Sartre and Foucault were two of the most prominent and at times mutually antagonistic philosophical figures of the twentieth century. And nowhere are the antithetical natures of their existentialist and poststructuralist philosophies more apparent than in their disparate approaches to historical understanding. A history, thought Foucault, should be a kind of map, a comparative charting of structural transformations and displacements. But for Sartre, authentic historical understanding demanded a much more personal and committed narrative, a kind of interpretive diary of moral (...) choices and risks compelled by critical necessity and an exacting reality. Sartre's history, a rational history of individual lives and their intrinsic social worlds, was in essence immersed in biography. In Volume One of this authoritative two-volume work, Thomas R. Flynn conducts a pivotal and comprehensive reconstruction of Sartrean historical theory, and provocatively anticipates the Foucauldian counterpoint to come in Volume Two. (shrink)
One of the leading philosophical movements of the twentieth century, existentialism has had more impact on literature and the arts than any other school of thought. Focusing on the leading figures of existentialism, including Sartre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, and Camus, Thomas Flynn offers a concise account of existentialism, explaining the key themes of individuality, free will, and personal responsibility, which marked the movement as a way of life, not just a way of thinking. Flynn sets (...) the philosophy of existentialism in context, from the early phenomenologists, to its rise in the 40's and 50's, and the connections with National Socialism, Communism, and Feminism. He identifies the original definition of "existentialism," which tends to be obscured by misappropriation, and highlights how the philosophy is still relevant in our world today. (shrink)
Philosophy as a way of life -- Becoming an individual -- Humanism : for and against -- Authenticity -- A chastened individualism? Existentialism and social thought -- Existentialism in the twenty-first century.
“Dialectical” stands in parentheses because I wish to discuss both authors in terms of a critique of reason as such in addition to specifying the issue in terms of their respective assessments of the dialectic. But I shall first consider how each employs the term “critique.” So my remarks will focus on Critique, Reason and Dialectic in that order. Of course, each topic understandably bleeds into the others. In view of the occasion, I shall conclude with a brief sketch of (...) four milestones along Sartre's way from Being and Nothingness to the Critique. (shrink)
It is commonly held that when there is a conflict of basic ideals, e.g. a humane man v. an elitist or a Social Darwinist or someone who holds a revenge ethic, no moral justification is possible. This paper attempts to go further and show that such a justification would be undesirable, would carry a price few would be willing to pay. The thesis is developed to shed light not only on classical thinkers (Plato, Locke, Kant) but also on the attractions (...) of naturalism and intuitionism - and to suggest the need for a non-moral approach to justification, an approach emphasizing appeals to logic, self-interest, and personal happiness. (shrink)
We are celebrating the centennial year of the birth of Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980). His death and the huge funeral cortege that spontaneously gathered on that occasion marked the passing of the last of the philosophical "personalities" of our era. Contrast, for example, his departure, which I did not witness, with that of Michel Foucault, which I did. The latter was acknowledged in a modest ceremony at the door of the Salpêtrière Hospital; his private funeral in the province was even more (...) stark. The two passings exhibit the distinction graphically. Foucault, the most likely candidate to become Sartre's successor as reigning intellectual on the Left Bank, exited the institution that had figured in several of his books attended by a small crowd of a couple hundred, admittedly assembled without public notification, on a damp morning to hear Gilles Deleuze read a brief passage from the preface to The Uses of Pleasure. Describing philosophy as "the critical work that thought brings to bear on itself," the message had an ironically haunting Sartrean ring. (shrink)
Despite Sartre's almost proverbial rejection of Freudian psychoanalysis, Jean-Pierre Boulé places the philosopher himself on the couch in a wonderfully detailed and suggestive work. He notes that the fruit of his study may well be "to help us gain a better understanding of Sartre as an embodied sexual being and possibly demonstrate a new way of connecting biography with oeuvre." After analyzing Boulé's argument and considering the psychoanalytic method itself, I address this last claim about relating Sartre's biography and oeuvre, (...) especially in view of the integral role assigned biography in any existentialist theory of history. (shrink)
Brain physiology and IQ gains over time both show that various cognitive skills, such as on-the-spot problem solving and arithmetic reasoning, are functionally independent, despite being bundled up in the correlational matrix called g. We need a theory of intelligence that treats the physiology and sociology of intelligence as having integrity equal to the psychology of individual differences. (Published Online April 5 2006).
The fact that a right is unlikely to be exercised by most members of a group does not mean it has lost its social and justice-defending utility. Current attitudes can be revealed by a questionnaire, but the value of a tradition must be assessed in the light of history. Historically, academic freedom and tenure are inseparable and mutually reinforcing. (Published Online February 8 2007).
After reviewing how Jean Wahl interprets the early Marcel, specifically his Metaphysical Journal, in a seminal work whose title captured the philosophical spiritof the 1930s, Vers le concret (“Toward the Concrete”), I discuss the existentialist style of philosophizing, offer five criteria for judging a philosopher to be an existentialist and submit Marcel’s work to each. I turn to the appropriateness of calling him a neo-Socratic philosopher, an appellation he seemed to prefer, and conclude with some observations of how this mixture (...) of the Socratic and the existentialist places Marcel in the lineage of those like Michel Foucault and Pierre Hadot who speak of philosophy less as a doctrine and more as a way of life. (shrink)
Universal Grammar (UG) can be interpreted as a constraint on the form of possible grammars (hypothesis space) or as a constraint on acquisition strategies (selection procedures). In this response to Herschensohn we reiterate the position outlined in Epstein et al. (1996a, r), that in the evaluation of L2 acquisition as a UG- constrained process the former (possible grammars/ knowledge states) is critical, not the latter. Selection procedures, on the other hand, are important in that they may have a bearing on (...) development in language acquisition. We raise the possibility that differences in first and second language acquisition pertaining to both attainment of the end-state and course of development may derive from differences in selection procedures. We further suggest that for these reasons age effects in the attainment of nativelike proficiency must necessarily be separated from UG effects. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part I. Introduction: Introduction; 1. Existentialism and its legacy Steven Crowell; Part II. Existentialism in Historical Perspective: 2. Existentialism as a philosophical movement David E. Cooper; 3. Existentialism as a cultural movement William McBride; Part III. Major Existentialist Philosophers: 4. Kierkegaard's single individual and the point of indirect communication Alastair Hannay; 5. 'What a monster then is man': Pascal and Kierkegaard on being a contradictory self and what to do about it Hubert L. Dreyfus; 6. Nietzsche: (...) after the death of God Richard Schacht; 7. Nietzsche: selfhood, creativity, and philosophy Lawrence J. Hatab; 8. Heidegger: the existential analytic of Dasein William Blattner; 9. The antinomy of being: Heidegger's critique of humanism Karsten Harries; 10. Sartre's existentialism and the nature of consciousness Steven Crowell; 11. Political existentialism: the career of Sartre's political thought Thomas R. Flynn; 12. Simone de Beauvoir's existentialism: freedom and ambiguity in the human world Kristana Arp; 13. Merleau-Ponty on body, flesh, and visibility Taylor Carman; Part IV. The Reach of Existential Philosophy; 14. Existentialism as literature Jeff Malpas; 15. Existentialism and religion Merold Westphal; 16. Racism is a system: how existentialism became dialectical in Fanon and Sartre Robert Bernasconi; 17. Existential phenomenology, psychiatric illness, and the death of possibilities Matthew Ratcliffe and Matthew Broome; Bibliography of works cited; Index. (shrink)
In contrast to many of his contemporaries, A. J. Ayer was an analytic philosopher who had sustained throughout his career some interest in developments in the work of his ‘continental’ peers. Ayer, who spoke French, held friendships with some important Parisian intellectuals, such as Camus, Bataille, Wahl and Merleau-Ponty. This paper examines the circumstances of a meeting between Ayer, Merleau-Ponty, Wahl, Ambrosino and Bataille, which took place in 1951 at some Parisian bar. The question under discussion during this meeting was (...) whether the sun existed before humans did, over which the various philosophers disagreed. This disagreement is tangled with a variety of issues, such as Ayer’s critique of Heidegger and Sartre (inherited from Carnap), Ayer’s response to Merleau-Ponty’s critique of empiricism, and Bataille’s response to Sartre’s critique of his notion of ‘unknowing’, which uncannily resembles Ayer’s critique of Sartre. Amidst this tangle one finds Bataille’s statement that an ‘abyss’ separates English from French and German philosophy, the first recorded announcement of the analytic-continental divide in the twentieth century. References H. B. Acton. Philosophy in France. Philosophy, 22(82):161-166, 1947. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100025365 A. J. Ayer & T. Honderich. An Interview with A. J. Ayer. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 209-226. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. A. J. Ayer. Language, Truth and Logic. London, Gollancz, 1936. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. Horizon, 12(67):12–26, & 12(68):101-110, 1945. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Albert Camus. Horizon, 13(75):155-168, 1946a. A. J. Ayer. Secret Session. Polemic, 2:60-63, 1946b. A. J. Ayer. Some Aspects of Existentialism. In F. Watts, editor, H. B. Acton. Philosophy in France. Philosophy, 22(82):161-166, 1947. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100025365 A. J. Ayer & T. Honderich. An Interview with A. J. Ayer. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 209-226. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. A. J. Ayer. Language, Truth and Logic. London, Gollancz, 1936. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. Horizon, 12(67):12–26, & 12(68):101-110, 1945. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Albert Camus. Horizon, 13(75): 155-168, 1946a. A. J. Ayer. Secret Session. Polemic, 2:60-63, 1946b. A. J. Ayer. Some Aspects of Existentialism. In F. Watts, editor, The Rationalist Annual, pages 5-13. London, Watts & Co, 1948. A. J. Ayer. The Definition of Liberty: Jean-Paul Sartre’s Doctrine of Commitment. The Listener, 44(1135):633-634, 1950. A. J. Ayer. Jean-Paul Sartre. Encounter, 15(4):75-77, 1961. A. J. Ayer. On Existentialism. Modern Languages, 48(1):1-12, 1967. A. J. Ayer. Sartre on the Jews. The Spectator, 211(7317):394-395, 1968. A. J. Ayer. Reflections on Existentialism. In Metaphysics and Common Sense, pages 203-218. 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New York, Columbia University Press, 2007. R. Carnap. The Elimination Of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language (A. Pap, translator). In A. J. Ayer, editor, Logical Positivism, pages 60-81. Glencoe, IL, The Free Press, 1959. J. Chase & J. Reynolds. Analytic versus Continental: Arguments on the Methods and Value of Philosophy. Durham, Acumen, 2010. S. Collini. Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. S. Critchley. Very Short Introduction to Continental Philosophy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001. H. J. Dahms. Neue Sachlichkeit in the Architecture and Philosophy of the 1920s. In S. Awodey & C. Klein, editors, Carnap Brought Home: The View From Jena, pages 357-376. Chicago, Open Court, 2004. P. J. R. Dempsey. The Psychology of Sartre. Cork, Cork University Press,1950. V. Descombes. Modern French Philosophy. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1980. B. Flynn. Merleau-Ponty. In E. N. Zalta, editor, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, , 2004. M. Friedman. A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger. Chicago, Open Court, 2000. G. Gabriel. Carnap’s “Elimination of Metaphysics Through the Logical Analysis of Language:” A Retrospective Consideration of the Relationship between Continental and Analytic Philosophy. In P. Parrini, W. C. Salmon, & M. H. Salmon, editors, Logical Empiricism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, pages 30-42. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003. P. Galison. Constructing Modernism: The Cultural Location of Aufbau. In R. N. Giere, A. Richardson, editors, Origins of Logical Empiricism, pages 17-44. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota, 1996. S. Glendinning. In the Name of Phenomenology. London, Routledge, 2007. Gary Gutting. Continental Philosophy of Science. Oxford, Blackwell, 2005. M. Hammond, J. Howarth, & R. Kent. Understanding Phenomenology. Oxford, Blackwell, 1995. M. Heidegger. Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. R. Taft, translator. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997. M. Heidegger. Pathmarks. W. MacNeil, editor. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998. J. M. Heimonet. Bataille and Sartre: The Modernity of Mysticism. Diacritics, 26(2):59-73, 1996. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/dia.1996.0016 J. Himanka. Does the Earth Move?: A Search for a Dialogue Between Two Traditions of Contemporary Philosophy. The Philosophical Forum, 31(1):57-83, 2000. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0031-806X.00028 A. M. Hollywood. The Philosopher – Sartre – and Me. In Sensible Ecstasy: Mysticism, Sexual Difference and the Demands of History, pages 25-36. Chigago, University of Chicago Press, 2002. T. E. Hulme. A Note-Book. The New Age, 18(8):186-189, 1915. T. E. Hulme. A Note-Book. The New Age, 18(10):234-236, 1916. S. P. James. Merleau-Ponty, Metaphysical Realism and the Natural World. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 15(4): 501-519, 2007. S. Käufer. Logic. In H. Dreyfus & M. Wrathall, editors, A Companion to Heidegger, pages 141-155. Oxford, Blackwell, 2005. E. W. Knight. Literature Considered as Philosophy: The French Example. New York, Macmillan, 1958. C. A. Mace. Review of The Psychology of Sartre by Peter J. R. Dempsey. Mind, 61(243):425-427, 1952. B. Magee. Men of Ideas: Some Creators of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1982. A. R. Manser. Sartre and "Le Néant." Philosophy, 36(137):177-187, 1961. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100058022 M. Martin. Sensible Appearances. In T. Baldwin, editor, The Cambridge History of Philosophy, 1870-1945, pages 521-532. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.044 PMid:14585038 F. Maubert. Francis Bacon, sa dernière interview: “Je poursois le peinture car je sais qu’il n’est pas possible de l’arreter.” Paris-Match, 2242:92-93, 1992. J. M. E. McTaggart. The Unreality of Time. Mind, 17:457-474, 1908. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mind/XVII.4.457 M. Merleau-Ponty. Phenomenology of Perception. C. Smith, translator. London, Routledge, 2002. M. Merleau-Ponty. Texts and Dialogues: On Philosophy, Politics, and Culture. H. J. Silverman, editor (M. B. Smith, et al., translators). New York: Humanity Books, 2005. M. Merleau-Ponty & T. Baldwin. Maurice Merleau-Ponty. London, Routledge, 2004. H. Meyerhoff. Emotive and Existentialist Theories of Ethics. The Journal of Philosophy, 48(25):769-783, 1951. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2021208 I. Murdoch. Sartre, Romantic Rationalist. Cambridge, Bowes and Bowes, 1953. I. Murdoch. The Idea of Perfection. In The Sovereignty of Good, pages 1-44. London, Routledge, 2001. A. Oliver. A Few More Remarks on Logical Form. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 99:247-272, 1999. A. Plantinga. An Existentialist’s Ethics. Review of Metaphysics, 12(2):235-56, 1958. S. Priest. Merleau-Ponty. New York, Routledge, 2003. W. V. Quine. Word and Object. M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, MA, 1960. A. Quinton. Which Philosophy is Modernistic? In Thoughts and Thinkers, pages 39-51. New York, Holmes and Meier, 1982. J. Rée. English Philosophy in the Fifties. Radical Philosophy, 65:3-21, 1993. S. Richmond. Sartre and Bergson: A Disagreement about Nothingness. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 15(1):77-95, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09672550601143201 B. Rogers. Ayer: A Life. New York, Grove Press, 2002. K. Romdenh-Romluc. Merleau-Ponty and Phenomenology of Perception. London, Routledge, 2009. G. E. Rosado Haddock. The Young Carnap’s Unknown Master: Husserl's Influence on Der Raum and Der logische Aufbau der Welt. Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008. B. Russell. Nightmares of Eminent Persons And Other Stories. London, The Bodley Head, 1954. G. Ryle, H. A. Hodges, & H. B. Acton. Symposium: Phenomenology. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 11:68-115, 1932. G. Ryle. Phenomenology vs. The Concept of Mind. 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Here I attempt to clarify the general sense of the question that forms the background of Hegel's section on contradiction: What is the essence of contradiction? To what extent does this question pose a philosophical problem for Hegel? By considering this problem can we come to understand contradiction as a relation pertaining to "objective logic"? Translated by Erin Flynn & Kenneth R. Westphal. Originally published as "Über Hegels Lehre vom Widerspruch," in: Dieter Henrich, ed., Probleme der Hegelschen Logik (Stuttgart: (...) Klett-Cotta, 1986), 107-28. (shrink)
The relationship between intimacy and honesty seems a paradoxical one. While intimate relationships would seem to demand a high level of honesty, this same intimacy might make us more likely to shield the other or protect ourselves through benevolent lying or the withholding of information. It would seem that honesty may not always be the best policy in intimate relationships. The purpose of this article is to examine the tension between honesty and intimacy in Kant’s duty of friendship, and it (...) will highlight the limitations of Kant’s expectations of friendship. At the same time I will use Kant’s own appeal to the autonomy of moral agents to delineate an appropriate role for the obligations of honesty and self disclosure in friendship. (shrink)
Few philosophers today know much about Charles Peirce’s metaphysics, although a great many know something about his epistemology, philosophy of science, and logic. Indeed, few Peirce experts have written much on his metaphysics or made it the focus of their research. To an extent, this is understandable. Peirce’s writings were left in a disastrously disorganized state (mostly unpublished), and the crucial papers on metaphysics from his later years have not yet been republished in the first-rate chronological edition, the incomplete Writings (...) of Charles S. Peirce: A Chronological Edition , edited at Indianapolis by my friends. And then there is Peirce’s writing: an awkward, abrasive, arrogant, eclectic style that demands technical knowledge in diverse fields, especially logic, mathematics, and the natural sciences. His worst personality traits manifested themselves in his highly technical metaphysics—with its idiosyncratic, anti-Cantorian conception of continua, a pecularly mathematical phenomenology, and elaborate views on Darwinian and non-Darwinian evolution, for example. Finally, there is what might appear to be the bizarreness of the theory itself, as we shall see. Peirce was a kind of philosophical swashbuckler, a bold, courageous speculator on philosophical questions beyond most of our temperaments even to ponder. Ours is not the philosophical age of Errol Flynn but the minimalist age of Harrison Ford, with no grand gestures or speeches, just a series of small, no-nonsense gestures: we typically like our philosophy short, neat, "science-like," and isolated from other philosophical issues. (shrink)