Download Sartre's 'Being and Nothingness': A Reader's Guide (Reader's by Sebastian Gardner PDF

By Sebastian Gardner

Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness marked the start of the increase of French existentialism within the 20th century. during this paintings Sartre deals a fancy and profound defence of human freedom. the subjects mentioned by means of Sartre variety from conventional difficulties of metaphysics and epistemology to the roots of human motivation and the character of human relationships. it's a highly very important textual content in an extended and individual culture of philosophical mirrored image going again to Kant. Sartre's 'Being and Nothingness': A Reader's consultant is a useful better half to review of this influential philosophical textual content, providing tips on: 'Philosophical and old context' Key topics 'Reading the textual content' Reception and impact 'Further analyzing

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Extra info for Sartre's 'Being and Nothingness': A Reader's Guide (Reader's Guides)

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So 'the being of the phenomenon cannot be reduced to the phenomenon of being' (xxvIl6). This major negative result - that Heidegger's conception of philosophy as 'fundamental ontology', enquiry into the 42 READING THE TEXT meaning of Being, is misconceived - means that Sartre is still left with the task of coordinating appearance and being, and of explaining what should be made of the 'phenomenon of being'. Sartre proceeds to extract the following further conclusions. The criticism of Heidegger has shown that the being of appearances is not made available to us in the form of a phe­ nomenon of being, and this means, Sartre claims, that our relation to the being of appearances cannot be a relation of knowledge for knowledge, as Sartre understands it, involves 'determining a thing in concepts', and anything that we deter­ mine in concepts can only be a phenomenon.

The same goes, according to Sartre, for the duality of the object's metaphys­ ical 'interior' and 'exterior', and for the Aristotelian duality of 'potency and act', potentiality and actuality. Yet, Sartre argues (xxiii-xxiv/13-14), there is a problem with the new conception of the phenomenon, which puts in doubt its claim to dissolve the problems associated with the traditional dualities, and makes it seem as if these have been merely dis­ placed. The analysis thus far 'has replaced the reality of the thing by the objectivity of the phenomenon' (xxiii/13), and it has done so on the basis of an appeal to a hypothetical infin­ ite series of appearances.

And even if we grant that the experience cannot be altogether arbitrary - for it is hard to see in what way it might be merely a function of psychological idiosyncrasy or cultural history - can we be assured that philosophical conclusions derived from it have the requisite strict universality? Here it is important to appreciate that Sartre is not pretending to simply read off a metaphysics from an affectively charged perceptual state: phenomenology is not empiricism, and the phenomenological method does not consist in adducing simple empirical warrants.

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