Why Does Sartre Say That Our Emotions Are Transformations of the World

891 words 4 pages
In this essay, I will attempt to explain why Sartre argues that emotions are transformations of the world in his book, “A sketch for the Theory of the Emotions”. According to Sartre, an emotion is a response to a situation, an interaction with the world. Emotions control the way we act under certain circumstances and in certain situations, which is our behaviour, and we feel like we have no control. However, although we blame our behaviour on our emotions (“I hit that man because I was angry”) Sartre argues that we are actively in control of our emotions. But emotions need stimuli to occur, they do not just happen. We may be control of our emotions, but an event or situation is still the reason we feel emotions. As I will show in this …show more content…

Because I faint, I shut down my consciousness and I can’t see the gun being pointed at me, and am not aware of it being pointed at me, therefore the gun doesn’t exist to me, and I believe that I have “gotten rid” of it. So essentially, the world has been transformed.

To conclude, the worldly transformation Sartre describes that takes place is the relationship between a person and what they are interacting with. This does not physically transform the object or person being interacted with, or the world, but a person’s mental state has changed due to their emotions, changing not the “actual reality” but the mental reality in a person’s head. However, behaviour that has arisen from emotional states can change the world or an object (by physically damaging something, for example). By imposing an invented quality onto an object, or the world, then the world has transformed according to that person. For example, the grapes. My disappointment (this is the emotion) at my lack of access to the grapes has projected a non-existent quality onto the grapes, making them undesirable in my eyes, thus transforming the world through my