this total freedom

We will freedom for freedom’s sake through our individual circumstances. And in thus willing freedom, we discover that it depends entirely on the freedom of others, and that the freedom of others depends on our own. Of course, freedom as the definition of man does not depend on others, but as soon as there is commitment, I am obliged to will the freedom of others at the same time as I will my own. I cannot set my own freedom as a goal without also setting the freedom of others as a goal. Consequently, when, operating on the level of complete authenticity, I have acknowledged that existence precedes essence, and that man is a free being who, under any circumstances, can only ever will his freedom, I have at the same time acknowledged that I must will the freedom of others. Therefore, in the name of this will to freedom, implied by freedom itself, I can pass judgment on those who seek to conceal from themselves the complete arbitrariness of their existence, and their total freedom.

Those who conceal from themselves this total freedom, under the guise of solemnity, or by making determinist excuses, I will call cowards. Others, who try to prove their existence is necessary, when man’s appearance on earth is merely contingent, I will call bastards. But whether cowards or bastards, they can be judged only on the grounds of strict authenticity. Thus, although the content of morality may vary, a certain form of that morality is universal.

Jean-Paul Sartre 1946 Existentialism Is a Humanism


it is the negative

It is the negative, that which constitutes the quality of both the dialectical reason and the understanding: it negates the simple, thereby posits the determinate difference of the understanding; but it equally dissolves this difference, and so it is dialectical. But spirit does not stay at the nothing of this result but is in it rather equally positive, and thereby restores the first simplicity, but as universal, such as it is concrete in itself; a given particular is not subsumed under this universal but, on the contrary, it has already been determined together with the determining of the difference and the dissolution of this determining. This spiritual movement, which in its simplicity gives itself its determinateness, and in this determinateness gives itself its self-equality – this movement, which is thus the immanent development of the concept, is the absolute method of the concept, the absolute method of cognition and at the same time the immanent soul of the content. – On this self-constructing path alone, I say, is philosophy capable of being objective, demonstrative science. – In this fashion have I tried to portray consciousness in the Phenomenology of Spirit.

G.W.F.Hegel 1812 Science of Logic, Preface to the first edition