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Sartre and Nietzsche

Christine Daigle

Abstract

Some have characterized the twentieth century as a Nietzschean century, while others, such as Bernard-Henri Lévy, call this Le siècle de Sartre. Those who are interested in the works of Sartre and Nietzsche wish to know what these two authors, who have left a deep impression on the twentieth century, share in common. Others, myself included, dare to ask: "Was Sartre a Nietzschean?" Studies on this connection are few and, besides Jean-François Louette's book, Sartre contra Nietzsche, no major study exists. What is the particular nature of the relations between their thoughts? Is there an influence of Nietzsche upon Sartre? Is there a philosophical kinship? I will begin by clarifying the question of Sartre's interest in Nietzsche. Then, I will demonstrate that they had the same philosophical starting point: nihilism. Finally, I will show that both give a similar answer to the problem opened by nihilism, the question of meaning.

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