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Re: [Sartre] Sartre and Cartesianism

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  • sava
    A STANDARD form of academic essay ? If you think this is the pattern of Sartre s argument in B&N, then I say no more. I totally agree with you. For a little
    Message 1 of 35 , Jul 31, 2006
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      "A STANDARD form of academic essay"? If you think this
      is the pattern of Sartre's argument in B&N, then I say
      no more. I totally agree with you.

      For a little more background information though, as I
      have personally done my studies at the Sorbonne, and
      then tought at different "lycees", or high-schools,
      that is, I have writen dozens and dozens of academic
      essays and instructed students on how to write one,
      what do you think is the "Standard form of academic
      essay" in France? If you teach in Germany (which
      town?), or even if you ever took classes in the german
      teaching system, as it is the case much all over the
      European Union, it should come as no surprise to you
      that the academic essay in continental Europe follows
      strict cartesian logical patterns.

      So Sartre writes in France 1943, right out of the
      Ecole Normale (the heart of cartesian logic)and of the
      secondary teaching system where he was teaching
      philosophy, and as you say yourself he writes in the
      form of a Standard academic essay, and this is
      supposed to be any different than the classic
      cartesian pattern of logic, reasoning? If you plan on
      making this the thesis of any of your academic essays,
      good luck with it!! (It is quite a thesis though, a
      brand new one, no one has ever put it forward, and if
      you can make anything out of it, I can assure you,
      you'll be the next Sartre in the continent)....

      --- Ian Buick <buickian@...> wrote:

      > as you say, things are getting interesting...
      > In this contribution I intend to show that you have
      > failed to
      > understand the structure of of the example you
      > yourself gave to prove
      > that: "The whole book of Being
      > and Nothingness swarms with this pattern of
      > premises,
      > inference, conclusions type of reasoning."
      > I'd like to examine the example you give as proof
      > that
      > Sartre develops his ideas working from premise to
      > conclusion.
      > In your example, you maintain that sartre begins the
      > first
      > section of the introduction with a premise:
      > >"Modern thought has realised a
      > >considerable progress by reducing the existant to
      > the
      > >series of apperances that manifest it."
      > And then say the conclusion to this premise is:
      > "it follows therefore,
      > >evidently, that the dualism between being and
      > >apperance couldnt enjoy any longer the freedom of
      > the
      > >city in philosophy." This is the conclusion of the
      > >previously mentioned premise
      > If you believe this then you have totally
      > misunderstood
      > the structure of this section
      > The whole of section 1 THE PHENOMENON is a
      > standard form of
      > academic essay. The first paragraph consists of two
      > parts: 1 = the background and 2 = the thesis
      > statement.
      > The thesis statement in this case is "Has the
      > attempt
      > been successful?"
      > A standard academic essay would put the thesis more
      > formally, e.g.
      > In this essay I intend to discuss whether the
      > attempt to
      > replace the dualisms by the monism of the phenomenon
      > has
      > been successful
      > As you know, in the thesis-led essay the author
      > states his aim
      > in the thesis and then goes on to support the thesis
      > in the
      > ensuing paragraphs. Sartre does just this by
      > examining the various
      > dualisms: interior/exterior, being/appearance,
      > potency/act and
      > appearance/essence.
      > Now these paragraphs do not seem to be constructed
      > in the
      > premise - conclusion argument form, where the
      > conclusion
      > follows as a logical necessity from the premises.
      > Again, they follow the standard structure of the
      > thesis-led
      > essay.
      > Sentence one is the topic sentence introducing the
      > idea that
      > the paragraph deals with the topic of getting rid of
      > the dualism of
      > interior/exterior.
      > Sentence 2-7 provide support for this assertion
      > In your contribution you say that the sentence, "The
      > obvious
      > conclusion is that the dualism of being and
      > appearance is no
      > longer entitled to any legal status within
      > philosophy" is
      > the conclusion of the (supposed) premise in the
      > first
      > sentence.
      > On the contrary, this sentence is a new topic
      > sentence (notice
      > that it is a new paragraph, which usually indicates
      > a new topic!!!)
      > In this case Sartre has moved on from talking about
      > interior/exterior
      > and has now introduced the second dualism of
      > being/appearance.
      > He is supporting his original thesis of examining
      > whether the
      > attempt to overcome the dualisms has been
      > successful.
      > I could continue with the textual analysis of the
      > thesis-led
      > form: After discussing the four dualisms he then
      > pursues a
      > standard strategy of using a transition phrase to
      > supplement
      > his original thesis statement i.e.
      > "Does this mean that by reducing the existent to its
      > manifestations
      > we have succeeded in overcoming all dualisms? It
      > seems rather....
      > This is the textual signal to move towards the idea
      > that Husserl
      > has only succeeded in replacing a multiplicity of
      > dualisms with
      > a single dualism: finite and infinite.
      > Perhaps you should attend some of my classes on
      > textual analysis
      > I would give them free in return for your help with
      > my pre-elementary
      > knowledge of logic!!!! :)
      > Seriously however, it could be interesting to
      > examine a more typical
      > example of Sartre's method. This chapter is the
      > introduction and the
      > introduction of a work usually takes a different
      > form from the body
      > (the conclusion again is another different textual
      > beast).
      > Would you be interested in examining the section on
      > BAD FAITH which
      > includes some of the passages for which sartre is
      > justly famous. Not
      > to score debating points but to try to get at the
      > truth of sartre's
      > method.
      > I freely admit that when I disagreed with you I was
      > quoting the
      > secondary literature I had read without having
      > analysed the text myself
      > in detail - which I have found stimulating to do.
      > I also want to discuss other points you raised in
      > your extensive, erudite
      > answers to my questions, but it will have to be in
      > another post.
      > Regards
      > Ian Buick
      > Germany
      > >From: sava <cepav0@...>
      > >Reply-To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
      > >To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
      > >Subject: Re: [Sartre] Sartre and Cartesianism
      > >Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2006 14:04:30 -0700 (PDT)
      > >
      > >OK, this is getting interesting. Here are my
      > responses
      > >to your questions:
      > >
      > >1 - A cartesian permise is part of a logical form
      > of
      > >argument in which if one part of a proposition is
      > >accepted or proved, then the other part follows as
      > its
      > >logical consequence. Ex. All men are mortal. Pierre
      > is
      > >a man. Therefore, Pierre is mortal, too. This is a
      > >classical example: the first two propositions are
      > the
      > >premises from which is drawn the conclusion of the
      > >third one. Cartesian premises function in a more or
      > >less same way: bracketing of all our natural and
      > >social beliefs; remains the certainty of the
      > cogito;
      > >from the cogito is derived the certainty of
      > existence:
      > >cogito, ergo sum.
      > >
      > >2 - Sartre proceeds in a similar way. I mean, very
      > >frequently, his argument follows the same pattern.
      > Now
      > >of course, if eveything worked out perfectly
      > logically
      > >in philosophy's books, there would be very few of
      > >them... And you find sentences like that plenty in
      > >Sartre, such as: "La conscience est un etre pour
      > >lequel il est question de son etre dans son etre,
      > en
      === message truncated ===

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    • sava
      Sartre s stance on madness. Interesting topic. Hmm, well, like with everything said in philosophy, we need to consider things in perspective here. If we are
      Message 35 of 35 , Nov 13, 2006
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        Sartre's stance on madness. Interesting topic. Hmm,
        well, like with everything said in philosophy, we need
        to consider things in perspective here. If we are
        looking for a "stance", a position, a quote that would
        provide hard evidence that Sartre's position on
        madness was of this or that nature, a few lines quoted
        here and there that would allow us to put together a
        nice little thematic folder: "Sartre's stance on
        madness", well, then we would be simplifying things.

        In my opinion, there is no upright stance of Sartre on
        madness, hence no stance at all. (if stance means
        originally to stand upright, straight, unbent,
        untwisted). Two things though stand out, throughout
        Sartre's writings, especially in rather early Sartre.
        That he refuses to use the term "mental illness", and
        that he refuses to recognize objective truth to
        madness. Both positions may seem to converge, and they
        do converge to a certain point, but they also diverge
        from one another. To refuse to recognize objective
        truth to madness - and Sartre writes throughout An
        outline of a theory of emotions, The Imaginary, Being
        and Nothingness, his novel, The chamber, that there is
        no "true" madman, that madness is a behaviour of
        bad-faith - this may seem like a rationalistic
        cartesian exclusion of madness, much like the one
        Foucault talks about in Madness and Civilisation. But
        then for Sartre to refuse to treat madness as a mental
        illness is not only a logical consequence of an
        a-priori rationalistic position, it is also contrary
        to rationalism, since it refuses to adopt the point of
        view of objectification of madness by the structures
        of alienation, of control and discipline, that are the
        medical structures.

        But then, also, what does it mean, first of all, to
        say that there is no "true madman", when the core of
        the philosophical project of Sartre is a redefinition
        of truth as objective criteria? We must consider here
        the priority given by Sartre to the imaginary, and to
        subjectivity. And subjectivity is choice, and creation
        of the imaginary out of the negation of the real.
        Then, if we choose to be mad, we also choose to be
        reasonable, and there is no difference then between
        madness and reason, as being both manifestations of
        our subjectivity. Sartre's position then doesnt look
        anymore as an objectification of madness from the
        point of view of reason, but the elevation of madness
        to the same dignity as reason. Madness seen by Sartre
        as a playful conduct, as poetry, as love of failure as
        the affirmation of a higher success, is an anti-dote
        against the spirit of gravity. Madness is a deeper
        manifestation of our subjectivity.

        We cannot say then that for Sartre subjectivity cannot
        be mad, but that even mad, subjectivity retains all
        its value. We must read here Sartre in conjunction
        with Foucault, and also with Derrida's reply to
        Foucault, "The Cogito and the history of madness". If
        Sartre does not give up the Cogito, but on the
        contrary his whole philosophy reads like a
        generalisation of the Cogito (the extension of the
        reflective Cogito to the pre-reflexive, or unreflexive
        level), then we have here a hyperbolical Cogito. The
        hyperbole of the Evil Genius where reason and madness
        coexist and change into one another. The primacy given
        to the imaginary would allow us here to coin something
        like "I think, therefore I'm mad." If for Sartre, we
        feign to be mad, we then also feign to be thinking.

        --- Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...> wrote:

        > On 12 Nov 2006, at 16:39, scarey1917 wrote:
        > > Here's an interesting quote from Sartre's 1969
        > interview "Itinerary of
        > > a Thought": "The conception of 'lived experience'
        > marks my change
        > > since "L'Etre et Le Neant". My early work was a
        > rationalist philosophy
        > > of consciousness. It was all very well for me to
        > dabble in apparently
        > > non-rational processes in the individual, [but]
        > the fact remains
        > > that "L'Etre et Le Neant" is a monument of
        > rationality. But in the end
        > > it becomes an irrationalism, because it cannot
        > account rationally for
        > > those processes which are 'below' consciousness
        > and which are also
        > > rational, but lived as irrational."
        > Logic can only ever prove its own self-certainties.
        > However, I don't
        > know if that, being true, necessarily makes L'ĂȘtre
        > et le neant a
        > "monument of irrationality".
        > What have we got, other than our own
        > self-certainties? Even "lived
        > experience", in order to be communicated, needs
        > self-certainty.
        > I still think that Being and Nothingness is Sartre's
        > finest work. But
        > it is understandable that, over a lifetime, he would
        > tend to reflect
        > on its inadequacies.
        > Tommy
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been
        > removed]

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