certain limitations, while also creating more possibilities. Sartre created his philosophical theory at a time in history when more people were able to afford more amenities and luxuries for themselves. More and more industries, companies, and manufacturers were popping up around the world. This created a global human interest in possessing more amenities, especially in a democratic society. People were now able to not only afford the items they needed in order to sustain a normal lifestyle, but they could own things that could entertain them and bring them happiness. This is a lifestyle that has continued on through today. Many people argue that the habit of buying unnecessary items as opposed to buying those that are vital has become worse over time. Many of us wonder why this is the case. Sartre states that people “may not become what they wish to be” because they are too busy focusing on their material possessions instead of focusing on improving their moral selves. It is the responsibility of the person to decide what is really important in their lives. Sartre also makes a few more important notations towards his theory. First, many people think that they will only be defined by the items in which they possess. People think they will only be accepted socially if they possess items that are considered to be attractive to others. People also think they are only defined by what they have, not by who they are as people. However, Sartre also says, in reality, the world in which we live in is not composed of all the material possessions. But we tend to feel complete when we do possess these. It is our way of “escaping responsibility”. A free market constantly manipulates us, and it is easy for us to fall into its trap.

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