The central character in Sartre's 1938 novel La Nausée, Antoine Roquentin, has lost his sense of things, and now the world appears to him as utterly unstable. Roquentin suffers from what he calls ?nausea,? a condition caused by an ontological intuition that the self, as well as the world through which that ?self? moves, lacks a substantial nature. The novel portrays Sartre's own philosophical account of the self in La transcendence de l'égo. Here Sartre argues that Husserl's account of consciousness (...) is not radical enough; the ?I? or ego is a pseudo-source of activity (and Sartre thus draws very close to a particularly Buddhist account of personal identity). My essay questions Roquentin's response to his ontological insight: why is this the occasion for ?nausea?? Why doesn't Roquentin (as King Milinda famously does) celebrate and embrace his ?non-self?? I argue that Sartre's depiction of Roquentin's ailment, and the unsatisfactory solution he provides, misunderstands both the aggregate nature of things as well as authentically rendered consciousness-only (vijñaptim?tra). (shrink)
This article characterizes the work of Native basket weaver Mabel McKay, using some of the conceptual tools of twentiethth-century phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Specifically, McKay's baskets have often been described as "living;" Merleau-Ponty's account of the world as "living flesh" seems to suggest a way of thinking about these baskets as more than mere artifacts. I conclude that McKay's baskets are a powerful propaedeutic: they awaken a sense of ourselves as perceivers.