Symposium 20 (2):92-103 (2016)

Gary Foster
Wilfrid Laurier University
Much has been written about Sartre’s contribution to the field of psychology. His phenomenology as whole and his proposal for an existential psychoanalysis in particular, have contributed to the field of humanist psychology in general and existential psychology specifically. Less has been written, however, about Sartre’s contribution to the field of moral psychology apart from the occasional analysis of his notion of “bad faith” or the use, by moral philosophers, of some of his colourful examples to illustrate a point. In this article, I want to examine an issue in contemporary moral psychology in light of Sartre’s philosophy, particularly as he develops it in his early major work, Being and Nothingness. The issue that I wish to address is that of practical reason. In contrast to both the neo-Humean and neo-Kantian positions, I want to explore a Sartrean alternative, which situates moral motivation neither in ordinary empirical desires, nor strictly in practical reason. Moral motivation, on a Sartrean account, is rather to be understood in ontological terms as an expression of the desire to be.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 1917-9685
DOI 10.5840/symposium201620219
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,676
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

On the Social Dimensions of Moral Psychology.John D. GreenwooD - 2011 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 41 (4):333-364.
Sartre's Moral Psychology'.David A. Jopling - 1992 - In Christina Howells (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Sartre. Cambridge University Press. pp. 124--5.
Moral Psychology Handbook.John Doris (ed.) - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
The Cambridge Companion to Sartre.Christina Howells (ed.) - 1992 - Cambridge University Press.
Moral Philosophy and Moral Psychology in Mencius.James A. Ryan - 1998 - Asian Philosophy 8 (1):47 – 64.
The Humanism of Sartre: Toward a Psychology of Dignity.John Iuculano & Keith Burkum - 1996 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):19-29.
Sartre.Katherine Morris - 2008 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Sartre Et “Les Temps Modernes.”.Eleni Mahaira-Odoni - 1986 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 1986 (69):175-189.


Added to PP index

Total views
24 ( #424,267 of 2,386,587 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #554,109 of 2,386,587 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes