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Re: [Sartre] Back towards the ethical

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  • anjo3jantz@aol.com
    Joe -- I agree that if one is studying existentialism that it would be improper to limit one s self to the study of only one philosopher, be it Sartre or
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 17 2:30 PM
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      Joe -- I agree that if one is studying existentialism that it would be
      improper to limit one's self to the study of only one philosopher, be it
      Sartre or anyone else. Each of the existentialists has something to offer.
      Steiner's comment about Sartre claims that Sartre's work is mere "commentary"
      on Heidegger's work. (I'm reminded of Whitehead's comment that all philosophy
      is but a footnote to Plato). Certainly that is true to a degree. But Sartre
      is not the same as Heidegger, and he draws upon other philosophers as well
      and weaves them together in a way that is unique to him. The second, third
      and forth runners in a relay race can do nothing without the runners before
      them. This is no less the case with Heidegger than most other philosophers
      in history. Heidegger built on the works of many philophers ranging from the
      pre-Socratics to Jaspers, Husserl and Nietzche. Sartre himself stated that
      his own works were just stepping stones for others to come (as opposed to
      Heidegger, who made the ridiculous claim that philosphy reached its
      culmination with Being and Time).

      Just as I have been accused in this forum of putting Sartre on a pedestal,
      you seem to have Heidegger on a pedestal -- and there are reasons both for
      and against either. Your comment that Sartre is "hardly the pre-emminant
      voice of existentialism" is certainly debatable. Certainly to the extent tha
      t existentialism is a philosophy of action and making choices and of real
      people living real lives, Sartre did more to illuminate this than Heidegger
      or anyone else, when one considers not only his philisophical treatises, but
      also his literary, political, biographical and sociological works.

      Furthermore, one of the biggest real-world implications of Being and Time is
      often glossed over. In Johanes Fritsche's recent book on Being and Time, he
      writes:

      "When one reads Being and Time in its [German historical and social context],
      one sees that, as Scheler put it, in the kairos of the twenties Sein und Zeit
      was in Germany a highly political work, that it belonged to the revolutionary
      Right, and that it contained an argument for the most radical group on the
      revolutionary Right, namely, the National Socialists and its Gemeinschaft...
      . Being and Time is as brilliant a summary of revolutionary rightest
      politics as one could wish for."

      Andrew


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