Sartre and love
- At the risk of sounding obsessed with the theme of
love - in a sense it is an obsession for me, there is
love in "philosophy" - I am coming back to the problem
of love in the age of technology.
The motivation this time is to be found in the link
below. But I want to start first by recalling some of
what Sartre had to say about love, and technology. A
striking line of Sartre about love comes again from
"What is literature" - one of his best books, in my
opinion. Loosly quoting, the line goes: "What
interests me most in a relationship with a woman is
the enterprise of seduction, not the sex." (A French,
always a French...)
And some of the most interesting things about
technology are to be found in the Critique. technology
is what Sartre calls the "serialisation of the group"
- i.e., the group is not a group, and the individual
is not an individual. The serialized group doesnt have
solidarity binding, but this looseness of the group
doesnt go to profit the individual, for this latter
doesnt have individual uniqueness. Among the many
examples cited in the Critique, the one that comes to
mind is that of Sartre himself, looking down the
window of his Paris apartment, on a group of people
waiting in line at a taxi station, each-one waiting
for a taxi to be available. It is a group of people,
but a group that, although formed for one same
purpose, is not bound by a common interest; each
individual is an individual, and yet each-one is
interchangeable with the other. In more than one
aspect the critique (NOT criticism) of technology is
here of Heideggerian inspiration, and as such, just as
Heidegger's, is not to be misunderstood as a position
And this brings me to what motivated me for this post.
The link below:
Lust tops love when it comes to sex
After I read that article, I could only come to two
possible conclusions: 1- Either the researchers are
wrong, and this is reason for worry, for us to have
such a statistical, compilational, survey-like,
basically uniformizing view of love, or; 2 - the
researchers are right, and our technological advances
have achieved already such uniformization of love,
that both men and women have sex for the same reasons,
supposing that it is also reason that governs love.
There where our old Grandpa Freud confessed his
cluelessness as to the profound life and tekne of a
woman, as to her "psychical mechanisms", our modern
researchers, of a democratic and certainly feministic
age, have all figured out both about women and men.
And what they have figured out is that both sexes are
pretty much the same. Egalité, Fraternité, I dont know
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- The quote below is pretty clear as to the profound relation between
Sartre's philosophy and violence. The cogito, the generalized cogito,
is a crime (did I hear Nietzsche somewhere?...):
La situation veut que la vraie morale humaine prenne naissance dans
cet acte isolé, purement individuel, de violence purement négative.
Tentons de le comprendre dans son ambigüité et de légitimer cette
violence. en réalisant la liberté terroriste et négative de la pure
conscience du monde par consomption du monde en face de la
conscience, l'esclave réalise dans l'instant qui précède la mort
cette conscience de soi que le stoïcisme, le scepticisme et le doute
cartésien n'atteignent que dans la fuite et dans l'abstrait. La
destruction et le crime sont les conduites concrètes corrélatives du
doute méthodique. [dans le crime] la conscience s'affirme dans sa
solitude terroriste. Tout crime est toujours un peu un cogito.
(Sartre, Cahier 418)
What the heck, I'm giving it a try at translation:
"The situation requires that the true human ethics is born out of
this isolated act [the terrorist one], purely individual, of a purely
negative violence. Let us try to understand it in its ambiguity and
to legitimize this violence. ... by accomplishing the terrorist and
negative freedom of the pure consciousness of the world, the slave
attains in the instant right before his death to that self-
consciousness that stoicism, scepticism and cartesian doubt attain to
only in flight and in the abstract. ... Destruction and crime are the
concrete behaviour correlative to methodical doubt. [in the crime]
consciousness affirms itself in its terrorist solitude. All crime is
always a bit of a cogito."
Do I agree with this? Oh, not only that, I think these are some of
the best lines ever writen in philosophy.