From "Materialism and Revolution" through _Hope Now_, Jean-Paul Sartre was deeply engaged with questions about the meaning and justifiability of violence. In the first comprehensive treatment of Sartre’s views on the subject, Ronald Santoni begins by tracing the full trajectory of Sartre’s evolving thought on violence and shows how the "curious ambiguity" of freedom affirming itself against freedom in his earliest writings about violence developed into his "curiously ambivalent" position through his later writings.
In a probing paper entitled "The Misplaced Chapter on Bad Faith, or Reading Being and Nothingness in Reverse," Matthew Eshleman challenges part of my intensive analysis of Sartre's "Bad Faith," arguing that bad faith is essentially a social phenomenon, and that social elements—the Other, in particular—play a " necessary role in making bad faith possible." Although I share many of Eshleman's interpretative points about the importance of the "social" in Sartre's account, I contend, here, with textual support, that Eshleman is (...) too extreme, and slights the original bad faith to which human reality, in its very "upsurge" as consciousness or freedom, is "congenitally" (Spiegelberg) predisposed. My continued appeal to Sartre's concept of "initial," "fundamental," project, or "natural attitude" of consciousness to flee its freedom—what I have called ontological bad faith—becomes the crux of my critical counter-challenge to Eshleman's thesis. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to follow a lead of Prof. Stanley Cavell's in his paper, "Kierkegaard's On Authority and Revelation." The lead is: "to understand an utterance religiously you have to be able to share its perspective... The religious is a Kierkegaardian stage of life; and I suggest it should be thought of as a Wittgensteinian form of life." I try to present "form of life" as a larger picture sometimes necessary for understanding language-games, and to suggest that (...) what counts as a form of life will depend upon what particular language-game one is trying to understand. Sometimes then, a person's religious belief might figure into this process as a relevant form of life. I then try to represent Kierkegaard's religious stage by discussing three related concepts: paradox, ideal interpretation, and subjectivity. Paradox is one criterion for marking off the religious stage from the ethical and the aesthetical stages. In the religious stage, the talk of believers about God is such that it interprets the events in one's life according to that belief. In calling this an "ideal interpretation" Kierkegaard is calling our attention to the difference between this and the scientific talk of hypothesis, observation, and evidence. The religious stage is subjectivity—a way of life. In it, the truth of what one says is measured by how one lives in relation to it. This, I suggest, is quite close to Wittgenstein's idea of a form of life being important for understanding the language used within it. My conclusion is that Prof. Cavell's suggestion is a helpful lead in thinking about the connection between Wittgenstein's "form of life" and Kierkegaard's religious stage. (shrink)
Ronald E. Beanblossom - Thomas Reid: Context, Influence, Significance - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44:1 Journal of the History of Philosophy 44.1 126-128 Joseph Houston, editor. Thomas Reid: Context, Influence, Significance. Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press, 2004. Pp. 192. Cloth, $45.00. The impetus for this volume was a 1996 conference at Glasgow University marking the bicentennial of Reid's death. Topics addressed range from Reid's refutation of skepticism to M.A. Stewart's "Sources for Reid's Views on Personal Identity." Stewart is (...) at his best addressing Reid's indebtedness to Butler and Clarke on personal identity. What is not well developed are the arguments supporting Stewart's claim that in following the logic of Butler and Clarke, Reid fares no.. (shrink)