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60074Re: [existlist] Re: Un/aware

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  • eduardathome
    Jul 17, 2013
      That my assumptions about Sartre may be groundless, as Mary suggests, is besides the point. My philosophy is not being debated here. It is Sartre’s assumptions that are of concern.

      Obviously, Sartre did not develop an entire concept by observing a waiter; he had many more examples. The question here is whether the examples or any one of them adequately explains bad faith.

      One could also ask who is not on the list. What about the farmer, the baker, the Indian chief, etc.?? The method used in the examples such as the waiter is to make assumptions about what the waiter thinks in relation to the assumption that he is acting a bit to “waiter-esque”. And yes, the latter is also an assumption. At what point does placing butter on the table transcend from simple placement to an act of placement which is too waiter-esque??

      But then, I don’t think there is a particular waiter. I think that Sartre wanted an example to illustrate bad faith and thus constructed this waiter from scratch around the idea. He assigns certain thoughts to this hypothetical waiter and goes from there. Sartre declares that this waiter has bad faith. How does he know?? Well, it is apparent from the overly precise behaviour. One assumption validates the other.

      The problem is that the examples [the waiter, the first date woman, the good speaker] do not adequately explain the label that has been applied. Using the same process Sartre could just as easily have included the farmer, the baker and the Indian chief.

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mary
      Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 8:33 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: Un/aware

      If eduard's objection is based on what he assumes are Sartre's groundless assumptions, then eduard's assumption about Sartre is groundless. Sartre is trying to develop a connection between in-itself and for-itself and he used these examples to illustrate this. It seems ridiculous to infer that Sartre developed an entire concept from observing a waiter. That is, unless there is evidence from interviews or correspondence which support this assumption.

      Please note that I did not write, "His exaggerated behaviour illustrates that he is play acting as a waiter, as an object in the world: an automaton whose essence is to be a waiter. But that he is obviously acting belies that he is aware that he is not (merely) a waiter, but is rather consciously deceiving himself" This is a direct quote from Wikipedia which eduard himself presented in post #60055 and acknowledged doing so in post #60068.

      I wish to argue whether there actually is bad faith and what are better examples given Sartre's theory of freedom in the face of nothingness and modes of being.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
      >
      > Mary still does not get it.
      >
      > It isn't about being aware and self-deceiving at the same time. It's about
      > defining bad faith on the basis of groundless assumptions. In some cases
      > Sartre seems to bypass the assumptions entirely and prescribes "bad faith"
      > simply on the basis that one is doing good job, as the good speaker who is
      > "consumed by bad faith" just because he is a speaker. This does not help
      > the reader to understanding. Am I to label the janitor at the office as
      > being consumed by bad faith just because he did a good cleaning job??
      >
      > Mary's statement here ... "His exaggerated behaviour illustrates that he is
      > play acting as a waiter, as an object
      > in the world: an automaton whose essence is to be a waiter. But that he is
      > obviously acting belies that he is aware that he is not (merely) a waiter,
      > but is rather consciously deceiving himself".... shows part of the problem.
      >
      > This is all assumption. There is no basis to say that he is obviously
      > acting. That is Sartre's assumption because Sartre is 1950s class
      > conscious. The waiter is a member of the working class who is stuck and
      > cannot climb out of the hole he is in. Of course, Sartre is above all this
      > and as member of the bourgeoisie and intelligentsia. Sartre is also above
      > the mundane morality to which the waiter is held. Sartre's big deal was to
      > have sex with as many young women as possible and had an open relationship
      > with Simone. Namely that they formed a couple but could bed anyone else who
      > had pulse. They would then write to each other disparaging whomever new
      > conquest they made.
      >
      > No wonder Sartre thinks the waiter has bad faith. He spies on the waiter
      > and ascribes all sorts of attitudes that are related to what Sartre sees as
      > the waiter's inability to move on and up in class. The waiter is paralyzed
      > by a realisation that he has to keep his job and the possibility that he
      > could be something else.
      >
      > I suspect that something similar is going with respect to the woman with the
      > limp hand. Perhaps Sartre is recalling a previous seduction. And having
      > completed his conquest is ready to say of the woman what he really thinks of
      > her ... perhaps in a letter to Simone. The seduced woman is obviously full
      > of bad faith.
      >
      > The point is that none of these examples gives the reader an understanding
      > of bad faith, but rather an insight into Sartre's own thinking.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mary
      > Sent: Monday, July 15, 2013 5:51 PM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [existlist] Un/aware
      >
      > Think I'm getting a better handle on eduard's objection. It involves how one
      > can be aware and self-deceiving at the same time. What I understand so far
      > from "Being and Nothingness" is that the choice to become what we are not
      > yet is the choice which eludes our bad faith or incorrect belief toward our
      > possibility. So it might be that the waiter who plays at being the waiter is
      > aware that he is role playing knowing full well he is more than a waiter but
      > not aware that he can be what this other is.
      >
      > This is the other Wikipedia entry eduard offered...
      >
      > ~Sartre cites a café waiter, whose movements and conversation are a little
      > too "waiter-esque". His voice oozes with an eagerness to please; he carries
      > food rigidly and ostentatiously; "his movement is quick and forward, a
      > little too precise, a little too rapid". His exaggerated behaviour
      > illustrates that he is play acting as a waiter, as an object
      > in the world: an automaton whose essence is to be a waiter. But that he is
      > obviously acting belies that he is aware that he is not (merely) a waiter,
      > but is rather consciously deceiving himself.
      >
      > Another of Sartre's examples involves a young woman on a first date. She
      > ignores the obvious sexual implications of her date's compliments to her
      > physical appearance, but accepts them instead as words directed at her as a
      > human consciousness. As he takes her hand, she lets it rest indifferently in
      > his, "neither consenting nor resisting - a thing" -
      > refusing either to return the gesture or to rebuke it. Thus she delays the
      > moment when she must choose either to acknowledge and reject his advances,
      > or submit to them. She conveniently considers her hand only a thing in the
      > world, and his compliments as unrelated to her body, playing on her dual
      > human reality as a physical being, and as a
      > consciousness separate and free from this physicality.
      >
      > Sartre tells us that by acting in bad faith, the waiter and the woman are
      > denying their own freedom, but actively using this freedom itself. They
      > manifestly know they are free but do not acknowledge it. Bad faith is
      > paradoxical in this regard: when acting in bad faith, a person is both aware
      > and, in a sense, unaware that they are free.~
      >
      > Mary
      >
      >
      >
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