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Sartrean freedom

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  • irvhal
    An earlier post mentioned Sartre saying that freedom is what you do with what has been done to you. This was from Sartre s later years, when he set out to
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 14, 2010
      An earlier post mentioned Sartre saying that freedom is what you do with what has been done to you. This was from Sartre's later years, when he set out to reconcile the freedom advanced in "Being and Nothingness" with his later acknowledgement of historic influences upon the individual, inclusive of family and class. I know of no instances where he acknowledged genetics or hereditary dispositions (and would be grateful to anyone who could enlighten me if he did), though in a 1975 interview (published in "The Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre" from The Library of Living Philosophers Volume XVI)he professed a materialism that included both the in-itself and the for-itself, but noted that his works on consciousness hadn't encompassed the more complex relations among consciousness, the brain and reasoning. Given his materialist suppositions and in light of scientific enlightenment from human genetics, I'd venture to say that today he might expand his insights to say that freedom is also what you do with what you are. And from an existentialist perspective, acknowledging antecedent dispositions ought not augur against liberalism. Freedom to be is contingent on reciprocal freedom for the Other, and roles and projects can be allowed within the necessary confines of that reciprocity.
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