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In phenomenology, a dichotomy distinguishing between the two basic modes of existence, the difference being the latter form has consciousness and the former does not. The distinction is central to the work of existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who uses it to demonstrate that the being of an object such as a stone is not of the same variety as the being of a human being. However, for Sartre, not all human beings have being that is for-itself; this status must be arrived at via the conscious pursuit of a state of freedom.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.

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