Re: [Sartre] Sincerity and Inauthenticity
- In a message dated 10/5/00 9:11am GMT Daylight Time,
<< Sartre says the sincere man is inauthentic. I pretty much understand the
other examples of BF he gives - but this one went over my head >>
As I understand it the fundamental point to grasp is that for Sartre man's
being is paradoxical and ambiguous in the sense that he both IS and IS NOT
his objective self. The sincere man risks taking his (factical) being too
seriously and over-identifying with it, or if you like "reifying" himself,
becoming a thing for himself. To be sincere man would have to be what he is,
to be self-identical, and that is a characteristic of being-in-itself not
being-for-itself which is defined as being always at a distance from itself.
"[...] if I represent myself as him, I am not he; I am seperated from him as
the object from the subject, seperated by nothing, but this nothing isolates
me from him. I can not be he, I can only play at being him [...]"
Good faith, in this sense, is an impossible goal which inevitably degenerates
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- One way to get ahold of this is to think of times when you try too hard to
seem or come across as "being sincere," for instance when paying a visit to
someone ill in the hospital who you really ought to see, but whose recounts
of ills and discomforts are tiresome. "It is SO GOOD to see you Aunt Sara!
And you are looking so well!" Or, to take another sort of case, think of
how in the midst of a quarrel your partner declares "you don't love me any
more," and you, exasperated but trying to save the day from a scene that's
getting worse and worse, try to muster up the utmost "sincerity" in
declaring, "Oh, but I do love you." The point here is that one is playing
at a role of "the sincere person." Sartre's point, I think, is that there's
always some trace, at least, of this sense that we can't simply feel (or be)
anything precisely because we are playing at the role of being it. Some
cases feel more plainly phoney than others, but everything we do is a bit of
a hype, and we know, at bottom, that we are never just simply sincere.
These examples I offer are debatable I know, precisely because they are
forced. But they bring out a phenomenological truth of cases where there is
a bit of self-consciousness and a bit of role playing, and, in their way,
they deepen our appreciation of Sartre's idea that consciousness is always
other than what it is consciousness of.
From: BOURTON, SAM [mailto:sam.bourton@...]
Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2000 1:07 AM
Subject: [Sartre] Sincerity and Inauthenticity
200 list members eh? Who'd have guessed it. Anyway, maybe one of you can
I'm reading the chapter in Being & Nothingness on Bad Faith and I don't
understand the bit where Sartre says the sincere man is inauthentic. I
pretty much understand the other examples of BF he gives - but this one went
over my head. Can anyone who's familar with this passage explain it to me
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- Dear Sam,
Im no expert on existentialism, but from what i understand of that
Sartre is basically saying that when the homosexual says that 'i am a
homosexual', he is trying to reduce himself to an in-itself. How? By
that he is a homosexual he is implying that he is only that which he
Sincere yes, but in bad faith becuz in reality he is not JUST a
but also that which he is not.
My question on this passage is: what if i say sincerely that i am not
am and i am what i am not...am i still in bad faith?
--- In Sartre@egroups.com, "BOURTON, SAM" <sam.bourton@t...> wrote:
> 200 list members eh? Who'd have guessed it. Anyway, maybe one of
> help me....
> I'm reading the chapter in Being & Nothingness on Bad Faith and I
> understand the bit where Sartre says the sincere man is
> pretty much understand the other examples of BF he gives - but this
> over my head. Can anyone who's familar with this passage explain it
> briefly please.
> This message has been checked for all known viruses by Star
> through the MessageLabs Virus Control Centre. For further