The Earth Charter

Topics: Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir Pages: 6 (2223 words) Published: October 25, 2011
Stoyanov, Alex
Contemporary Poli Thought
Final Paper

The Earth Charter is a radical document that tries to offer solutions to help the world and all of mankind to try and find a level of sustainability. Through Jean Paul Sartre’s theories and ideologies, I try and find my own voice and ideals of how I personally feel about the Earth Charter. Many people have tried to figure out what they could do, with little success, to fix the Earth and save it from ourselves. Though it is a start, the Earth Charter simply does not have a clear and concise plan of what needs to be done. Jean Paul Sartre’s conceptualizations of justice and power and how power should be organized make the Earth Charter an unjust document.

Question 1
Nietzsche was critical of modern notions of justice, which lead him to advocate his theory of will to power as the basis for politics. The will to power describes what Nietzsche may have believed to be the main driving force in man; achievement, ambition, the striving to reach the highest possible position in life; these are all manifestations of the will to power. He felt that a person’s will was the driving force in a human’s life and that humans should follow their will for true justice to be achieved. By doing so, humans would be able to set themselves beyond good and evil and eventually become an Übermensch. Nietzsche's concept for "an over man or Übermensch " is someone who overcomes the herd perspective and is capable of creating a new perspective without dogmatically forcing his perspective on others. Nietzsche also believed that justice was only just when it was among people of equal stature and class. It certainly seems true that, if we conceive of justice as a form of fairness (not many would dispute this), and fairness is only really achievable among those who are equally powerful, then justice as well is only achievable among those who are equally powerful. Which means, that the least powerful in society must, necessarily, always fall short of getting justice. French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre focused more sharply on the moral consequences of existentialist thought. In literary texts as well as in philosophical treatises, Sartre emphasized the vital implications of human subjectivity. Sartre's 1946 lecture L'Existentialisme est un humanisme ("Existentialism is a Humanism") offers a convenient summary of his basic views1. The most fundamental doctrine of existentialism is the claim that—for human beings at least—existence precedes essence. As an atheist, Sartre demands that we completely abandon the traditional notion of human beings as the carefully designed artifacts of a divine creator. There is no abstract nature that one is destined to fill. Instead, each of us simply is in the world; what we will be is then entirely up to us. Being human just means having the capacity to create one's own essence in time. This conception of justice is based on the individual and not a society type justice, but a justice that by being yourself and having authentic and sincere feelings about something that is how you will be able to find justice for yourself. Sartre’s lover, Simone de Beauvoir, was also an existentialist who supported many ideas of which Sartre had. She was a noted feminist existentialist who also believed that existence precedes essence, meaning in the case of feminist existentialism, that she was not born a woman but became a woman. Beauvoir argued that women have historically been considered deviant, abnormal. Beauvoir said that this attitude limited women's success by maintaining the perception that they were a deviation from the normal, and were always outsiders attempting to emulate "normality". She believed that for feminism to move forward, this assumption must be set aside1. Beauvoir asserted that women are as capable of choice as men, and thus can choose to elevate themselves, moving beyond the 'immanence' to which they were previously resigned and reaching...
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