Sartre, Group Formations, and Practical Freedom: The Other in the Critique of Dialectical Reason

In this essay, I attempt to remedy the relative neglect that has befallen Sartre’s analysis of social relations in the Critique of Dialectical Reason. I show that, contrary to the interpretation of certain commentators, Sartre’s analysis of social relations in this text does not contradict his earlier works. While his early work focuses on individual-to-individual social relations, the Critique of Dialectical Reason complements this by focusing on the way various group formations constrain or enhance the individual’s practical freedom. To outline my argument, I first discuss the relationship between Being and Nothingness and the Critique of Dialectical Reason before going on to identify the four group formations Sartre discusses in the Critique of Dialectical Reason and the implications each has for the individual’s practical freedom. I argue that while the group formations called the series and the institution constrain the individual’s practical freedom, the open, democratic group formations called the group-in-fusion and, in particular, the organized group, enhance the individual’s practical freedom. Because it is membership of an organized group that best enhances the individual’s practical freedom, I conclude by arguing that Sartre implicitly holds that the individual’s practical and political activity should be directed towards the establishment of a group formation that has the characteristics of an organized group
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1558/ccp.v3i2.183
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,305
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Erol Kuyurtar (2007). Are Cultural Group Rights Against Individual Rights? The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 3:51-59.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

28 ( #170,298 of 1,932,568 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #333,233 of 1,932,568 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.