Early Sartre on Freedom and Ethics

European Journal of Philosophy 23 (2):221-247 (2015)
Peter Poellner
University of Warwick
This paper offers a revisionary interpretation of Sartre's early views on human freedom. Sartre articulates a subtle account of a fundamental sense of human freedom as autonomy, in terms of human consciousness being both reasons-responsive and in a distinctive sense self-determining. The aspects of Sartre's theory of human freedom that underpin his early ethics are shown to be based on his phenomenological analysis of consciousness as, in its fundamental mode of self-presence, not an object in the world. Sartre has a multi-level theory of the reasons-sensitivity of consciousness. At one level, consciousness's being alive to reasons is a matter of the affective perception of values and disvalues as features of phenomenal objects. This part of his theory, a development of Scheler's, is, however, situated within a broader phenomenological analysis resulting in the claim that the ultimate reasons acknowledged by consciousness neither are nor justifiably could be values adequately presentable as intentional objects. Consciousness's ultimate reasons are, in this sense, not given by the world but by itself. Section 4 reconstructs and assesses Sartre's argument that consciousness cannot rationally have an ultimate end other than self-transparent freedom itself
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0378.2012.00532.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 36,649
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Intentionality.John Searle - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
The Possibility of Practical Reason.David Velleman - 2000 - Oxford University Press.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Intentionality and Intelligibility of Moods.Jonathan Mitchell - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Ambiguity of the Self and the Construction of Human Identity in the Early Sartre.Stephen Wang - 2007 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (1):73-88.
Sartre the Other: Conflict, Conversion, Language the We.Gavin Rae - 2009 - Sartre Studies International 15 (2):54-77.
The Psychical Analogon in Sartre's Theory of the Imagination.Cam Clayton - 2011 - Sartre Studies International 17 (2):16-27.
Sartre on Kant in the Transcendence of the Ego.Liu Zhe - 2007 - Idealistic Studies 37 (1):67-76.
Freedom.Jonathan Webber - 2011 - In Sebastian Luft & Søren Overgaard (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Phenomenology. Routledge.
Sartre on Freedom and Education.David Detmer - 2005 - Sartre Studies International 11 (s 1-2):78-90.
Is Bad Faith Necessarily Social?Ronald E. Santoni - 2008 - Sartre Studies International 14 (2):23-39.
Reconsidering the Look in Sartre's: Being and Nothingness.Luna Dolezal - 2012 - Sartre Studies International 18 (1):9-28.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
75 ( #88,641 of 2,304,171 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #60,838 of 2,304,171 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature