The latest installment from The School of Life’s animated video series introduces us to Jean-Paul Sartre’s concept of bad faith, a concept integral to his philosophy, Existentialism. As Mark Linsenmayer, one of the founders of The Partially Examined Life podcast, explained on our site back in 2011, “bad faith” is a tendency we have to “disassociate ourselves from our actions,” or more commonly, to claim we have “more limited choices [in life] than we actually do.” He went on to say:
Bad faith is possible because of the nature of the self… There is no predetermined ‘human nature’ or ‘true you,’ but instead you are something built over time, by your own freely chosen actions, too often using the roles and characteristics others assign to you.
As is their wont, The School of Life takes Sartre’s notion of bad faith and applies it to everyday life, showing how it can help you create the life you want to live–from entering into more satisfying relationships, to getting out of dead-end jobs.
For anyone looking to get a fairly accessible introduction to Sartre’s philosophy, you might want to start with his 1946 lecture, Existentialism is a Humanism. And down below, in the Relateds section, we have more helpful introductions to Sartre’s liberating philosophy.