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The Philosophy of Sartre

Anthony Hatzirnoysis
Copyright Date: 2011
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    The Philosophy of Sartre
    Book Description:

    Anthony Hatzimoysis gives readers a clear understanding of Sartre's approach to the activity of philosophising and shows how his method favours certain types of analysis. Each chapter considers a range of issues in the Sartrean corpus, including his conception of phenomenology, the question of self-identity, the Sartrean view of conscious beings, his understanding of the self, his theory of value, his notion of human action as both the originator and the outcome of social processes, dialectical reason, and his conception of artistic activity. Providing an introductory guide in plain language for the reader who wishes to understand Sartre's philosophical arguments, The Philosophy of Sartre reconstructs key instances of Sartre's philosophical reasoning at work and shows how certain questions arise for Sartre and what philosophical tools he uses to address those questions.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-9479-1
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. CHAPTER ONE A narrative prelude
    (pp. 1-10)

    Sartre enters the systematic study of philosophy with an array of views that will affect the initial choice of themes to explore, and delineate some of the core theses he will later develop. Prominent among those views is that existence is irreducible to thought: the world is not the creation of a web of ideas, and depends for its existence on no design, human or divine. As such, all entities are “contingent”, since they form part of a reality that exists without necessity or reason, and “gratuitous”, as they lack justification, and serve no purpose: they simply are.

    Often stated...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Intentionality
    (pp. 11-22)

    In “Intentionality”, a short article written around 1934, Sartre puts forward the basic thesis of his philosophical outlook: all consciousness is consciousness of something.¹ This apparently innocuous claim will determine some crucial steps in Sartre’s argumentation: it informs his theory of the self; it motivates a new way of thinking about emotions; it guides his analysis of imagination; and it grounds his understanding of human existence. In the next four chapters we shall explore each of these issues in its turn. But, first, we need to address something more basic: what exactly does that claim mean?

    The claim that all...

  7. CHAPTER THREE The ego
    (pp. 23-40)

    Philosophical tradition has it that where there is thinking, there is an “I” that thinks. This “I” is sometimes seen as an entity dwelling within the mind, an immaterial substance whose activity constitutes our conscious life. Some other times, the “I” is considered as a formal principle that synthesizes disparate perceptions or ideas into complete thoughts. Either way, the I is at the heart of consciousness, sustaining the creation, reception and manipulation of mental content: without an I, conscious activity seems to collapse. Sartre thinks that tradition has it wrong: the I could not be residing inside consciousness since consciousness...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Emotion
    (pp. 41-78)

    Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions(hereafter, theSketch) has acquired classic status as an original analysis of emotional phenomena, yet its exact position in the philosophical debate over the nature of emotions is hard to determine. It is often argued that Sartre conceives of emotions as actions, but, given the implausibility of such a conception, his sketch can be rescued only by showing that what it outlines is not a general theory of emotion, but an analysis of emotional behaviour (see Barnes 1997; Neu 2000; Solomon 2003).

    We shall see in this chapter that the standard line of...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE Imagining
    (pp. 79-106)

    As I look at a horse coming slowly towards me I am presented, in experience, with that elegant animal. Yet seeing something face to face is not the only way for it to appear to us. I may look at a black and white photograph of a horse by the sea, observe Whistler’s vivid painting, dream that I am edging ahead at the Grand National, or simply visualize a stallion with its thick hair caressed by the light wind. Looking at pictures, having a dream or just imagining something are all phenomena too ordinary for any theory of human experience...

  10. CHAPTER SIX Being
    (pp. 107-124)

    Being and Nothingnessholds pride of place in Sartre’s philosophical corpus. It is the culmination of a decade’s involvement with phenomenological thought and sets the background for the moral, psychoanalytic, aesthetic and political propositions Sartre will articulate in the rest of his writing career. In between the methodological concerns that inform his early work, and the applied research that characterizes most of his later projects, there lies a text of substantial claims about the nature of being. The Greek word for “being” isonand the philosophical “discourse” orlogosabout being isontology. Sartre conducts his ontological enquiry by...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 125-134)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 135-140)
  13. Index
    (pp. 141-142)