Being and Nothingness is without doubt one of the most significant books of the twentieth century. The central work by one of the world's most influential thinkers, it altered the course of western philosophy. Its revolutionary approach challenged all previous assumptions about the individual's relationship with the world. Known as 'the Bible of existentialism', its impact on culture and literature was immediate and was felt worldwide, from the absurd drama of Samuel Beckett to the soul-searching cries of the Beat poets.
Being and Nothingness is one of those rare books whose influence has affected the mind-set of subsequent generations. Sixty years after its first publication, its message remains as potent as ever - challenging the reader to confront the fundamental dilemmas of human freedom, responsibility and action.
'A fascinating and intriguing work providing a full-blown metaphysic backed by, and at the same time providing the basis for, a complete theory of man.' - Times Literary Supplement
'Full of fascinating and profound analyses of human devices and desires.' - Iris Murdoch
'Being and Nothingness is a philosophical masterpiece, and a document of what life in the twentieth century was about. It is rare for a work to present such exquisitely abstract thought made vivid through examples imagined by a great novelist.' - Arthur C. Danto, Columbia University
'Rooted in the tragic circumstance of war and occupation, profoundly marked by Heidegger yet also written against him, Sartre's treatise remains a classic. What accounted for the impact of the work on successive generations was the tension between philosophic argument, social insight and the genius for narrative, for the concrete particular, distinctive of Sartre.' - George Steiner
'Being and Nothingness is a magnificently imaginative redescription of the human situation. Sartre follows up on leads provided by Hegel and Heidegger in order to replace the Platonic/Aristotelian account of human beings as primarily knowers with a neo-Nietzschean conception of humans as self-creators.' - Richard Rorty