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It can take two forms, the first one is making oneself falsely believe not to be what one actually is.
While being-in-itself is something that can only be approximated by human being, being-for-itself is the being of consciousness.
From Sartre's phenomenological point of view, nothingness is an experienced reality and cannot be a merely subjective mistake.
Though "it is evident that non-being always appears within the limits of a human expectation", the concrete nothingness differs from mere abstract inexistence, such as the square circle. not being able to see, is part of a totality: the life of the blind man in this world.
This totality is modified by the nothingness which is part of it.
The absence of a friend and absence of money hint at a being of nothingness. In the first chapter, Sartre develops a theory of nothingness which is central to the whole book, especially to his account for bad faith and freedom.
For him, nothingness is not just a mental concept that sums up negative judgements such as "Pierre is not here" and "I have no money".
Every question brings up the possibility of a negative answer, of non-being, e.g. No one." For Sartre, this is how nothingness can exist at all.
Non-being can neither be part of the being-in-itself nor can it be as a complement of it. The relation between being-for-itself and being-in-itself is one of questioning the latter.
Many have praised the book's central notion that "existence precedes essence", its introduction of the concept of bad faith, and its exploration of "nothingness", as well as its novel contributions to the philosophy of sex.
However, the book has been criticized for its abstruseness and for its treatment of Freud.