Re: What was Sartre's stance on Mental Illness?
- I suppose that a "Sartrean psychologist" would use the method of
Existential Psychoanalysis that is described in BN to
understand "mental illness". Sartre throughout his career was always
very interested in the topic of psychology - which makes sense of
course since one of his central concerns was to explicate the "lived
individual". Phenomenology historically has an interest in
psychology: Husserl was always keen to distinguish
between "naturalistic" or empirical pyschology and phenomenological
psychology - and in fact often presented the latter as a gateway to
transcendental phenomenology itself. By contrast Heidegger never
seemed to have much interest in the science of psychology. In BN
Sartre's psychoanalytic method follows the conclusions of his
ontology. The task of the existential psychologist was to grasp the
individual as a totality that expresses the fundamental desire or
choice of being - the project of Bad Faith (the desire to be God).
The aim was to understand the empirical (or maybe "ontic") choices of
the individual by reference to this fundamental project. Now in BN
Sartre explicitely rejects the notion of the Freudian Unconscious.
Man's fundamental project is fully conscious, although not an object
of an explicit knowledge (bad faith would obviously rule that out).
As his thought evolved, Sartre later moved toward a re-working of the
notion of the unconscious under the influence of Marxism - (see that
interview "Itinerary of a Thought" - it's very interesting).