A dialectical discussion of Jean-Paul Sartre's concept of freedom and contemporary suicide bombers
Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre places emphasis on the value of freedom throughout much of his work. For Sartre, freedom is the foundation of conscious beings. Every act and thought is performed with the assumption that alternatives are available. However, in the case of contemporary suicide bombers, it seems that certain mitigating factors may preclude the possibility of freedom, in the Sartrean sense. The cultural environment in which many bombers live seems to cultivate a perception of the world in which suicide bombing is the only desirable choice. Also, mental health experts testify that people who commit suicide bombings may be afflicted with certain psychological deficiencies. Finally, there are discrepancies in Jean-Paul Sartre's statements about his own feelings toward the limitations of freedom. My discussion considers each side of this argument. Although Jean-Paul Sartre's work makes a strong case for freedom in every situation, analysis of the case of suicide bombers, both Palestinian and groups such as al Qaeda, makes it apparent that there is another possibility in which freedom does not seem to be an option. Evidence for each side is presented. Ultimately, however, I must conclude that Sartre's work supports the argument that beings-for-themselves, even suicide bombers, act freely when they make the choice to kill themselves and others.
This item is only available in print in the UCF Libraries. If this is your thesis or dissertation, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by downloading and filling out the Internet Distribution Consent Agreement. You may also contact the project coordinator Kerri Bottorff for more information.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences;Liberty;Sartre, Jean Paul -- 1905-1980 -- Criticism and interpretation;Suicide bombers
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Lacefield, Katharine, "A dialectical discussion of Jean-Paul Sartre's concept of freedom and contemporary suicide bombers" (2003). HIM 1990-2015. 331.