Turn back upon

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Adlu

Member
Albanian
Hello all,

I went through this idiom while reading on the internet - I just don't understand what it may be about.

The phrase was: "... he himself, must decide for himself; also because we show that it is not by turning back upon himself, but always by seeking, beyond himself, an aim which is ... etc etc"

I'd appreciate everyone's help!

Thanks in advance :)
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Hello Adlu. :)

    I think we need more context, Adlu. What is being discussed here? What kind of thing must he decide for himself? What sort of thing would he be seeking?


    And we certainly need to know the source of the quotation. The source would be the title of the article where this was written, or the name of the website. ;)
    That is required by the rules, but it also may help people who would like to answer your question.
     

    Adlu

    Member
    Albanian
    Well, I didn't want to bother anyone by putting the source in here - it's quite philosophical and it's about the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre.

    Here you go anyway: http://atheism.about.com/od/existentialism/a/philosophies_3.htm

    “There is no other universe except the human universe, the universe of human subjectivity. This relation of transcendence as constitutive of man (not in the sense that God is transcendent, but in the sense of self-surpassing) with subjectivity (in such a sense that man is not shut up in himself but forever present in a human universe) - it is this that we call existential humanism. This is humanism, because we remind man that there is no legislator but himself; that he himself, thus abandoned, must decide for himself; also because we show that it is not by turning back upon himself, but always by seeking, beyond himself, an aim which is one of liberation or of some particular realisation, that man can realize himself as truly human.”

    I understand if you don't answer. You may find it rather boring. ;)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    we show that it is not by turning back upon himself, but always by seeking, beyond himself, an aim which is one of liberation or of some particular realisation, that man can realize himself as truly human.”

    Satre is saying, cogently, that introspection is not the way that man will realise his potential, rather that it is through genuine investigation, experimentation, and research, that mankind will become truly human.

    turning back upon himself - looking into his own mind; introspection; considering things from present limited experience only; referring to oneself; etc.
     
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