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

Authors
Gary Foster
Wilfrid Laurier University
Abstract
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
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ISBN(s) 1917-9685
DOI 10.5840/symposium201620219
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