• I was keen to dispel a familiar misunderstanding: that existentialists somehow relish the alienation of human beings from the world. This may have been Camus's attitude, but it was certainly not that of Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, each of whom tried to show that we can only experience the world in relation to our own projects and purposes. The world is initially one of 'equipment', said Heidegger: it is a world of 'tasks', said Sartre.