• This will be part of a much larger answer--so please don't rate it until I say I'm finished :-) One of the fundemental tennants of Sartre's philosophy is one of taking responsibility for your actions. Essentially, a person should be willing to take the responsibility on for their actions--whatever they do. To put it another way, in the Sartrian society, I can do whatever I want as long as I'm willing to accept the fallout. Sartre also went on to say he would develop an ethics for this type of society. He was unable to. Why? Because in the Sartrian scenario,person A is only an actor and creates an action. (In our mythical Sartrian world, there are only two people A & B) The action has an impact of person B. (But remember, person A is willing to take responsibility for their action) This causes a reaction. The responsibility A have to take the effects of the reaction---person B. So in reacting to A's action, person B performs an action in response, and is willing to take responsibility in turn for their actions. Person A is dependent on the action of person B. Person A, becasue they are solely responsible for their own actions and no other actions, cannot control or temper person B's reaction/action. Thus, if person A's action impacting person B was simply to brush person B while walking, A must be prepared for person B's reaction which can be anything---even pulling out a gun and being shot. An ethical system requires the acknowledgement of others, but sartre's system does not acknowledge anyone but the individual and their willingness to accept responsibility for their actions Yes, this is a complicated example, but the bottom line this: freedom to allow anyone to do anything as long as they are willing to take responsibility will result in "overreactions" for the simplest things. This requirement to accept responsibility becomes a burden to the individual that is placed upon them by others. In other words, other people and their reactions to us are like a living hell. hence, hell are other people. I'm not fully satisfied that I've answered this question clearly enough---but its the start of a long line of revisions :-)
  • It's not that hard to realize. The short answer is "People - you can't live with them, and you can't live without them." Other people force themselves and their values and expectations upon you. They limit your freedom, both in action and in being. They do this both actively (by the enforcement of laws, and by other means of restriction), and passively (just by virtue of being there and having feelings, we are less likely to do certain things simply to avoid harming other people, even though we would otherwise like to). I don't think anyone said it best. Hell really is other people. And, just like the Christian concept of Hell, other people are a hell that one cannot ever escape: other people, no matter how much they restrict you, also are necessary, for most people, if only because of the interdependency of our lives and our needs, ignoring the social needs that many people feel. I envy the hermit who can shun people and live self-sufficiently. Freedom from the ties that bind...
  • This is Sartre's very early position on mankind. He subsequently came to understand the relevance & inportance of others to one's personal actualization and fulfillment.
  • hey,very simple,if you know what is meant by hell this means- other peoples are like hell
  • this is what I found...... …“hell is other people” has always been misunderstood. It has been thought that what I meant by that was that our relations with other people are always poisoned, that they are invariably hellish relations. But what I really mean is something totally different. I mean that if relations with someone else are twisted, vitiated, then that other person can only be hell. Why? Because…when we think about ourselves, when we try to know ourselves, … we use the knowledge of us which other people already have. We judge ourselves with the means other people have and have given us for judging ourselves. Into whatever I say about myself someone else’s judgment always enters. Into whatever I feel within myself someone else’s judgment enters. But that does not at all mean that one cannot have relations with other people. It simply brings out the capital importance of all other people for each one of us. -Jean-Paul Sartre
  • The ultimate Hell is EXTREME Solipcism - the belief that you and you alone exist in this universe of ours. Sartre pointed the finger on this idea when he said "Hell is other people," in at least a milder form of solipcism, meaning that our inescapeable subjectivity will separate us from each other forever. It follows that the more willing we are to listen to other people the closer we get to them and the less hell we experience at their hands.
  • Sartre in this quote tells the other is the problem. Its a common thought in french tradition of thinkers to point the problem of humanity as an aspect outside the human being, and the problem of existence as a social problem. Its very know the social writings of many french philospers as Voltaire, Rosseau... Diferently from the german thought that point the problem inside the human being, which developed psicology and later psicanalises. I think Mr Sartre can not be right in his conception... based on a simple logic thought... you are "the other" of someone as someone is your "the other". This kind of thought doesnt help life in society. We need a lot of people in any aspect of our life: from your own parents and friends to the unknow person who made your clothes, the person who makes your food and so on. Of course the french philosophy bring many important issues and knowledge, but its very incomplete in other aspects. Life in society is hell but it doesnt come from others, every people that lives in a enviroment is part of society and is responsable for it. But usually we speaks about society as a organism independent of ourselves.
  • Other people can make your existence good or bad if you are powerless over them. Sarte was an athiest, he had nothing else to say.
  • It means his social skills were dubious.
  • I love that quote because it's open to interpretation; It sounds to me that Jean-Paul Sartre has been disappointed by everyone whom he ever knew, and possibly found comfort and solace only from within himself. He probably wasn't the most social type of person if you know what I'm sayin.
  • Sartre was a "borderline" solopsist. In order to escape the problem of Solopsism, he acknowledged the the existence of what he called the Other -meaning anything or anybody else out there-whose reflective acknowledgement gave validity to his own existence. It is a form of dependency that he found limiting and he clearly was not totally comfortable with it, and thus he described it in that famous metaphor.

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