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Fwd: Re: Welcome to Sartre

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  • Tommy Beavitt
    Hello, I am Chuka Ekwueme,a final year student of philosophy at the University of Lagos,Nigeria. I am currently writing my final project and the topic is
    Message 1 of 28 , Feb 4, 2002
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      Hello,
      I am Chuka Ekwueme,a final year student of
      philosophy at the University of Lagos,Nigeria.
      I am currently writing my final project and the topic
      is "Existential Philosophy of Sartre-A Critique".
      I need Guidelines.
    • Tommy Beavitt
      ... --
      Message 2 of 28 , Feb 6, 2003
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        >Delivered-To: postmaster@...
        >Delivered-To: forwarding-tommy@...
        >X-Forwarding-To: tommy@...
        >X-eGroups-Return: notify-return-tommy=scoraig.com@...
        >X-Sender: malcma@...
        >X-Apparently-To: Sartre-owner@yahoogroups.com
        >Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 23:53:39 +0000 (GMT)
        >From: frazier malcolm <malcma@...>
        >Subject: Re: Welcome to Sartre
        >To: Sartre Moderator <Sartre-owner@yahoogroups.com>
        >X-eGroups-Moderators: Sartre
        >
        > i am 3rd yr university of Ghana student and i am
        >taking a course in existentialim this semester,so i
        >want u to give me information & where to read much
        >about this topic.i have read abit about sartre& ortega.
        >


        --
      • Stephen Cowley
        Have you thought about looking at the connections between Sartre and Franz Fanon, who wrote about Africa and colonialism? Personally I think his ideas are too
        Message 3 of 28 , Feb 7, 2003
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          Have you thought about looking at the connections between Sartre and Franz
          Fanon, who wrote about Africa and colonialism? Personally I think his ideas
          are too crude for the modern age, but to engage with them might introduce
          you to a living debate. The other African philosopher I know is
          Hountoundji, whom I also disagree with. As for Sartre, the novel Nausea, or
          the essay Is Existentialism a humanisn? would be good to read if you don't
          know his writings at all. I've heard from UNESCO that philosophy is more
          widely taught in Africa now. Would you agree?

          All the best
          Stephen

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...>

          > >Delivered-To: postmaster@...
          > >Delivered-To: forwarding-tommy@...
          > >
          > > i am 3rd yr university of Ghana student and i am
          > >taking a course in existentialim this semester,so i
          > >want u to give me information & where to read much
          > >about this topic.i have read abit about sartre& ortega.
          > >
        • Christopher Bobo
          Although it is presumptuous to assume that because one is from Africa, one is interested to know what Sartre had to say about Africa, but he does address
          Message 4 of 28 , Feb 7, 2003
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            Although it is presumptuous to assume that because one is from Africa, one is interested to know what Sartre had to say about Africa, but he does address issues pertinent to Africa in his time in the book Colonialism and Neocolonialism, where he criticizes French colonial policies in Algeria during the 1950s and 1960s and argues that violence is a permissible means of achieving political ends. It includes his preface to Franz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth and a chapter on Patrice Lumumba.
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Stephen Cowley
            To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 9:13 AM
            Subject: Re: [Sartre] Fwd: Re: Welcome to Sartre


            Have you thought about looking at the connections between Sartre and Franz
            Fanon, who wrote about Africa and colonialism? Personally I think his ideas
            are too crude for the modern age, but to engage with them might introduce
            you to a living debate. The other African philosopher I know is
            Hountoundji, whom I also disagree with. As for Sartre, the novel Nausea, or
            the essay Is Existentialism a humanisn? would be good to read if you don't
            know his writings at all. I've heard from UNESCO that philosophy is more
            widely taught in Africa now. Would you agree?

            All the best
            Stephen


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • praxistence@aol.com
            Sartre was a champion of Fanon; Fanon published essays in Sartre s literary journal. Sartre wrote the preface to Fanon s posthumous The Wretched of the
            Message 5 of 28 , Feb 9, 2003
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              Sartre was a champion of Fanon; Fanon published essays in Sartre's
              literary journal. Sartre wrote the preface to Fanon's posthumous "The
              Wretched of the Earth." Fanon once berated Sartre for being a comfortable
              white radical!

              I don't read "crude" at all from Fanon. He took Marx's concept of
              mystification & applied it colonial Africa. Considering that the US of A
              continues to impose colonial values on non-Western nations, Fanon's views of
              the West v. 3d-world countries is as fresh today as it was 50 years ago.


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Ariane Patrícia Ewald
              Prezado Tommy Beavitt If you speak some portuguese, may be I can help you. ... From: Tommy Beavitt To: sartre@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003
              Message 6 of 28 , Feb 11, 2003
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                Prezado Tommy Beavitt
                If you speak some portuguese, may be I can help you.
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Tommy Beavitt
                To: sartre@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 9:34 PM
                Subject: [Sartre] Fwd: Re: Welcome to Sartre


                > i am 3rd yr university of Ghana student and i am
                >taking a course in existentialim this semester,so i
                >want u to give me information & where to read much
                >about this topic.i have read abit about sartre& ortega.
                >


                --

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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Tommy Beavitt
                ... -- - http://www.scoraig.com Aite nan Easgann, Achmore, Dundonnell, Ross-shire, IV23 2RE UK Orange mobile +44 (0)7966 294458; UK Vodafone +44(0)7787 158073
                Message 7 of 28 , Feb 26, 2003
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                  >
                  >
                  >--- Hi, there
                  >
                  > I am a 27 year old lawyer, hispanic, living in
                  >Ecuador, actually, interested in existensialism, I
                  >would like to share a feeling I had years a go,
                  >when I decided to experiment the feelimgs described at
                  >the nausea, besides the whole philosophical problem of
                  >the being and the consciuosness, I remembered the
                  >impression the book caused me in the way I saw things.
                  >
                  >
                  >I started, maybe way out of the real purpose and the
                  >philospohical thesis withheld on that book that are
                  >deeper, to experiment my beingness and the other
                  >beingness, I decided to marble in the behavior of all
                  >things, and to wonder about the beauty of the instant,
                  >so I think that for me existensialism is not
                  >pesimistic, man is not a useless passion after all.
                  >
                  >I think it is really nice that people like you are
                  >yet interested in something more than working and
                  >making money.
                  >
                  >On the other hand, what do yor think about Milan
                  >Kundera in confromtation with Jean Paul Sartre?
                  >
                  >=====
                  >
                  >
                  >__________________________________________________
                  >Do you Yahoo!?
                  >Yahoo! Tax Center - forms, calculators, tips, more
                  >http://taxes.yahoo.com/


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                  UK Orange mobile +44 (0)7966 294458; UK Vodafone +44(0)7787 158073
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                • anjo3jantz@aol.com
                  Welcome to the Sartre group! You asked about Kundera and Sartre. While I ve only read The Unbearable Lightness of Being , it seems to me that Kundera s
                  Message 8 of 28 , Feb 27, 2003
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                    Welcome to the Sartre group!

                    You asked about Kundera and Sartre. While I've only read "The Unbearable
                    Lightness of Being", it seems to me that Kundera's thinking is more often in
                    line with Sartre's, rather than in opposition. "The Unbearable Lightness of
                    Being" is really an existentialist novel. The themes of alienation and
                    contingency are central, as is the concept of the book's title. What Kundera
                    calls "the unbearable lightness of being" is actually very similar to the
                    existential "vertigo" that Sartre (and others) described when we face the
                    great void of our own freedom, and which we often turn away from in fear. In
                    fact, Kundera himself borrows the vertigo analogy:

                    "Anyone whose goal is "something higher" must expect some day to suffer
                    vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? Then why do we feel it even
                    when the observation tower comes equipped with a sturdy handrail? No,
                    vertigo is something other than the fear of falling. It is the voice of the
                    emptiness below us which tempts and lures us...against which, terrified, we
                    defend ourselves." [which is another way of saying we hide from our own
                    freedom.]

                    Another comment by Kundera strikes me as Sartrean. He writes: "The longing
                    for Paradise is man's longing not to be man." Sartre wrote that man's
                    fundemental desire is to transcend his humanity by being both for-itself and
                    in-itself, i.e., God. And of course, man cannot be God.

                    I liked the book a lot. I've never seen the film, but I am curious how they
                    could translate it into film. The book is so philisophical and so played-out
                    in people's heads. I'll have to rent it sometime.

                    Anyway, that's my two cents on the Kundera-Sartre connection.

                    Again, welcome to the group.
                    Regards,
                    Andrew


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • decker150 <decker150@yahoo.com>
                    Thanks for the introduction to Milan Kundera. His books and ideas seem appealing and here s a direct source
                    Message 9 of 28 , Feb 27, 2003
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                      Thanks for the introduction to Milan Kundera. His books and ideas
                      seem appealing and here's a direct source

                      http://www.kundera.de/english/Bibliography/bibliography.html
                    • fer del
                      ... comments, I readed The Unbearable ... movie, you must rent it, is great. About the vertigo, I think it may came too when you free yourself of any prejudice
                      Message 10 of 28 , Feb 27, 2003
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                        --- anjo3jantz@... wrote:
                        > Welcome to the Sartre group!
                        > Hello, and a millon thanks for yours and Kundera�s
                        comments, I readed The Unbearable
                        > Lightness of Being", in spanish, and I also saw the
                        movie, you must rent it, is great.

                        About the vertigo, I think it may came too when you
                        free yourself of any prejudice about people,
                        experiences or feelings, or when you decide to
                        explore freely your life, it could cause you vertigo,
                        I think probably it is also about freedom, void of our
                        freedom.

                        What do you know about Sartre�s personal life, was he
                        gey, as I think, he described himself on the chilhood
                        of a chief?

                        Is incredible the way he describes the encounter of
                        Lucien with Bergere, and also, Why did he hate the
                        jewish people?

                        A personal:Question Do you believe in God? And what
                        can you say about crhistian existensialism. (D
                        Chardin)

                        Regards,

                        Fernando


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                      • decker150 <decker150@yahoo.com>
                        Andrew said: Anyone whose goal is something higher must expect some day to suffer vertigo. Joe: I agree. Heidegger s idea of transcendence dealt directly
                        Message 11 of 28 , Feb 27, 2003
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                          Andrew said: "Anyone whose goal is "something higher" must expect some
                          day to suffer vertigo.

                          Joe: I agree. Heidegger's idea of transcendence dealt directly with
                          Dasein. The idea of transcendence, as I understand it, deals with our
                          ability to step beyond ourself. We do this essentially through memory
                          and expectation. Both memory and expectation characterize our
                          temporal condition. The unity of time is expressed as the ecstasis;
                          the manner by which we bring into the present or make present the
                          no-longer and the not-yet. Through memories, we go beyond the present
                          toward the past. Through expectation, we go beyond the present toward
                          the future. This is not possible for an intraworldly object. Objects
                          are not transcendent. We are the beings whose very Being surpasses
                          our own condition within the horizon of time.

                          How I understand the temporal dynamic is that we're processing
                          thousands and thousand of thought impulses every day. Thoughts come
                          and go, active one moment and then soon perish. Most of our thoughts
                          never surface, very few find a path into spoken words. However, when
                          they do find an outlet, are seldom ever kept from disappearance.
                          Private thoughts do not have a phenomenological value, but when I
                          write my thoughts down on a piece of paper, the words make an
                          appearance. There is something phenomenolgical about writing.

                          The writing itself is made possible because Dasein is transcendence;
                          the ecstasis of memories (past retention) is brought into the present
                          (enpresenting) and the ecstasis of expectation (anticipating the
                          future); prediction, foresight, imagination, vision; that attempts to
                          surpass the mere conditions of the now. Being 'is' present tense, and
                          therefore the express mode of the 'right now' current time
                          determinate; Having-been and now-no-longer expresses the past tense,
                          whereas the not-yet but will-be expresses a future time determinate.

                          Summary: Time, consciousness, temporality, transcencdence, ecstasis
                          are all interrelated meanings.

                          Joe
                        • anjo3jantz@aol.com
                          Hi, Fernando. To answer your questions: As far as I know, Sartre was not gay. I ve never come across any references indicating otherwise. He was, in fact,
                          Message 12 of 28 , Feb 27, 2003
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                            Hi, Fernando.

                            To answer your questions:

                            As far as I know, Sartre was not gay. I've never come across any references
                            indicating otherwise. He was, in fact, quite the ladies man, despite his
                            life-long relationship with de Beauvoir.

                            As for him hating Jews, I don't know where that comes from, because he
                            definitely was not anti-semitic. He wrote a book attacking anti-semitism,
                            and also, towards the end of his life, expressed admiration at the
                            trans-national bond that Jews feel toward each other.

                            And no, I don't believe in god. I guess I'm a heathen (or an apostate, to be
                            precise, since I was once a Christian). I suppose one of the reasons I am
                            attracted to Sartre over, say, Kierkegaard, Marcel or Tillich is because of
                            Sartre's atheism. Sartre maintained that existentialism is incompatible with
                            theism because the whole point of existentialism, as he saw it, is to awaken
                            people to their freedom and responsibility in a world that is devoid of the
                            absolutes attributed to god by the theists. It seems to me that if the
                            universe is not indifferent, then existentialism loses some of its
                            justification.

                            Regards,
                            Andrew






                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • monomit bhowmik
                            on the perspective of existentialism where do we put our conscience?is it an unnecessary burden that we carry as we are thrust into the circular journey of
                            Message 13 of 28 , Feb 28, 2003
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                              on the perspective of existentialism where do we put
                              our conscience?is it an unnecessary burden that we carry
                              as we are thrust into the circular journey of life.if nothing
                              at the end matters then why this and why that?we are given
                              instincts,but leading a life mostly deals with suppressing
                              our instincts.
                              dostoyovosky's 'dream of a madman'(not sure about the name)
                              where the man decides to put an end to his life,but in
                              dream goes to a parallel unspoiled universe where there is no
                              contradiction and eventually spoils them too,but understands
                              what true love is and how it feels our soul.
                              or the stranger(kamus),to whom nothing really matters and
                              eventually
                              his life ends with the same indifferent tone.
                              what other fellow beings think i would like to know.
                            • decker150 <decker150@yahoo.com>
                              Often, I would like to believe that the universe is governed by mere mechanism, indifferent processes, and laws, that I am accountable to myself alone and to
                              Message 14 of 28 , Feb 28, 2003
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                                Often, I would like to believe that the universe is governed by mere
                                mechanism, indifferent processes, and laws, that I am accountable to
                                myself alone and to nothing other, but intuitively I can not shake the
                                'feeling' that "we live and move and have our being" in something both
                                personal, mysterious and invisible. For all I know, every pore of my
                                being encounters a field of energy characterized by a feeling of awe
                                and mystery. It's more of a 'feeling' than anything else. Further,
                                it's a feeling that is very deep seated; into the farthest reaches of
                                my being. Heidegger said that the ultimate philosophical question is
                                "why is there anything at all?" Sartre's conclusion would be that
                                there is not an answer and that is why 'everything' is absurd.

                                I can build rational senarios in my mind about there not being a God,
                                that every world religion has it all wrong, but a deeply personal
                                feeling wins out; faith is caught in that feeling, and arises out of
                                the mystery of being itself. But this does not allow me to speak
                                authoritatively as if I have the final word. What troubles me about
                                atheism is the intellectual position that so easily dismisses the
                                divine altogether.

                                IMHO, the complexity and mystery of the universe does not allow my
                                level of intelligence to do that; to avoid the question of God.

                                Joe
                              • maryam eyniyan
                                Hi thanks for your Email I am 24 year old , mechanic Engineer . I live in Iran .I havent took part in Sartre s group s discution yet ,but I always read the
                                Message 15 of 28 , Mar 3, 2003
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                                  Hi

                                  thanks for your Email
                                  I am 24 year old , mechanic Engineer . I live in Iran
                                  .I havent took part in Sartre's group's discution yet
                                  ,but I always read the mails that I resive .
                                  I am intrested in philosophy too.
                                  I'll be happy to speak with you.
                                  thanks
                                  Maryam Eyniyan



                                  --- Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >--- Hi, there
                                  > >
                                  > > I am a 27 year old lawyer, hispanic, living in
                                  > >Ecuador, actually, interested in existensialism, I
                                  > >would like to share a feeling I had years a go,
                                  > >when I decided to experiment the feelimgs described
                                  > at
                                  > >the nausea, besides the whole philosophical problem
                                  > of
                                  > >the being and the consciuosness, I remembered the
                                  > >impression the book caused me in the way I saw
                                  > things.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >I started, maybe way out of the real purpose and
                                  > the
                                  > >philospohical thesis withheld on that book that
                                  > are
                                  > >deeper, to experiment my beingness and the other
                                  > >beingness, I decided to marble in the behavior of
                                  > all
                                  > >things, and to wonder about the beauty of the
                                  > instant,
                                  > >so I think that for me existensialism is not
                                  > >pesimistic, man is not a useless passion after all.
                                  > >
                                  > >I think it is really nice that people like you are
                                  > >yet interested in something more than working and
                                  > >making money.
                                  > >
                                  > >On the other hand, what do yor think about Milan
                                  > >Kundera in confromtation with Jean Paul Sartre?
                                  > >
                                  > >=====
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >__________________________________________________
                                  > >Do you Yahoo!?
                                  > >Yahoo! Tax Center - forms, calculators, tips, more
                                  > >http://taxes.yahoo.com/
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --
                                  > -
                                  > http://www.scoraig.com
                                  >
                                  > Aite nan Easgann, Achmore, Dundonnell, Ross-shire,
                                  > IV23 2RE
                                  >
                                  > UK Orange mobile +44 (0)7966 294458; UK Vodafone
                                  > +44(0)7787 158073
                                  > If calling from a UK or international landline
                                  > please ask me to call you back
                                  >


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                                • Tommy Beavitt
                                  ... -- Join us at Communicationalism, the attempt to find a basis for ethics in communication rather than survival
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Oct 11, 2003
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                                    >Hi Tommy,
                                    >
                                    >Its honour to be one of part in this milis. Well, my country had
                                    >some philosophical thinkers. One of them being influence for my
                                    >intelectual experience. He is Nurcholish Madjid. He opened our
                                    >mind obout difference. His main concept about plurality invite
                                    >controversi. his content statement that islam or muslim got to see
                                    >that al-qur'an could rise many interpretasi. ex, he say that vail
                                    >(we call jilbab) unobligatory for muslim women and married with
                                    >nonmuslim man for women muslim its unborder rules of islam. off
                                    >course many people against him. but his idea make aufklarung for us.
                                    >
                                    >Rana
                                    >Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >Hi Rana,
                                    >
                                    >Glad you have joined us. I am sure that you will have lots to offer
                                    >the group from an Indonesian perspective. Who are the main
                                    >philosophical thinkers from your part of the world? Is there a
                                    >tradition of existentialist thinking in Indonesia? How does/could
                                    >this relate to the Islamic culture of your country?
                                    >
                                    >Hope to hear from you soon
                                    >
                                    >Tommy
                                    >Sartre moderator
                                    >
                                    >>Hi...
                                    >>i'm Rana Pratyahara. female. i'm from indonesia. my english jelek
                                    >>(badly, ugly, not good?) i like poet and other things about literer.
                                    >>I saw Sartre milis and i think interesting to join with it. even I
                                    >>don't know much about Sartre. I think maybe if i'm join, i can read
                                    >>more information about him.and etc
                                    >>
                                    >>Rana Pratyahara
                                    >>
                                    >>Sartre Moderator wrote:
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >>Hello,
                                    >>
                                    >>Welcome to the Sartre list. This list was created to provide a forum
                                    >>for discussion of Sartre's philosophy and novels, and
                                    >>relevant themes in the writings of other existential and
                                    >>phenomenological thinkers.
                                    >>
                                    >>Contributions are welcome at all levels, please feel free to
                                    >>introduce yourself and your interests to the list and suggest a
                                    >>topic for discussion.
                                    >>
                                    >>I look forward to debating with you.
                                    >>
                                    >>Tommy Beavitt
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >>Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >>
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                                    >>The
                                    >>New Yahoo! Shopping - with improved product search
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >--
                                    >Join us at Communicationalism, the attempt to find a basis for ethics
                                    >in communication rather than survival
                                    >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/communicationalism/
                                    >
                                    >
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                                    ><http://shopping.yahoo.com/?__yltc=s%3A150000443%2Cd%3A22708228%2Cslk%3Atext%2Csec%3Amail>The
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                                  • Stephen Cowley
                                    ... Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003 2:19 AM Subject: [Sartre] Re: Welcome to Sartre ... Marxism in his later works, and it s the transition from his earlier
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Oct 12, 2003
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                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003 2:19 AM
                                      Subject: [Sartre] Re: Welcome to Sartre


                                      K:
                                      > Hello,
                                      >
                                      > [...] I have done some small independant studies into his adaptation of
                                      Marxism in his later works, and it's the transition from his earlier
                                      ontology to broader social theory that primarily interests me. Specifically,
                                      how the role of formed matter (practico-inert) and the social structures
                                      created by men came to play a much more significant role in Sartre's
                                      conception of the individual's social experience, and how our freedom is
                                      limited and mediated by these inert and passive structures.
                                      >
                                      Reply:
                                      My feeling on the contrary is that it the early work on first principles
                                      that is the lasting part of Sartre's work. The "scientific" part of
                                      Marxism - at least in intention - was the economics (i.e. Capital Vol 1),
                                      and the later concept of a Marxist "scientific socialism" from the time of
                                      Lenin and the 2nd International in retrospect, is simply a glorification of
                                      Marx's journalistic works on the French politics of 1848-51 and 1870. So in
                                      terms of social ontology, Marx doesn't really get beyond Hegel's powerful
                                      concepts of universal recognition,and the idea of society as an
                                      inter-related whole.

                                      K:
                                      > Also of interest to me is his conception of the Fused Group, and the
                                      question of how a revolutionary movement could/can maintain it's sense of
                                      collective purpose after the "Other"/oppressor which it originally united
                                      against has been dissolved. This is a question of great importance to anyone
                                      interested in social movements on any scale, and it's my hope that the
                                      disappearance of certain idealisms presently persisting in radical thought
                                      might be fascilitated by a more critical analysis of the structures of group
                                      action from an existentialist perspective.

                                      Reply:
                                      I would rate the ideas of personalist critics of Marxism like John Macmurray
                                      of great value here. The idea you seem to be describing is of a group held
                                      together by a common purpose. But this is not the fundamental form of human
                                      community, which, rather than a political party, should be conceived as an
                                      end in itself, on the model of a family, church, or republic. The "ends" of
                                      these organisations, to adopt that term, - to live well together, or glorify
                                      God, for example - are such as do not perish, and do not depend on the
                                      existence of a hostile "Other". Does the later Sartre take on this kind of
                                      analysis?

                                      All the best
                                      Stephen
                                    • nikhilesh
                                      this refers to the second part... kieran...you werent obtuse at all. And I think this line of thinking might lead to something. Fundamentally, it is survival
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Oct 12, 2003
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                                        this refers to the second part...
                                        kieran...you werent obtuse at all. And I think this
                                        line of thinking might lead to something.
                                        Fundamentally, it is survival that brings people
                                        into groups. In that sense we are not different from,
                                        say, certain species of whales.
                                        And we have a large brain (unnecessarily large, I'd
                                        say...but that is a different topic of debate
                                        altogether). And we have feelings of boredom and our
                                        biological make up leads us to "enjoy" art, music,
                                        sports and games; inshort anything to break the rut.
                                        Then again, man is polygamous and multiple sexual
                                        partners are more easily attainable in a group
                                        (society).
                                        What I am driving at is that the basic reason for
                                        group/society is survival. And because of how we are
                                        biologically, we develop certain things (music, games
                                        etc) that make the experience of living in a group
                                        more wholesome. These things that we develop is
                                        probably what culture is.
                                        Once you develop a culture, this culture is imbibed
                                        in the children. Social conditioning is unavoidable.
                                        Later on, when survival may not be at stake, it is
                                        culture that holds a group/society together. But I
                                        still think that the threat of death cannot every
                                        completely go away. So the responsibility of holding a
                                        society together cannot every be wholly on culture.
                                        All this is, of course, what I think. ;)
                                        ciao
                                        nikhilesh
                                        --- kieran aarons <sketchyproposal@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Stephen-
                                        >
                                        > Thanks for your reply. I�ve got a few things to say
                                        > in response to what you brought up.
                                        >
                                        > First off, in terms of Sartre's work, I'd hesitate
                                        > to discount his later works as attempts at a
                                        > "scientific Socialism", first off, because if we
                                        > value his earlier ontological philosophy, we must
                                        > recognize that his later works are a continuation
                                        > and expansion on these earlier theses about the
                                        > structure of consciousness and social interaction,
                                        > and are not divorced from these original
                                        > existentialist issues; if anything, they are an
                                        > expansion and development of them in greater depth.
                                        > I'm not sure why you thought I was writing on Marx
                                        > as such; my concern is not for Marx's ontology (or
                                        > lack of it), which was admittedly too one-sided and
                                        > neglected the role of the individual consciousness
                                        > as totalizing agent (that entity which structures
                                        > the social situation and history in general, and
                                        > which provides the experience of alienation with a
                                        > relevant and contingent context in human reality).
                                        > My concern is more with Sartre's adaptation of
                                        > Marx�s theories of society and man�s alienation from
                                        > one
                                        > another, and how he modified Marx�s approach
                                        > through the existentialist perspective.
                                        >
                                        > One example of this adaptation would be Sartre�s
                                        > emphasis on the social phenomenon of Scarcity, the
                                        > individual�s conscious experience of the lack of
                                        > resources. This concept deals with Marxist issues
                                        > of �modes of production� and resource availability,
                                        > but it approaches them from the existentialist
                                        > starting point, by addressing how a lack of
                                        > resources affects the individual�s interaction in
                                        > social situations. This immediate realization in
                                        > each individual of the reality of scarce resources
                                        > qualitatively affects the individual�s relationship
                                        > to his fellow man/woman by pitting us against each
                                        > other in competition over these scarce resources. He
                                        > argues that there is an implicit and immediate
                                        > realization in all of us that not everyone can have
                                        > all they would desire. Such a situation
                                        > characterized by competition, in which the Other is
                                        > viewed as possessing needs contradictory and
                                        > threatening to my own, is characterized by Sartre as
                                        > a �series�. It�s only though the formation of a
                                        > fused
                                        > group, a collection and coordination of various
                                        > people unified by similar ends/common goals, that we
                                        > are able to overcome the phenomenon of scarcity.
                                        > These are examples of an existentialist approach to
                                        > traditional Marxist problematics, which are
                                        > traditionally addressed by a largely objective
                                        > analysis of economic conditions and historic modes
                                        > of production.
                                        >
                                        > To go back to your response, ultimately the question
                                        > of scientific socialism is not of primary interest
                                        > to me, as I feel it's merits as an economic critique
                                        > are great. Nonetheless, communism and the preceding
                                        > socialist state are theories which remain abstact
                                        > and idealistic so long as we have no defensible
                                        > revolutionary theory of action with which to set
                                        > these ideas or other idealistic models of social
                                        > change in motion. (this was essentially, in my
                                        > understanding, what Sartre felt too, that "Capital",
                                        > Marx's principle work of his later years, is
                                        > basically well defended and correct, which is why he
                                        > never devoted much time refuting it). The question
                                        > of what world would be best hinges on one's
                                        > conception of our current world's flaws, and it's
                                        > these criticisms which stand to benefit from a
                                        > re-working of existentialist social theory to suit
                                        > our current social situation.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > I�m still considering your second reply, as to the
                                        > question of group action. This is very tricky, and
                                        > I wrote out a long response to what you said,
                                        > re-read it, and realized it didn�t answer the
                                        > question at all. How and what makes people come
                                        > together and cooperate as a group? Can we imagine a
                                        > community not unified against something negative, be
                                        > it an oppressive �Other� which limits their
                                        > possibilities (i.e. a racist or fascist social
                                        > structure, or an oligarchic economy bent solely on
                                        > securing the interest of a few at the expense of the
                                        > many) or be it perhaps only the perceived threat of
                                        > starvation, lonely isolation, or illness which they
                                        > seek to avoid by organizing together? Can we
                                        > imagine a group organized without an end in mind
                                        > such as the overcoming of these kinds of obstacles I
                                        > just mentioned? It seems that people who are members
                                        > of a community such as a family, church, or
                                        > republic, which you noted �do not perish�, still are
                                        > a part of these kinds of organizations because of
                                        > certain practical goals fulfilled by the
                                        > organization. By drawing out what social phenomenon
                                        > has historically brought people together, what ends
                                        > keep them interested and motivated to contribute to
                                        > a collective, it may be possible to arrive at a
                                        > place where inferences can be made as to the
                                        > conditions for group action in general. This may
                                        > seem vague and unspecific, but I�m still hashing
                                        > these questions out for myself and as such may not
                                        > be fully articulating myself clearly. For now,
                                        > that�s the issue I was driving at. I�m always very
                                        > suspicious of arguments that place an �inherent
                                        > good� on certain social structures, as it�s my
                                        > experience that the inherent good is always a
                                        > contingent pragmatic function being served, and
                                        > that�s not any different in nature from a group
                                        > motivated to overcome an oppressive regime, or
                                        > otherwise resisting an �other�; it�s simply a
                                        > different �other� they�re overcoming, be it hunger,
                                        > loneliness, or other unwanted things. I hope I�m
                                        > not being redundant or
                                        > hopelessly obtuse.
                                        >
                                        > -Kieran
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Stephen Cowley <Stephen@...>
                                        > wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > ----- Original Message -----
                                        > Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003 2:19 AM
                                        > Subject: [Sartre] Re: Welcome to Sartre
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > K:
                                        > > Hello,
                                        > >
                                        > > [...] I have done some small independant studies
                                        > into his adaptation of
                                        > Marxism in his later works, and it's the transition
                                        > from his earlier
                                        > ontology to broader social theory that primarily
                                        > interests me. Specifically,
                                        > how the role of formed matter (practico-inert) and
                                        > the social structures
                                        > created by men came to play a much more significant
                                        > role in Sartre's
                                        > conception of the individual's social experience,
                                        > and how our freedom is
                                        > limited and mediated by these inert and passive
                                        > structures.
                                        > >
                                        > Reply:
                                        > My feeling on the contrary is that it the early work
                                        > on first principles
                                        > that is the lasting part of Sartre's work. The
                                        > "scientific" part of
                                        > Marxism - at least in intention - was the economics
                                        > (i.e. Capital Vol 1),
                                        > and the later concept of a Marxist "scientific
                                        > socialism" from the time of
                                        > Lenin and the 2nd International in retrospect, is
                                        > simply a glorification of
                                        > Marx's journalistic works on the French politics of
                                        > 1848-51 and 1870. So in
                                        > terms of social ontology, Marx doesn't really get
                                        > beyond Hegel's powerful
                                        > concepts of universal recognition,and the idea of
                                        > society as an
                                        > inter-related whole.
                                        >
                                        > K:
                                        > > Also of interest to me is his conception of the
                                        > Fused Group, and the
                                        > question of how a revolutionary movement could/can
                                        > maintain it's sense of
                                        > collective purpose after the "Other"/oppressor which
                                        > it originally united
                                        > against has been dissolved. This is a question of
                                        > great importance to anyone
                                        > interested in social movements on any scale, and
                                        > it's my hope that the
                                        > disappearance of certain idealisms presently
                                        > persisting in radical thought
                                        > might be fascilitated by a more critical analysis of
                                        > the structures of group
                                        > action from an existentialist perspective.
                                        >
                                        > Reply:
                                        > I would rate the ideas of personalist critics of
                                        > Marxism like John Macmurray
                                        > of great value here. The idea you seem to be
                                        > describing is of a group held
                                        > together by a common purpose. But this is not the
                                        > fundamental form of human
                                        > community, which, rather than a political party,
                                        > should
                                        === message truncated ===


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                                      • nikhilesh
                                        reply within the mail below... ... What do you mean by justifiably worth living ? I think there is no such thing. As an example, suppose you were born 5000
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Oct 13, 2003
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                                          reply within the mail below...
                                          --- kieran aarons <sketchyproposal@...> wrote:
                                          > Nikhilesh,
                                          > I appreciate your response.
                                          > I have some remarks about it as well. If in fact
                                          > you are correct that �survival� brings people into
                                          > groups, it would then be necessary to determine, if
                                          > possible at all, what this survival requires for
                                          > life to be justifiably worth living. What aspect of

                                          What do you mean by "justifiably worth living"? I
                                          think there is no such thing. As an example, suppose
                                          you were born 5000 years ago when people believed that
                                          the sun revolved round the earth, there was no
                                          electricity, no cars, ill-developed science. For
                                          someone born in the 21st century, such a life - living
                                          in a hut that is not air-conditioned - may be a life
                                          not justifiably worth living. But if I go back in time
                                          and tell the people of that age that they havent seen
                                          progress and that the wonderful things that are going
                                          to come to humankind in the future are kick-ass,
                                          really, and that without those things it ain't worth
                                          living; then I'm sure they'll tell me where I can go.
                                          (to hell)


                                          > human needs/survival does group action satisfy?
                                          > What dictates this drive to survive? For Sartre,
                                          > the notion of survival is not going to help explain
                                          > man, in fact it would likely only work to disempower
                                          > man�s ability to create his own destiny freely.
                                          > This is because the �instinct to survive� is a
                                          > biological notion stemming from a desire to explain
                                          > an organism�s actions from an inner mechanism that
                                          > dictates its actions, sort of like a �nature� of the
                                          > beast. This theory of a mechanism which functions
                                          > by causing an organism to pass on it�s genes through
                                          > reproduction is ultimately not helpful in
                                          > facilitating daily choice in the individual human
                                          > being, as in my view, as well as the existentialist
                                          > perspective in general (if it were
                                          > possible to say something such as this exists)
                                          > human beings are motivated by much more duplicitous
                                          > and capricious ends than simply reproduction and
                                          > survival. I�d have to agree with Nietzsche that if
                                          > an instinct to simply survive is ever responsible
                                          > for our action, it�s only after all other higher
                                          > purposes have led us to a dead end street or have
                                          > failed, and we must engage ourselves to sustain life
                                          > simply because that�s all we can do to sustain the
                                          > possibility of our higher ends/drives being
                                          > fulfilled in the future. By this, all I�m saying
                                          > here, and I admit I can do Nietzsche no justice in
                                          > such a crude paraphrase, is that the �will to
                                          > survive� is a last resort for humans, and that there
                                          > are more complicated, transitory, and various
                                          > motives which otherwise guide our lives. By
                                          > attributing our pursuit of group action to survival,
                                          > we�d effectively be saying that there is a general
                                          > and all-encompassing mechanism which motivates all
                                          > our action, and as a result, it must motivate us to
                                          > act
                                          > in groups simply because that�s something we do.

                                          Not because that's something we do...but maybe because
                                          that's something we HAVE TO DO.

                                          > (I�m not saying you�re wrong, as it seems evident
                                          > that the desire to avoid death does become relevant
                                          > if any other project (besides suicide) is to be
                                          > achieved, it�s simply a matter of whether these
                                          > higher projects are what really motivate us, and we
                                          > remain alive to see them through, or whether we stay
                                          > alive just to stay alive, which is doubtful as a
                                          > universal, because of the frequency of human
                                          > suicide.)

                                          Just like there is a survival instinct in
                                          everyone, there is also a death instinct in every
                                          person. Life is a constant struggle between the
                                          survival instinct and the death instinct. More often
                                          than not, the survival instinct dominates over the
                                          death instinct. In cases of suicide, however, the
                                          death instinct dominates.

                                          >
                                          > If I understand you correctly, you�re
                                          > suggesting that originally, in pre-societal times,
                                          > people cooperated because their lives depended on
                                          > it. Gradually this inter-dependence led to the
                                          > formation of culture as a method of making that
                                          > inter-dependance more bearable. It seems you�re
                                          > proposing that a certain need for novelty is
                                          > inherent in our large brains, and that our resultant
                                          > boredom is to blame for the formation of higher,
                                          > non-pragmatic things such as art and music. (this
                                          > seems consistent with my experience, as I�m bored
                                          > perpetually these days!)

                                          You did understand it correctly. Your summary of what
                                          I was trying to say is more or less accurate.

                                          > However, you also propose
                                          > that a desire to maintain sexual relations with
                                          > various partners also motivates group action� are
                                          > you proposing that we choose to act as members of
                                          > groups because of the enjoyment of sex, or that some
                                          > sort of biological imperative is at play here?

                                          As enjoyable as sex is, I was talking about the
                                          biological imperative. And among men. Coz the human
                                          male is biologically polygamous and not the female.
                                          The female would be happy to have one mate and spend
                                          the rest of her life with one bloke and being mammals,
                                          take care of the children. But I guess family is but a
                                          unit of society and a group of isolated families
                                          cannot constitute a society. All this, of course, is a
                                          trifle irrelevant to the discussion.


                                          > Finally, you address the inheritance of tradition by
                                          > subsequent generations, and propose that the
                                          > conditioning of a human by those who beget him is to
                                          > blame for the perpetual renewal of old habits by
                                          > the later generations. This question of how the
                                          > individual encounters history and the creations of
                                          > the past, which are everywhere, is definitely one
                                          > which is important to grapple with. It seems you
                                          > are driving at the question of nature versus
                                          > nurture, and I can hardly imagine a case in which
                                          > either one or the other was solely responsible for
                                          > the human experience.

                                          True. I was probably talking about the collective
                                          unconscious (was it C.G. Jung who had the brainwave
                                          abt a collective uncon?)

                                          >
                                          > One thing of interest to me about what you said
                                          > would be the question of whether the threat of death
                                          > actually is responsible for our creation of art and
                                          > music, not only as ways of having a good time, but
                                          > as means of achieving some sort of immortalization,
                                          > or pseudo-permanence in an otherwise transient
                                          > existence? For Sartre this would likely amount to a
                                          > desire to achieve objectification, to fix our being
                                          > in the world so as to be capable of apprehending
                                          > ourselves as an object, as the conscious being who
                                          > also possesses a fixed nature. For Sartre, only god
                                          > gets to have it both ways, a fixed or delimited
                                          > essence and the ability to apprehend that essence as
                                          > object (which isn�t to say there is a god, simply
                                          > that the idea of a God entails these qualities).
                                          > Because we strive for this dual-being,
                                          > we/consciousness are/is the desire to be the
                                          > �for-itself-in-itself�, or in other words, we are
                                          > �the desire to be God�.
                                          >
                                          > I just love that quote, don�t you?

                                          Yeah. That IS pretty interesting. It probably explains
                                          why the creator of something (anything - sculpture,
                                          painting, music, literature) would never destroy his
                                          creation himself. If someone does, it would be safe to
                                          call him a freak. It's just that this is one of the
                                          things to which we can attribute creativity. Some of
                                          the others could be:
                                          1. To get fame/recognition. (this cud be related to
                                          the basic instinct of procreation coz fame wud be a
                                          way to attract a mate.)
                                          2. Livelihood - if i play the guitar, i might as well
                                          make a living out of it.
                                          3.,4. anyone?

                                          cheers
                                          nikhilesh
                                          >
                                          > As a matter of pure caprice, here�s another of my
                                          > favorites: �one lives one�s death and dies one�s
                                          > life�, -being and nothingness (quoted entirely out
                                          > of context, of course.)
                                          >
                                          > Take care,
                                          >
                                          > -kieran
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > nikhilesh <thisislobo@...> wrote:this refers
                                          > to the second part...
                                          > kieran...you werent obtuse at all. And I think this
                                          > line of thinking might lead to something.
                                          > Fundamentally, it is survival that brings people
                                          > into groups. In that sense we are not different
                                          > from,
                                          > say, certain species of whales.
                                          > And we have a large brain (unnecessarily large, I'd
                                          > say...but that is a different topic of debate
                                          > altogether). And we have feelings of boredom and our
                                          > biological make up leads us to "enjoy" art, music,
                                          > sports and games; inshort anything to break the rut.
                                          > Then again, man is polygamous and multiple sexual
                                          > partners are more easily attainable in a group
                                          > (society).
                                          > What I am driving at is that the basic reason for
                                          > group/society is survival. And because of how we are
                                          > biologically, we develop certain things (music,
                                          > games
                                          > etc) that make the experience of living in a group
                                          > more wholesome. These things that we develop is
                                          > probably what culture is.
                                          > Once you develop a culture, this culture is imbibed
                                          > in the children. Social conditioning is unavoidable.
                                          > Later on, when survival may not be at stake, it is
                                          > culture that holds a group/society together. But I
                                          > still think that the threat of death cannot every
                                          > completely go away. So the responsibility of holding
                                          > a
                                          > society together cannot every be wholly on culture.
                                          > All this is, of course, what I think. ;)
                                          > ciao
                                          > nikhilesh
                                          > --- kieran aarons wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > Stephen-
                                          > >
                                          > > Thanks for your reply. I�ve got a few things to
                                          > say
                                          > > in response to what you brought up.
                                          > >
                                          > > First off, in terms of Sartre's work, I'd hesitate
                                          > > to discount his later works as attempts at a
                                          > > "scientific Socialism", first off, because if we
                                          > > value his earlier ontological philosophy, we must
                                          > > recognize that his later works are a continuation
                                          > > and expansion on these earlier theses about the
                                          > > structure of consciousness and social interaction,
                                          > > and are not divorced from these original
                                          > > existentialist issues; if anything, they are an
                                          > > expansion and development of them in greater
                                          > depth.
                                          > > I'm not sure why you thought I was writing on Marx
                                          > > as such; my concern is not for Marx's ontology (or
                                          > > lack of it), which was admittedly too one-sided
                                          > and
                                          > > neglected the role of the individual consciousness
                                          > > as totalizing agent (that entity which structures
                                          > > the social situation and history in general, and
                                          > > which provides the experience of alienation with a
                                          > > relevant and contingent context in human reality).
                                          > > My concern is more with Sartre's adaptation of
                                          > > Marx�s theories of society and man�s alienation
                                          > from
                                          > > one
                                          > > another, and how he modified Marx�s approach
                                          > > through the existentialist perspective.
                                          > >
                                          > > One example of this adaptation would be Sartre�s
                                          > > emphasis on the social phenomenon of Scarcity, the
                                          > > individual�s conscious experience of the lack of
                                          > > resources. This concept deals with Marxist issues
                                          > > of �modes of production� and resource
                                          > availability,
                                          > > but it approaches them from the existentialist
                                          > > starting point, by addressing how a lack of
                                          > > resources affects the individual�s interaction in
                                          > > social situations. This immediate realization in
                                          > > each individual of the reality of scarce resources
                                          > > qualitatively affects the individual�s
                                          > relationship
                                          >
                                          === message truncated ===


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                                        • Tommy Beavitt
                                          Hello Nikhilesh, I am very concerned to refute the following survivalist interpretation of Sartre s theory of society. To me , there are two fundamentally
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Oct 13, 2003
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                                            Hello Nikhilesh,

                                            I am very concerned to refute the following survivalist
                                            interpretation of Sartre's theory of society. To me , there are two
                                            fundamentally opposing post-existentialist critiques of social
                                            theory: one is the survivalist one, which you describe so aptly below
                                            and which has its roots in biological/psychological determinism, and
                                            the other, which is derived from the Habermasian (itself neo-Kantian)
                                            mode of thinking, which I call communicationalism.

                                            To say that it is always survival that brings people into groups is
                                            obviously fallacious. How about the mentality that caused tens of
                                            millions of young, mainly working class men to group together and die
                                            together in the trenches of the First World War? Or to become a
                                            member of Hamas or Al Quaeda? To explain such behaviour either
                                            refutes the survivalist premise or necessarily concludes that humans
                                            are not rational. We cannot both philosophise AND conclude that
                                            humans are not rational.

                                            To adopt Kant's vision of the monad as the version of being that
                                            being-for-itself predicates relative to Other and society is to
                                            distinguish between being and personality, with personality viewed
                                            only and entirely in terms of its communicative function relative to
                                            Other (society). When you talk about "people" [being brought into
                                            groups] are you referring to beings or are you referring to persons?
                                            There is a wealth of difference...

                                            Perhaps the following definition will help you to make up your mind:
                                            "A person is a role that is consciously being played by a being". The
                                            term "role" obviously pre-supposes a stage, an audience as well as a
                                            script. There is also the presupposition that the primary function of
                                            "playing a role" is to communicate meaning to others.

                                            Considering mortality, we again need to distinguish between beings and persons.

                                            A being unencumbered with personality always consists in the tension
                                            between its being (positive) and its nothingness (negative). Anyone
                                            who has spent long periods of time alone will be familiar with the
                                            ever-present impulse to suicide that such a mode of existence
                                            entails. The fact that one doesn't actually, save in exceptional
                                            circumstances, actually commit the act of stringing oneself up etc.
                                            doesn't refute the impulse. The fact remains that the overwhelming
                                            majority of suicides take place when the subject is alone.

                                            A person, on the other hand, is always being defined by the role and
                                            the function of the audience/scriptwriter and other members of the
                                            "production team" in determining that role. Such a constructed,
                                            public personality can always "die" (eg. divorce, bankruptcy, etc.)
                                            and society has evolved a number of ways of facilitating the "deaths"
                                            of persons who have come to the end of their relative usefulness.
                                            Sometimes, admittedly, this coincides with the death of the being,
                                            eg. capital punishment or terminal illness.

                                            But in general, although painful, the death of personality doesn't
                                            need to involve biological death. The point is that personality is
                                            always transitory, in flux. A person changes his or her act according
                                            to the communicative stimuli it receives from Other (society). When
                                            such changes are seen to be incompatible with a role that person has
                                            played previously these acts change fundamentally to the extent that
                                            the personality "dies" and is reborn. We see ex-husbands reborn as
                                            vagrant alcoholics, for example, or bankrupts reborn as authors of
                                            get-rich-quick guidebooks.

                                            Sometimes people are reborn into a new faith or a new relationship.
                                            The new co-religionists or partners in these situations certainly
                                            don't treat the newly reborn person as they would have treated the
                                            person who has "died". There is a tacit acceptance that to refer to
                                            the "dead" personage is in bad taste. This explains why couples tend
                                            to argue when the subject of a previous partner or lover comes up. It
                                            also explains why individuals who cling on to old relationships
                                            develop behaviour patterns that tend to be branded unstable or
                                            "schizophrenic".

                                            So do you apply your survivalist premise to beings or to persons?

                                            Tommy

                                            At 9:11 pm -0700 12/10/03, nikhilesh wrote:
                                            >this refers to the second part...
                                            >kieran...you werent obtuse at all. And I think this
                                            >line of thinking might lead to something.
                                            > Fundamentally, it is survival that brings people
                                            >into groups. In that sense we are not different from,
                                            >say, certain species of whales.
                                            > And we have a large brain (unnecessarily large, I'd
                                            >say...but that is a different topic of debate
                                            >altogether). And we have feelings of boredom and our
                                            >biological make up leads us to "enjoy" art, music,
                                            >sports and games; inshort anything to break the rut.
                                            > Then again, man is polygamous and multiple sexual
                                            >partners are more easily attainable in a group
                                            >(society).
                                            > What I am driving at is that the basic reason for
                                            >group/society is survival. And because of how we are
                                            >biologically, we develop certain things (music, games
                                            >etc) that make the experience of living in a group
                                            >more wholesome. These things that we develop is
                                            >probably what culture is.
                                            > Once you develop a culture, this culture is imbibed
                                            >in the children. Social conditioning is unavoidable.
                                            >Later on, when survival may not be at stake, it is
                                            >culture that holds a group/society together. But I
                                            >still think that the threat of death cannot every
                                            >completely go away. So the responsibility of holding a
                                            >society together cannot every be wholly on culture.
                                            > All this is, of course, what I think. ;)


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                                          • Tommy Beavitt
                                            Where do you come from, Nikhilesh? I m thinking of moving there! Where I come from it tends to be the men who display the monogamous tendency while women are
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Oct 13, 2003
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                                              Where do you come from, Nikhilesh? I'm thinking of moving there!
                                              Where I come from it tends to be the men who display the monogamous
                                              tendency while women are polyamorous. I don't think this can be
                                              explained biologically at all: if it is determined then it is society
                                              that is the determining factor.

                                              regards

                                              Tommy

                                              At 7:44 am -0700 13/10/03, nikhilesh wrote:
                                              >As enjoyable as sex is, I was talking about the
                                              >biological imperative. And among men. Coz the human
                                              >male is biologically polygamous and not the female.
                                              >The female would be happy to have one mate and spend
                                              >the rest of her life with one bloke and being mammals,
                                              >take care of the children. But I guess family is but a
                                              >unit of society and a group of isolated families
                                              >cannot constitute a society. All this, of course, is a
                                              >trifle irrelevant to the discussion.


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                                            • Stephen Cowley
                                              ... Sent: Monday, October 13, 2003 1:13 AM Subject: [Sartre] response to Stephen, Re: Sartre s social theory/group action (10/12/03) K: Stephen- Thanks for
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Oct 13, 2003
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                                                ----- Original Message -----
                                                Sent: Monday, October 13, 2003 1:13 AM
                                                Subject: [Sartre] response to Stephen, Re: Sartre's social theory/group
                                                action (10/12/03)



                                                K:
                                                "Stephen-

                                                Thanks for your reply. I've got a few things to say in response to what you
                                                brought up.

                                                [...] My concern is more with Sartre's adaptation of Marx's theories of
                                                society and man's alienation from one
                                                another, and how he modified Marx's approach through the existentialist
                                                perspective. "

                                                Reply:
                                                Certainly alienation would be an important theme common to Marx and the
                                                existentialists. I suspect the common source may be Hegel, whose concept of
                                                "recognition" (Phenomenology, Ch 4) was studied by both writers. Yet
                                                Hegel's idea of two self-consciousnesses necessarily at war with each other
                                                is at least counter-intuitive. The primary experience - e.g. of an infant
                                                in a family - is of dependence and care. Hostility is a secondary
                                                phenomenon that can only occur - e.g. in the public sphere - against the
                                                background of care for each other's mundane well-being.

                                                K:
                                                "One example of this adaptation would be Sartre's emphasis on the social
                                                phenomenon of Scarcity, the individual's conscious experience of the lack of
                                                resources. This concept deals with Marxist issues of "modes of production"
                                                and resource availability, but it approaches them from the existentialist
                                                starting point, by addressing how a lack of resources affects the
                                                individual's interaction in social situations. "

                                                Reply:
                                                This sounds interesting. However, there is a question whether
                                                existentialism, based on the Hegelian analysis of self-consciousness
                                                referred to above, has the resources to conceive the variety of personal and
                                                social responses that are available in the imaginable range of social
                                                situations where scarcity occurs.

                                                K:
                                                "This immediate realization in each individual of the reality of scarce
                                                resources qualitatively affects the individual's relationship to his fellow
                                                man/woman by pitting us against each other in competition over these scarce
                                                resources. He argues that there is an implicit and immediate realization in
                                                all of us that not everyone can have all they would desire. Such a
                                                situation characterized by competition, in which the Other is viewed as
                                                possessing needs contradictory and threatening to my own, is characterized
                                                by Sartre as a "series".

                                                Reply:
                                                The idea of immediacy here sounds questionable. Competition may be
                                                "immediate" in the sense that I come across it effortlessly by engaging with
                                                the world. However, there are also senses in which it is "mediated" - e.g.
                                                that it depends on my will. If I were a Frensiscan frior minor, who did not
                                                want to own property, I would not compete for it. Similarly, the degree to
                                                which I compete will depend on what I need to fulfill my intentions, how
                                                competitive others are, etc. So the situation of competition is mediated by
                                                the social character of our acts of will.

                                                K:
                                                "It's only though the formation of a fused
                                                group, a collection and coordination of various people unified by similar
                                                ends/common goals, that we are able to overcome the phenomenon of scarcity.
                                                These are examples of an existentialist approach to traditional Marxist
                                                problematics, which are traditionally addressed by a largely objective
                                                analysis of economic conditions and historic modes of production.

                                                Reply:
                                                I'm not sure what is included in the idea of a "fused group.

                                                K:
                                                "[...] Nonetheless, communism and the preceding socialist state are
                                                theories which remain abstact and idealistic so long as we have no
                                                defensible revolutionary theory of action with which to set these ideas or
                                                other idealistic models of social change in motion. (this was essentially,
                                                in my understanding, what Sartre felt too, that "Capital", Marx's principle
                                                work of his later years, is basically well defended and correct, which is
                                                why he never devoted much time refuting it). The question of what world
                                                would be best hinges on one's conception of our current world's flaws, and
                                                it's these criticisms which stand to benefit from a re-working of
                                                existentialist social theory to suit our current social situation. "

                                                Reply:
                                                Marxism seemed to end by conceiving "revolution" as a state in which moral
                                                obligations were suspended - e.g. by Marx in his reluctant after-the-fact
                                                justifications of the revolutionary executions in the 1870 Commune, in terms
                                                of the provocations of the authorities, importance of what was at stake. We
                                                surely need to conceive of social change as a process in which moral
                                                obligations are not suspended. I suspect Sartre was badly wrong in
                                                considering Capital Vol 1 sound - even Marx gegan to rethink the 1st chapter
                                                late in his life.


                                                K:
                                                "I'm still considering your second reply, as to the question of group
                                                action. This is very tricky, and I wrote out a long response to what you
                                                said, re-read it, and realized it didn't answer the question at all. How
                                                and what makes people come together and cooperate as a group? Can we
                                                imagine a community not unified against something negative, be it an
                                                oppressive "Other" which limits their possibilities (i.e. a racist or
                                                fascist social structure, or an oligarchic economy bent solely on securing
                                                the interest of a few at the expense of the many) or be it perhaps only the
                                                perceived threat of starvation, lonely isolation, or illness which they seek
                                                to avoid by organizing together? Can we imagine a group organized without
                                                an end in mind such as the overcoming of these kinds of obstacles I just
                                                mentioned?"

                                                Reply:
                                                I would argue that we can at least imagine such a society. To go back to
                                                philosophy for example, Protagoras argued that the cause of cities was
                                                mankind's fear of wild animals (lions presumably). Aristotle argued against
                                                this that the polis evolved because only in society could man achieve his
                                                true nature - e.g. through division of labour, the emergence of leisure, the
                                                pursuit of excellence in common. Hegel and Marx can be seen as continuing
                                                and deepening Aristotle's ideas for the modern era (with modernity defined
                                                by Christianity for Hegel, the Enlightenment for Marx).

                                                K:
                                                " It seems that people who are members of a community such as a family,
                                                church, or republic, which you noted "do not perish", still are a part of
                                                these kinds of organizations because of
                                                certain practical goals fulfilled by the organization. By drawing out what
                                                social phenomenon has historically brought people together, what ends keep
                                                them interested and motivated to contribute to a collective, it may be
                                                possible to arrive at a place where inferences can be made as to the
                                                conditions for group action in general. This may seem vague and unspecific,
                                                but I'm still hashing these questions out for myself and as such may not be
                                                fully articulating myself clearly."

                                                Reply:
                                                Sure, there may be goals, but the goals do not depend on a hostile other was
                                                the point I was making. It would indeed be interesting to make a survey of
                                                the phenomenology of different kinds of social groups in the hope of
                                                generalising from it. Even here though, we would need to be careful that we
                                                do not generalise from "some groups" (i.e. those we have studied) to "all
                                                groups" (that are possible) - which of course is not valid.

                                                K:
                                                "For now, that's the issue I was driving at. I'm always very suspicious of
                                                arguments that place an "inherent good" on certain social structures, as
                                                it's my experience that the inherent good is always a contingent pragmatic
                                                function being served, and that's not any different in nature from a group
                                                motivated to overcome an oppressive regime, or otherwise resisting an
                                                'other'; it's simply a different "other" they're overcoming, be it hunger,
                                                loneliness, or other unwanted things. I hope I'm not being redundant or
                                                hopelessly obtuse."

                                                Reply:
                                                Once again, your personal experience as theorised may be limited (like
                                                everyone else's) . You are also extending the concept of the "Other" wildly
                                                (e.g. the Other as hunger) to maintain the case that there is always a
                                                "hostile Other" - for what is surely meant, in relation to the personal
                                                character of the group, is whether a hostile Personal Other is presupposed.
                                                Likewise, I was not addressing the question - thorny as that would be - of
                                                whether there are "instrinsic goods" independent of those I/we have chosen.
                                                I guess I would argue that "the good" cannot depend purely on what I will to
                                                pursue as a good, for I must have a prior concept of it as good to will it
                                                under that category. I seem to recall the early Sartre disagreed with that
                                                analysis though!

                                                All the best
                                                Stephen

                                                ----- Original Message -----
                                                Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003 2:19 AM
                                                Subject: [Sartre] Re: Welcome to Sartre


                                                K:
                                                > Hello,
                                                >
                                                > [...] I have done some small independant studies into his adaptation of
                                                Marxism in his later works, and it's the transition from his earlier
                                                ontology to broader social theory that primarily interests me. Specifically,
                                                how the role of formed matter (practico-inert) and the social structures
                                                created by men came to play a much more significant role in Sartre's
                                                conception of the individual's social experience, and how our freedom is
                                                limited and mediated by these inert and passive structures.
                                                >
                                                Reply:
                                                My feeling on the contrary is that it the early work on first principles
                                                that is the lasting part of Sartre's work. The "scientific" part of
                                                Marxism - at least in intention - was the economics (i.e. Capital Vol 1),
                                                and the later concept of a Marxist "scientific socialism" from the time of
                                                Lenin and the 2nd International in retrospect, is simply a glorification of
                                                Marx's journalistic works on the French politics of 1848-51 and 1870. So in
                                                terms of social ontology, Marx doesn't really get beyond Hegel's powerful
                                                concepts of universal recognition,and the idea of society as an
                                                inter-related whole.

                                                K:
                                                > Also of interest to me is his conception of the Fused Group, and the
                                                question of how a revolutionary movement could/can maintain it's sense of
                                                collective purpose after the "Other"/oppressor which it originally united
                                                against has been dissolved. This is a question of great importance to anyone
                                                interested in social movements on any scale, and it's my hope that the
                                                disappearance of certain idealisms presently persisting in radical thought
                                                might be fascilitated by a more critical analysis of the structures of group
                                                action from an existentialist perspective.

                                                Reply:
                                                I would rate the ideas of personalist critics of Marxism like John Macmurray
                                                of great value here. The idea you seem to be describing is of a group held
                                                together by a common purpose. But this is not the fundamental form of human
                                                community, which, rather than a political party, should be conceived as an
                                                end in itself, on the model of a family, church, or republic. The "ends" of
                                                these organisations, to adopt that term, - to live well together, or glorify
                                                God, for example - are such as do not perish, and do not depend on the
                                                existence of a hostile "Other". Does the later Sartre take on this kind of
                                                analysis?

                                                All the best
                                                Stephen







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                                              • nikhilesh
                                                ... I dont know if I should be apologetic about this, but inspite of being a member of this egroup I havent really read Sartre. And I dont have an idea about
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Oct 14, 2003
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                                                  --- Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...>
                                                  wrote:
                                                  > Hello Nikhilesh,
                                                  > I am very concerned to refute the following
                                                  > survivalist
                                                  > interpretation of Sartre's theory of society.

                                                  I dont know if I should be apologetic about
                                                  this, but inspite of being a member of this egroup I
                                                  havent really read Sartre. And I dont have an idea
                                                  about his theories any more than a layman would.
                                                  Infact, I havent really read too much of philosophy -
                                                  except a little bit of Plato and a little bit of
                                                  Descartes. All that I wrote - and will write in this
                                                  mail - was just my view of things.

                                                  >To me
                                                  > , there are two
                                                  > fundamentally opposing post-existentialist critiques
                                                  > of social
                                                  > theory: one is the survivalist one, which you
                                                  > describe so aptly below
                                                  > and which has its roots in biological/psychological
                                                  > determinism, and
                                                  > the other, which is derived from the Habermasian
                                                  > (itself neo-Kantian)
                                                  > mode of thinking, which I call communicationalism.

                                                  >
                                                  > To say that it is always survival that brings people
                                                  > into groups is
                                                  > obviously fallacious. How about the mentality that
                                                  > caused tens of
                                                  > millions of young, mainly working class men to group
                                                  > together and die
                                                  > together in the trenches of the First World War? Or
                                                  > to become a
                                                  > member of Hamas or Al Quaeda? To explain such
                                                  > behaviour either
                                                  > refutes the survivalist premise or necessarily
                                                  > concludes that humans
                                                  > are not rational. We cannot both philosophise AND
                                                  > conclude that
                                                  > humans are not rational.

                                                  I do believe that human beings are not rational.
                                                  You only have to look around you to realise that
                                                  humans are not rational. Advertising and branding is
                                                  based on the principle that humans are not rational.
                                                  People are dying in the Middle East for land they
                                                  believe was "promised" to them. And those suicide
                                                  squads of Islamic terrorists - complete maniacs and
                                                  totally irrational. All soldiers who die in wars in
                                                  the name of patriotism - fools, all of them -
                                                  completely irrational to end your survival for your
                                                  country. The freedom fighters in colonised countries
                                                  who die for freedom - jerks, what use is freedom to a
                                                  dead man? Any sort of faith without scientific proof
                                                  - and this includes believing in God - is irrational
                                                  behaviour. But the fact is, people do it. And these
                                                  are intelligent, creative, NORMAL people.
                                                  Ergo though humans would rather survive, they are
                                                  irrational and sacrifice themselves for something they
                                                  believe in. This belief is often because of social
                                                  conditioning. If patriotism as a virtue is contantly
                                                  drilled into an individual since childhood, he would
                                                  not find it silly to lay down his life for the
                                                  country. He would infact be proud of it, which I
                                                  personally think is very silly.


                                                  > To adopt Kant's vision of the monad as the version
                                                  > of being that
                                                  > being-for-itself predicates relative to Other and
                                                  > society is to
                                                  > distinguish between being and personality, with
                                                  > personality viewed
                                                  > only and entirely in terms of its communicative
                                                  > function relative to
                                                  > Other (society). When you talk about "people" [being
                                                  > brought into
                                                  > groups] are you referring to beings or are you
                                                  > referring to persons?
                                                  > There is a wealth of difference...
                                                  >
                                                  > Perhaps the following definition will help you to
                                                  > make up your mind:
                                                  > "A person is a role that is consciously being played
                                                  > by a being". The
                                                  > term "role" obviously pre-supposes a stage, an
                                                  > audience as well as a
                                                  > script. There is also the presupposition that the
                                                  > primary function of
                                                  > "playing a role" is to communicate meaning to
                                                  > others.
                                                  >
                                                  > Considering mortality, we again need to distinguish
                                                  > between beings and persons.
                                                  >
                                                  > A being unencumbered with personality always
                                                  > consists in the tension
                                                  > between its being (positive) and its nothingness
                                                  > (negative). Anyone
                                                  > who has spent long periods of time alone will be
                                                  > familiar with the
                                                  > ever-present impulse to suicide that such a mode of
                                                  > existence
                                                  > entails. The fact that one doesn't actually, save in
                                                  > exceptional
                                                  > circumstances, actually commit the act of stringing
                                                  > oneself up etc.
                                                  > doesn't refute the impulse. The fact remains that
                                                  > the overwhelming
                                                  > majority of suicides take place when the subject is
                                                  > alone.

                                                  Doesn't this fact justify the role of society
                                                  in ensuring the survival of its members?

                                                  >
                                                  > A person, on the other hand, is always being defined
                                                  > by the role and
                                                  > the function of the audience/scriptwriter and other
                                                  > members of the
                                                  > "production team" in determining that role. Such a
                                                  > constructed,
                                                  > public personality can always "die" (eg. divorce,
                                                  > bankruptcy, etc.)
                                                  > and society has evolved a number of ways of
                                                  > facilitating the "deaths"
                                                  > of persons who have come to the end of their
                                                  > relative usefulness.
                                                  > Sometimes, admittedly, this coincides with the death
                                                  > of the being,
                                                  > eg. capital punishment or terminal illness.
                                                  >
                                                  > But in general, although painful, the death of
                                                  > personality doesn't
                                                  > need to involve biological death. The point is that
                                                  > personality is
                                                  > always transitory, in flux. A person changes his or
                                                  > her act according
                                                  > to the communicative stimuli it receives from Other
                                                  > (society). When
                                                  > such changes are seen to be incompatible with a role
                                                  > that person has
                                                  > played previously these acts change fundamentally to
                                                  > the extent that
                                                  > the personality "dies" and is reborn. We see
                                                  > ex-husbands reborn as
                                                  > vagrant alcoholics, for example, or bankrupts reborn
                                                  > as authors of
                                                  > get-rich-quick guidebooks.
                                                  >
                                                  > Sometimes people are reborn into a new faith or a
                                                  > new relationship.
                                                  > The new co-religionists or partners in these
                                                  > situations certainly
                                                  > don't treat the newly reborn person as they would
                                                  > have treated the
                                                  > person who has "died". There is a tacit acceptance
                                                  > that to refer to
                                                  > the "dead" personage is in bad taste. This explains
                                                  > why couples tend
                                                  > to argue when the subject of a previous partner or
                                                  > lover comes up. It
                                                  > also explains why individuals who cling on to old
                                                  > relationships
                                                  > develop behaviour patterns that tend to be branded
                                                  > unstable or
                                                  > "schizophrenic".
                                                  >
                                                  > So do you apply your survivalist premise to beings
                                                  > or to persons?
                                                  >
                                                  > Tommy


                                                  I really don't know to whom I was applying
                                                  whatever it is that I was applying. The difference
                                                  between a being and a person that you brought out is a
                                                  new concept for me and, frankly, very interesting. All
                                                  I can think of right now is that your definition of
                                                  "person" necessitates the existence of a society (the
                                                  other). And my previous mail was about why we live in
                                                  a society/group. Groups were formed, society was
                                                  created and continues to exist because of the need for
                                                  survival. Now once you have this beast called
                                                  society, you have interesting phenomena like 'persons'
                                                  being different from 'beings'.

                                                  just my guess...


                                                  =====


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                                                • fredwelfare@aol.com
                                                  Before we get to the Other, can you briefly tell me where Sartre s philosophy specifically hooks up to Heidegger? FredW [Non-text portions of this message have
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Jan 22, 2005
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                                                    Before we get to the Other, can you briefly tell me where Sartre's
                                                    philosophy specifically hooks up to Heidegger?

                                                    FredW


                                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  • scarey1917
                                                    fredwelfare@a... wrote: can you briefly tell me where Sartre s philosophy specifically hooks up to Heidegger? I don t think that a brief answer is
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Jan 23, 2005
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                                                      fredwelfare@a... wrote: can you briefly tell me where Sartre's
                                                      philosophy specifically hooks up to Heidegger?>>>>>>>>>>

                                                      I don't think that a brief answer is possible, but generally speaking
                                                      the analysis of the For-Itself in "Being and Nothingness" is
                                                      reminiscent of the analytic of Dasein in Heidegger's "Being and Time."
                                                      Plus both thinkers claim adherence to the phenomenological method
                                                      derived from Husserl (however re-interpreted by them). The similarity
                                                      has to do with the projective/disclosure aspect of consciousness
                                                      (although Heidegger would never use that word). As a
                                                      being-in-the-world, consciousness for both men projects itself outside
                                                      of itself, toward future possibility. It is in terms of possibility
                                                      that the world is in turn disclosed as a complex of
                                                      meaning/intrumentality. One big difference is that for Heidegger the
                                                      description of Dasein is merely a prelude to the more fundamental
                                                      question of the Meaning of Being (Dasein is a "gateway" to Being),
                                                      whereas Sartre seems oriented exclusively toward philosophical
                                                      anthropology.

                                                      -Steve
                                                    • Jerry Phillips
                                                      Heidegger s influenced Sartre in some key ways. Most fundamentally, it was Heidegger who saw the existential potential of Husserl s phenomenological method.
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Jan 23, 2005
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                                                        Heidegger's influenced Sartre in some key ways. Most fundamentally, it was Heidegger who saw the existential potential of Husserl's phenomenological method.

                                                        Heidegger's prime concern as a philosopher is the question of Being: How does one speak of the "is-ness" of all that is? The identity of Being reveals itself in the intentional projects of human persons. Thus ontology for Heidegger is necessarily phenomenology.

                                                        In Heidegger's view, the philosophical tradition had gone astray because it treated Being as merely the sum of all things, and in that reductionism it conceived the human being as merely a thing among things--a certain fixed "substance." Heidegger claimed that while a rock is fully present, a human being is a mix of absence and presence: the human being is "there," but she is also "not there," in the sense that she is always projecting towards her future. In short, The being of human being is "existence" and the philosophy which is proper to this way of being is existential phenomenology--the description of how "dasein" is fundamentally a "being-in-the-world."

                                                        Sartre took from Heidegger:

                                                        * the emphasis on the intentional nature of all human activities, not just acts of consciousness as described by Husserl.

                                                        * the emphasis on "being-there," that the world is a facticity we can never wholly escape.

                                                        * the emphasis on free choice as a fundamental way of relationg to one's own being.

                                                        * the emphasis on human being as inherently temporal

                                                        * the emphasis on "bad faith" as an ontological mode.

                                                        Sartre thought that Heidegger's philosophy offered some important suggestions for transcending the subject/object dualism of traditional metaphysics. He thought that "Being and Time" was not as tightly argued as it might have been. But Heidegger's central insight that human existence is essentially a self-relation through the mediation of the world was the spur for Sartre's meditations on the relationship between consciousness and things.

                                                        In many ways Hegel was a greater influence on Sartre than was Heidegger. But one can scarcely imagine what "Being and Nothingness" would look like in the absence of Heidegger.

                                                        Yours,
                                                        Jerry

                                                        PS. It's worth noting that Heidegger repudiated any kinship with Sartre as an "existentialist."

                                                        fredwelfare@... wrote:
                                                        Before we get to the Other, can you briefly tell me where Sartre's
                                                        philosophy specifically hooks up to Heidegger?

                                                        FredW


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                                                      • Tommy Beavitt
                                                        Hi Anthony, Well, you seem to have got a pretty good ground on which to base an interest in Sartre. Unfortunately, we have been rather quiet on this list
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Apr 2 1:16 AM
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                                                          Hi Anthony,

                                                          Well, you seem to have got a pretty good ground on which to base an
                                                          interest in Sartre.

                                                          Unfortunately, we have been rather quiet on this list lately. I don't
                                                          know why that is.

                                                          I have been meaning to read the Critique for ages but haven't got
                                                          around to it. Its a formidable proposition!

                                                          I tend to agree with your German slant. Maybe Sartre isn't derivative
                                                          of Heidegger, Husserl or Hegel but its certainly true that he would
                                                          have been a lot different without these German predecessors. I think
                                                          he did see himself, at least to begin with, as being someone whose
                                                          role it was to introduce German thinking to a wider (i.e. French
                                                          speaking) audience.

                                                          I notice that Husserl is absent from your list of German
                                                          philosophers. I think he is often underestimated. It was after all
                                                          his critique of Hegel that corrected the tendency of German idealism
                                                          away from empirical science and put German thinking right back in the
                                                          driving seat with respect to philosophy's relationship with science.

                                                          I'll leave it to others to hopefully respond to your question about
                                                          the Critique. But I am afraid that a lot of people seem to be like me
                                                          in that they aspire to read that book but just can't seem to find the
                                                          time at the moment...

                                                          Welcome to the list!

                                                          Tommy Beavitt

                                                          Le 2 Apr 2006 à 01:19, Anthony Rodriguez-Alcala a écrit :

                                                          > Hello Tom,
                                                          > Yeah, I would like to introduce myself. I've been reading
                                                          > philosophy since my teens. I got hooked on the subject after
                                                          > reading Will Durants justly famous "The Story of Philosophy" at
                                                          > that time. I majored in the subject at UCSD. I've always been
                                                          > interested in German idealism. I'm crazy about Hegel, though I
                                                          > think like everyone else, he got Kant wrong. I would say I know my
                                                          > Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Marx pretty
                                                          > well. So, I approach Sartre with these German thinkers in mind. I
                                                          > used to be pretty dismissive of Sartre's work because I saw it as a
                                                          > rip off of Heidegger; though now I'm beginning to see him as a
                                                          > powerfully original thinker who radicalized Heidegger's insights
                                                          > into Dasein by his emphasis on choice. One could say that Sartre
                                                          > reintroduced the subject/object divide into existentialism after
                                                          > Heidegger arguably "destroyed" the Western ontological conception
                                                          > of the subject . But now I think what Sartre did in "Being and
                                                          > Nothingness" is fascinating. I would like to know whether you guys
                                                          > think Sartre deepened (maybe even superseded) Heidegger's
                                                          > philosophy of existence. Also, I haven't read his "Critique of
                                                          > Dialectical Reason." What do you guys think of that work? Is it a
                                                          > successful synthesis of existentialism and Marxism? What are its
                                                          > deficiencies? Its strenghts?
                                                          >
                                                          > At any rate, I'm honored to join the group. Best, Anthony
                                                          >
                                                          > Sartre Moderator <Sartre-owner@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          > Hello,
                                                          >
                                                          > Welcome to the Sartre list. This list was created to provide a
                                                          > forum for discussion of Sartre's philosophy and novels, and
                                                          > relevant themes in the writings of other existential and
                                                          > phenomenological thinkers.
                                                          >
                                                          > Contributions are welcome at all levels, please feel free to
                                                          > introduce yourself and your interests to the list and suggest a
                                                          > topic for discussion.
                                                          >
                                                          > I look forward to debating with you.
                                                          >
                                                          > Tommy Beavitt
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/
                                                          > terms/
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          > New Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. Call regular phones from your PC
                                                          > for low, low rates.



                                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                        • Anthony Rodriguez-Alcala
                                                          Tom, Thanks for the invite. Sartre is often said to be the last of the Cartesians. As opposed to Merlieu-Ponty who supposedly innaugarated the
                                                          Message 28 of 28 , Apr 13 11:07 AM
                                                          • 0 Attachment
                                                            Tom,
                                                            Thanks for the invite. Sartre is often said to be the "last of the Cartesians." As opposed to Merlieu-Ponty who supposedly innaugarated the post-Cartesian trend in French thought by his focus on the somatic nature of perception as a source of knowledge, Sartre re-posited the distinction between the subject (the For itself) and the object (the In-itself) in order to dramatize how human beings define themselves in terms of projects--"man is condemned to be free"-- as opposed to the objective world into which they are "thrown" (Heidegger's geworfenheit), and which is characterized by Sartre as inert and vital-less. The For itself and the In itself are terms he borrowed from Hegel who has an elaborate dance between subject and object in the Phenomenology of Mind and which culminates in absolute knowing, where the theory is adequate to the object, and the object adequate to the theory. I guess that would be, the full expression, or externalization of Geist (Spirit): "the
                                                            in-and-for-itself" of the self-positing Subject that finds itself at home in the world through man's self-consciousness in philosophy.

                                                            But, hey, now I sound academic. I've only read Husserl's "Cartesian Meditations." I've tried to tackle, "Ideas," and "Logical Investigations," but to no avail. Suffice it to say, I agree with you that Husserl is a very important figure. I like what you said about how Husserl wanted to ground philosophy in science like Kant, though, we have to be careful about what "science" means in German. "Wissenshaft," as you know, has moral and humanistic connations that the English word "science," derived from the Latin, and hence Medieval, "scientia," tends to ignore, or suppress, in the interest of objectivity, or value-neutrality when formulating scientific hypotheses. Going back to Kant and Husserl: both argue for a transcendental ego and for "apodicity" in philosophical statements. While Kant formulates the idea of the apriority of the transcendental subject and the pure concepts of the understanding, Husserl tries to ground phenomenological intuitions of "essences" in a
                                                            bracketing of the "natural attitude" that frees consciousness from its dependence on the pre-given life-world so that philosophy can approach the rigor and apodicity of science. Is philosophy a presuppositionless science, as Kant and Husserl argue, or is it one based on an examination of a pregiven world, as Hegel and Heidegger contend. For Hegel philosophy arises as the self-realization of the history of Mind, or Geist; for Heidegger it is the claim that "knowledge is a founded mode of being,"; i.e., it is only a derivate possibility of Dasein in its more "primordial" pre-conscious engagements with the world. Hence, for both, thinking is a more a form of hermeutics, or interpretation, and less an exercise similar to natural science judgments.

                                                            OK. Interesting start. Thanks for the email. Best, Anthony

                                                            Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...> wrote:
                                                            Hi Anthony,

                                                            Well, you seem to have got a pretty good ground on which to base an
                                                            interest in Sartre.

                                                            Unfortunately, we have been rather quiet on this list lately. I don't
                                                            know why that is.

                                                            I have been meaning to read the Critique for ages but haven't got
                                                            around to it. Its a formidable proposition!

                                                            I tend to agree with your German slant. Maybe Sartre isn't derivative
                                                            of Heidegger, Husserl or Hegel but its certainly true that he would
                                                            have been a lot different without these German predecessors. I think
                                                            he did see himself, at least to begin with, as being someone whose
                                                            role it was to introduce German thinking to a wider (i.e. French
                                                            speaking) audience.

                                                            I notice that Husserl is absent from your list of German
                                                            philosophers. I think he is often underestimated. It was after all
                                                            his critique of Hegel that corrected the tendency of German idealism
                                                            away from empirical science and put German thinking right back in the
                                                            driving seat with respect to philosophy's relationship with science.

                                                            I'll leave it to others to hopefully respond to your question about
                                                            the Critique. But I am afraid that a lot of people seem to be like me
                                                            in that they aspire to read that book but just can't seem to find the
                                                            time at the moment...

                                                            Welcome to the list!

                                                            Tommy Beavitt

                                                            Le 2 Apr 2006 à 01:19, Anthony Rodriguez-Alcala a écrit :

                                                            > Hello Tom,
                                                            > Yeah, I would like to introduce myself. I've been reading
                                                            > philosophy since my teens. I got hooked on the subject after
                                                            > reading Will Durants justly famous "The Story of Philosophy" at
                                                            > that time. I majored in the subject at UCSD. I've always been
                                                            > interested in German idealism. I'm crazy about Hegel, though I
                                                            > think like everyone else, he got Kant wrong. I would say I know my
                                                            > Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Marx pretty
                                                            > well. So, I approach Sartre with these German thinkers in mind. I
                                                            > used to be pretty dismissive of Sartre's work because I saw it as a
                                                            > rip off of Heidegger; though now I'm beginning to see him as a
                                                            > powerfully original thinker who radicalized Heidegger's insights
                                                            > into Dasein by his emphasis on choice. One could say that Sartre
                                                            > reintroduced the subject/object divide into existentialism after
                                                            > Heidegger arguably "destroyed" the Western ontological conception
                                                            > of the subject . But now I think what Sartre did in "Being and
                                                            > Nothingness" is fascinating. I would like to know whether you guys
                                                            > think Sartre deepened (maybe even superseded) Heidegger's
                                                            > philosophy of existence. Also, I haven't read his "Critique of
                                                            > Dialectical Reason." What do you guys think of that work? Is it a
                                                            > successful synthesis of existentialism and Marxism? What are its
                                                            > deficiencies? Its strenghts?
                                                            >
                                                            > At any rate, I'm honored to join the group. Best, Anthony
                                                            >
                                                            > Sartre Moderator <Sartre-owner@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                                            >
                                                            > Hello,
                                                            >
                                                            > Welcome to the Sartre list. This list was created to provide a
                                                            > forum for discussion of Sartre's philosophy and novels, and
                                                            > relevant themes in the writings of other existential and
                                                            > phenomenological thinkers.
                                                            >
                                                            > Contributions are welcome at all levels, please feel free to
                                                            > introduce yourself and your interests to the list and suggest a
                                                            > topic for discussion.
                                                            >
                                                            > I look forward to debating with you.
                                                            >
                                                            > Tommy Beavitt
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/
                                                            > terms/
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > New Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. Call regular phones from your PC
                                                            > for low, low rates.



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