A major event in the history of twentieth-century thought, Notebooks for a Ethics is Jean-Paul Sartre's attempt to develop an ethics consistent with the profound individualism of his existential philosophy. In the famous conclusion to Being and Nothingness , Sartre announced that he would devote his next philosophical work to moral problems. Although he worked on this project in the late 1940s, Sartre never completed it to his satisfaction, and it remained unpublished until after his death in 1980. Presented here (...) for the first time in English, the Notebooks reveal Sartre at his most productive, crafting a masterpiece of philosophical reflection that can easily stand alongside his other great works. Sartre grapples anew here with such central issues as "authenticity" and the relation of alienation and freedom to moral values. Exploring fundamental modes of relating to the Other--among them violence, entreaty, demand, appeal, refusal, and revolt--he articulates the necessary transition from individualism to historical consciousness. This work thus forms an important bridge between the early existentialist Sartre and the later Marxist social thinker of the Critique of Dialectical Reason . The Notebooks themselves are complemented here by two additional essays, one on "the good and subjectivity," the other on the oppression of blacks in the United States. With publication of David Pellauer's lucid translation, English-speaking readers will be able to appreciate this important contribution to moral philosophy and the history of ethics. Jean-Paul Sartre (1906-1980) was offered, but declined, the Nobel Prize for literature in 1964. His many works of fiction, drama, and philosophy include the monumental study of Flaubert, The Family Idiot , and The Freud Scenario , both published in translation by the University of Chicago Press. (shrink)
First published in France in 1936 as a journal article, The Transcendence of the Ego was one of Jean-Paul Sartre's earliest philosophical publications. When it appeared, Sartre was still largely unknown, working as a school teacher in provincial France and struggling to find a publisher for his most famous fictional work, Nausea . The Transcendence of the Ego is the outcome of Sartre's intense engagement with the philosophy of Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology. Here, as in many subsequent writings, (...) Sartre embraces Husserl's vision of phenomenology as the proper method for philosophy. But he argues that Husserl's conception of the self as an inner entity, 'behind' conscious experience is mistaken and phenomenologically unfounded. The Transcendence of the Ego offers a brilliant diagnosis of where Husserl went wrong, and a radical alternative account of the self as a product of consciousness, situated in the world. This essay introduces many of the themes central to Sartre's major work, Being and Nothingness : the nature of consciousness, the problem of self-knowledge, other minds, anguish. It demonstrates their presence and importance in Sartre's thinking from the very outset of his career. This fresh translation makes this classic work available again to students of Sartre, phenomenology, existentialism, and twentieth century philosophy. It includes a thorough and illuminating introduction by Sarah Richmond, placing Sartre's essay in its philosophical and historical context. (shrink)
Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism is a classic critique of France's policies in Algeria in the 1950s and 1960s and inspired much subsequent writing on colonialism, post-colonialism, politics, and literature. It includes Sartre's celebrated preface to Fanon's classic Wretched of the Earth. Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism had a profound impact on French intellectual life, inspiring many other influential French thinkers and critics of colonialism such as Jean-Francois Lyotard, Frantz Fanon, Pierre Bourdieu and Jacques Derrida.
“He devoured her with his eyes.” This expression and many other signs point to the illusion common to both realism and idealism: to know is to eat. After a hundred years of academicism, French philosophy remains at that point. We have all read Brunschvicg, Lalande, and Meyerson,2 we have all believed that the spidery mind trapped things in its web, covered them with a white spit and slowly swallowed them, reducing them to its own substance. What is a table, a (...) rock, a house? Answer: a certain assemblage of “contents of consciousness,” a class of such contents. Oh digestive philosophy! Yet nothing seemed more obvious: is not the table the actual content of my perception? Is not my perception the present state of my consciousness? Nutrition, assimilation! Assimilation, Lalande said, of things to ideas, of ideas by ideas, of minds by minds. The corpulent skeletons of the world were picked clean by these diligent diastases: assimilation, unification, identification. The simplest and plainest among us vainly looked for something solid, something not just mental, but would encounter everywhere only a soft and very genteel mist: themselves. (shrink)
Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the most famous philosophers of the twentieth century. The principal founder of existentialism, a political thinker and famous novelist and dramatist, his work has exerted enormous influence in philosophy, literature, politics and cultural studies. Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings is the first collection of Sartre's key philosophical writings and provides an indispensable resource for readers of his work. Stephen Priest's clear and helpful introductions make the volume an ideal companion to those coming to Sartre's writing for (...) the first time. (shrink)
_Being and Nothingness_ is without doubt one of the most significant books of the twentieth century. The central work by one of the world's most influential thinkers, it altered the course of western philosophy. Its revolutionary approach challenged all previous assumptions about the individual's relationship with the world. Known as 'the Bible of existentialism', its impact on culture and literature was immediate and was felt worldwide, from the absurd drama of Samuel Beckett to the soul-searching cries of the Beat poets. (...) _Being and Nothingness_ is one of those rare books whose influence has affected the mind-set of subsequent generations. Sixty years after its first publication, its message remains as potent as ever - challenging the reader to confront the fundamental dilemmas of human freedom, responsibility and action. (shrink)
Truth and Existence , written in response to Martin Heidegger's Essence of Truth , is a product of the years when Sartre was reaching full stature as a philosopher, novelist, playwright, essayist, and political activist. This concise and engaging text not only presents Sartre's ontology of truth but also addresses the key moral questions of freedom, action, and bad faith. Truth and Existence is introduced by an extended biographical, historical, and analytical essay by Ronald Aronson. " Truth and Existence is (...) another important element in the recently published links between Sartre's existentialist ontology and his later ethical, political, and literary concerns. . . . The excellent introduction by Aronson will help readers not experienced in reading Sartre."-- Choice "Accompanied by an excellent introduction, this dense, lucidly translated treatise reveals Sartre as a characteristically 20th-century figure."-- Publishers Weekly Jean-Paul Sartre (1906-1980) was offered, but declined, the Nobel Prize for literature in 1964. His many works of fiction, drama, and philosophy include the monumental study of Flaubert, The Family Idiot , and The Freud Scenario , both published in translation by the University of Chicago Press. (shrink)
The purposes of writing -- The itinerary of a thought -- Vietnam : imperialism and genocide -- Czechoslovakia : the socialism that came in from the cold -- France : masses, spontaneity, party -- Kierkegaard : the singular universal -- Mallarmé : the poetry of suicide -- Tintoretto : St. George and the dragon -- The man with the tape-recorder -- Psychoanalytic dialogue -- Reply to Sartre--Pontalis -- Reply to Sartre--Pingaud -- A plea for intellectuals -- A friend of the (...) people. (shrink)
Nowadays nothing is more discredited than freedom. In the past, people sometimes sold their freedom for money. Today people sell it even if in its place they can only look forward to war or death. How did things come to this pass? Because the freedoms provided by bourgeois democracies are mystifications. The rights or the socalled rights we all have in principle have real meaning only for a miniscule part of the population.
Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the most important philosophical and political thinkers of the twentieth century. His writings had a potency that was irresistible to the intellectual scene that swept post-war Europe, and have left a vital inheritance to contemporary thought. The central tenet of the Existentialist movement which he helped to found, whereby God is replaced by an ethical self, proved hugely attractive to a generation that had seen the horrors of Nazism, and provoked a revolution in post-war thought (...) and literature. In What is Literature? Sartre the novelist and Sartre the philosopher combine to address the phenomenon of literature, exploring why we read, and why we write. (shrink)