Філософія Освіти 21 (2):266-275 (2017)

William McBride
Purdue University
The article is devoted to the North American Sartre Society, which was founded in 1985. The author as its co-founder develops his point of view presenting during panel discussion of Sartre’s relations with the United States on the 2015 meeting. He devoted a lot of papers and books to Sartre’s philosophy. Some of them are presented in the references. The author reflects at a somewhat deeper level on Sartre’s attitudes towards USA in the context of its history and international relations, saying about philosopher’s contradictions, the strategy and tactics of his self-disinvitation. The author traces Sartre’s transition from one myth of America to another in later life. Sartre’s initial experiential encounter with the American reality was by no means entirely positive, but he did like New York City, feeling a sense of freedom in the midst of its crowds that he retained as an important part of his picture of America when back in France. Freedom, an open future, almost unlimited possibilities, and a lack of a sense of history of the sort by which Europe is shackled. Several events of the postwar world history such as Korean war, then Vietnam war paved the way for Sartre’s most salient later attitudes towards America. Meanwhile, Sartre had accepted an invitation to present lectures at Cornell University in 1965. But after American massive bombing of North Vietnam in 1965 Sartre responded by disinviting himself from Cornell by way of protest. Recounting these events, the author of the paper recalls so-called “Cornell Lectures”, which were saved in unfinished manuscript form and have been given the title “Morale et Histoire”. A serious interest in American political life is shown on Sartre’s and Beauvoir’s visit to Cuba as guests of Fidel Castro and Sartre’s participation in Lord Bertrand Russell’s independent War Crimes Tribunal.
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