what is an example of a sartrean?
- What would an ethical Sartrean Look like? How would such a
person act in everyday activities and situations? How would a
Sartrean act compared with a Utilitarian, Marxist, and or Kantian
>What would an ethical Sartrean Look like? How would such aThese are good questions. However we will have to be careful here and
>person act in everyday activities and situations? How would a
>Sartrean act compared with a Utilitarian, Marxist, and or Kantian
refine what we mean by a "Sartrean". I suspect that where you are
coming from is an existentialist Sartrean, ie. one who takes his or
her lead from the position articulated by the young Sartre in Being
and Nothingness. Sartre retreated from that position and his later
thinking was more inspired by Marxism than anything else.
Let's take Sartre's existentialist position though and compare it
with the other ethical systems you mention. Being and Nothingness
does not clearly articulate an ethical position - indeed, it quite
explicitly states that such a thing is impossible. However, the
well-thought-through definitions of bad faith and authenticity do
lend themselves to an ethical analysis, if only in the negative. Once
we have accepted that to act "as if" one's being is one's essence,
ie. a being in-itself, is to be in bad faith, inauthentic; then we
cannot possibly base any ethical system on an essentialist position.
That is the easy bit. Now we have to see if we can base a system of
ethics on authentic behaviour. This is problematic. Other ethical
systems, Utilitarianism in particular, ground themselves in the world
of the They, the constructed social reality within which every
individual finds him or herself. Utilitarianism assumes a definition
of the person as one capable of feeling pleasure and pain. The
greatest happiness for the greatest number of people is the good for
Bentham/Mill's utilitarianism, but it can be seen that they don't
trouble themselves too much with the essentialist/existentialist
question. I think that early Sartre would have to reject
utilitarianism's definition of the person as an example of the
essentialist fallacy, of bad faith. Existentialism would also have to
reject utilitarianism's definition of happiness. If man is condemned
to be free, to have to bear the angst and nausea of being contingent,
then man's happiness quotient eludes us as a good which can be
referred to. Existentialists would have to reject any kind of
"happiness" based on an inauthentic view of the self.
I think it is natural that Sartre attempted to resolve this question
through a move towards Marxism. We can accept that social personality
is constructed - and this acceptance keeps us in good faith - but
this doesn't mean that the basic health of the society within which
such a constructed personality is contextualised can't be the subject
of an ethical system. Later Sartre identified the enemy of such a
society to be the efforts of capitalists to subjugate the working
class to their profit-maximisation interest and the social good,
therefore, to be that which raised consciousness of the class
struggle and provided a means by which the working class could resist
capital's attempt to reduce them to a thing in-itself.
However, I would critique this position as follows: by adopting a
dogmatic Marxist position (and all interpretations of Marx tend
towards dogmatism) one is reducing the working class to a thing
in-itself, a social actor in the class struggle, just as
inauthentically as capitalists do.
I feel that the "back to Kant" rallying cry has the answer to the
post-existentialist ethical quandary. Kant's deontological ethical
system is consistent with existentialism. It states that a person
should never be merely used but should be acted towards "in such a
way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in
the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the
same time as an end" ( Gr BA66 f. = 429). This is consistent with
saying that to act as if a person was a thing in-itself is to be in
I argue that deontological existentialism places the "good" in the
quality of communication between Self and Other (communicationalism),
each becoming increasingly aware of the being-for-itself status of
his or her protagonist. As deontological existentialists we have to
applaud any action that recognises the freedom of the Other and the
consequent ability for the Other to constitute him or herself as he
or she sees fit. This is still a good, even when it leads to
"unhappiness". It is better, as a Sartrean, to be authentically
miserable than inauthentically "happy".
Join us at Communicationalism, the attempt to find a basis for ethics
in communication rather than survival
Hi. I'm interested with your last post. What do you mean by "analytic tradition"?what's wrong with it?
I, too, is planning to shift my course at the gradute school to philosophy. Well, can you guys give some advice on how to handle tha rudiments of the discipline (I'm 22 years old). I want to concentrate on phenomenology especially the writings of Heidegger, Hussrl, and Sartre.
Thanks. Have a nice day, guys!
�Though it was at my heart�s bidding that I chose the universe wherein I delight, I have at least the power of finding in it the many meanings I wish to find."-Jean Genet, The Thief�s Journal
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Well... first of all, never take anything I say as a golden rule. But, I go
to a school that is kinda half analytic half Continental. Basically (very
basically) there are two current schools of philosophy going around today:
The two I just mentioned. The philosophers of the continental school...
like the ones you mentioned you would like to study, tend to deal with more
broad matters concerning far reaching philosophies and more or less try to
lead to a method of interpreting the world. Most these methods give a lot
of credence to subjective interpretation and give little respect to rigorous
logical (at least compared to analytic schools) and scientific 'truths'. It
seems that in analytic thought, the virtues of truth preservation and the
laws of logical inference are capable of giving a cohesive world outlook.
The best example I could think of is the question "what is truth"
Answer: The analytic 1: That which makes a true statement.
"What makes a true statement?"
Analytic1: that which can make a verifiably true or false statement.
Analytic 2: Truth is a word witch stands in to summate a particular belief
in the world.
"What is truth?"
Continental 1: Truth is a cultural fabrication.
Continental 2: Truth is Being
I think the biggest complaint about continental Phil. is that it can be seen
as lofty and unrealistic. The reply ofcourse would be something like "The
analytic tratdition is steeped in scientic ideology".
Anyone have anything to correct or add?
>From: sputnik_sweetheart <ogiebraga@...>_________________________________________________________________
>Subject: [Sartre] Leon and others
>Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 20:49:06 -0700 (PDT)
>Hi. I'm interested with your last post. What do you mean by "analytic
>tradition"?what's wrong with it?
>I, too, is planning to shift my course at the gradute school to philosophy.
>Well, can you guys give some advice on how to handle tha rudiments of the
>discipline (I'm 22 years old). I want to concentrate on phenomenology
>especially the writings of Heidegger, Hussrl, and Sartre.
>Thanks. Have a nice day, guys!
>�Though it was at my heart�s bidding that I chose the universe wherein I
>delight, I have at least the power of finding in it the many meanings I
>wish to find."-Jean Genet, The Thief�s Journal
>Do you Yahoo!?
>SBC Yahoo! DSL - Now only $29.95 per month!
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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