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Re: [existlist] Re: Existence

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  • Exist List Moderator
    ... On my shelf is a 1950s text from the IWP Existentialism versus Marxism that seems to have the same concerns about incompatibility. Sartre saw this, as
    Message 1 of 32 , Feb 13, 2007
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      On Feb 11, 2007, at 20:21, whitneyadam wrote:

      > Actually, I do understand Sartre's work as an attempt to synthesize
      > both phenomenology and existentialism into one philosophy. It is
      > interesting to speculate on how one can juggle the many different
      > philosophies of Sartre. His interest in Marxism, for one, seems to
      > be incompatible with nature of existentialism as he gives it to
      > us. But it is certain that Sartre's phenomenology is
      > indistinguishable from his existentialism.

      On my shelf is a 1950s text from the IWP "Existentialism versus
      Marxism" that seems to have the same concerns about incompatibility.
      Sartre saw this, as well, and suggested he had "left existentialism
      behind" as part of his personal growth.

      Western Marxism is not the communism of Marx, nor is it the Communism
      of any government. Hard to keep the players straight, as well as
      their shifting definitions of terms.

      The harshest forms of communism reject "art for arts sake" and demand
      all things be revolutionary. This was something Sartre hinted at in
      his "Existentialism is a Humanism" and which he later recanted. Then
      again, he also wrote that he regretted that one work alone, and no
      others.

      He said it revealed to him how it would require paradoxical
      statements to make existentialism anything other than radical
      individualism. Camus saw this, which is why he called existentialism
      intellectual suicide.

      I argue that Sartre tried to take his inherent morality and then
      apply a system to it. We are all guilty of this. That is how we can
      generally agree on an ethical choice and then develop hundreds of
      explanations for why this is reasonable. The attempts to create
      ethical systems are always complicated by the fact we seem to have
      values long before we create artificial philosophical systems.

      I don't think Sartre can be understood apart from his time and the
      European experience. Other than the American Civil War, we have never
      suffered as great a loss of life, ag, and industry. Europeans, of all
      political bents, saw the need for a welfare state. People were
      suffering following two wars in a way Americans were not.

      So, while I see a disconnect between Sartre's politics and his
      earliest philosophical writings, I also can't imagine the situation
      of a decimated continent. For Sartre, Western Marxism was a necessary
      safety net, not from capitalism alone, but from all suffering he
      witnessed.

      I'm a capitalist and libertarian, but I'd never claim we should go
      completely backwards and not care for the ill, the disabled, or the
      needy in general. The question today is where on spectrums people
      rest. In Sartre's time, the debate was far more pronounced with sides
      taking up arms.

      Somewhere I've read critiques of Sartre by poets and thinkers from
      Hungary and Poland. Again, I think their perspectives make it
      difficult for them to be arguing from "theory" -- they are stuck with
      practical experiences outside the realm of philosophy.

      - C. S. Wyatt
      I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
      that I shall be.
      http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
      http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
    • Exist List Moderator
      ... On my shelf is a 1950s text from the IWP Existentialism versus Marxism that seems to have the same concerns about incompatibility. Sartre saw this, as
      Message 32 of 32 , Feb 13, 2007
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        On Feb 11, 2007, at 20:21, whitneyadam wrote:

        > Actually, I do understand Sartre's work as an attempt to synthesize
        > both phenomenology and existentialism into one philosophy. It is
        > interesting to speculate on how one can juggle the many different
        > philosophies of Sartre. His interest in Marxism, for one, seems to
        > be incompatible with nature of existentialism as he gives it to
        > us. But it is certain that Sartre's phenomenology is
        > indistinguishable from his existentialism.

        On my shelf is a 1950s text from the IWP "Existentialism versus
        Marxism" that seems to have the same concerns about incompatibility.
        Sartre saw this, as well, and suggested he had "left existentialism
        behind" as part of his personal growth.

        Western Marxism is not the communism of Marx, nor is it the Communism
        of any government. Hard to keep the players straight, as well as
        their shifting definitions of terms.

        The harshest forms of communism reject "art for arts sake" and demand
        all things be revolutionary. This was something Sartre hinted at in
        his "Existentialism is a Humanism" and which he later recanted. Then
        again, he also wrote that he regretted that one work alone, and no
        others.

        He said it revealed to him how it would require paradoxical
        statements to make existentialism anything other than radical
        individualism. Camus saw this, which is why he called existentialism
        intellectual suicide.

        I argue that Sartre tried to take his inherent morality and then
        apply a system to it. We are all guilty of this. That is how we can
        generally agree on an ethical choice and then develop hundreds of
        explanations for why this is reasonable. The attempts to create
        ethical systems are always complicated by the fact we seem to have
        values long before we create artificial philosophical systems.

        I don't think Sartre can be understood apart from his time and the
        European experience. Other than the American Civil War, we have never
        suffered as great a loss of life, ag, and industry. Europeans, of all
        political bents, saw the need for a welfare state. People were
        suffering following two wars in a way Americans were not.

        So, while I see a disconnect between Sartre's politics and his
        earliest philosophical writings, I also can't imagine the situation
        of a decimated continent. For Sartre, Western Marxism was a necessary
        safety net, not from capitalism alone, but from all suffering he
        witnessed.

        I'm a capitalist and libertarian, but I'd never claim we should go
        completely backwards and not care for the ill, the disabled, or the
        needy in general. The question today is where on spectrums people
        rest. In Sartre's time, the debate was far more pronounced with sides
        taking up arms.

        Somewhere I've read critiques of Sartre by poets and thinkers from
        Hungary and Poland. Again, I think their perspectives make it
        difficult for them to be arguing from "theory" -- they are stuck with
        practical experiences outside the realm of philosophy.

        - C. S. Wyatt
        I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
        that I shall be.
        http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
        http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
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