Jean Paul SARTRE

Family tree of Jean Paul SARTRE

Author, Philosopher

FrenchBorn Jean Paul SARTRE

French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic

Born on June 21, 1905 in Paris, France , France

Died on April 15, 1980 in Paris, France

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Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris as the only child of Jean-Baptiste Sartre, an officer of the French Navy, and Anne-Marie Schweitzer. His mother was of Alsatian origin and the first cousin of Nobel Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer. (Her father, Charles Schweitzer, was the older brother of Albert Schweitzer's father, Louis Théophile.) When Sartre was only a year old, his father died of a fever. Anne-Marie moved back to her parents' house in Meudon, where she raised Sartre with help from her father, a professor of German, who taught Sartre mathematics and introduced him to classical literature at a very early age. When he was twelve, Satre's mother remarried, and the family moved to La Rochelle, where he was frequently bullied.



As a teenager in the 1920s, Sartre became attracted to philosophy upon reading Henri Bergson's essay Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness. He studied and earned a doctorate in philosophy in Paris at the École Normale Supérieure, an institution of higher education that was the alma mater for several prominent French thinkers and intellectuals. It was at ENS that Sartre began his life-long, sometimes fractious, friendship with Raymond Aron. Sartre was influenced by many aspects of Western philosophy, absorbing ideas from Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Husserl and Heidegger, among others. Perhaps the most decisive influence on Sartre's philosophical development was his weekly attendance at Alexandre Kojève's seminars, which continued for a number of years.

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Geographical origins

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