Poincaré, Sartre, Continuity and Temporality


Authors
Jonathan Gingerich
King's College London
Abstract
In this paper, I examine the relation between Henri Poincaré’s definition of mathematical continuity and Sartre’s discussion of temporality in Being and Nothingness. Poincaré states that a series A, B, and C is continuous when A=B, B=C and A is less than C. I explicate Poincaré’s definition and examine the arguments that he uses to arrive at this definition. I argue that Poincaré’s definition is applicable to temporal series, and I show that this definition of continuity provides a logical basis for Sartre’s psychological explanation of temporality. Specifically, I demonstrate that Poincaré’s definition allows the for-itself to be understood both as connected to a past and future and as distinct from itself. I conclude that the gap between two terms in a temporal series comprises the present and being-for-itself, since it is this gap that occasions the radical freedom to reshape the past into a distinct and different future.
Keywords Sartre  Poincare  Being-for-itself  Temporality  Mathematical Continuity
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DOI 10.1080/00071773.2006.11006594
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References found in this work BETA

The Time of Images and Images of Time: Lévinas and Sartre.Basil Vassilicos - 2003 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 34 (2):168-183.
Sartre on Temporality.Anthony Manser - 1989 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 20 (1):23-32.

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Citations of this work BETA

Freedom's Spontaneity.Jonathan Gingerich - 2018 - Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles

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