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By Thomas W. Busch

"Displaying a masterful grab of the texts, the writer exhibits how otherness forces itself upon the existentialist Sartre, steadily constraining him to switch his realizing of awareness as all-powerful. the difficulty is Sartre’s discovery of the social and its conceptual assimilation into his individualistic, consciousness-oriented philosophy." ―Thomas R. Flynn

"This very winning and available scholarly book... is concurrently a succinct and transparent review of Sartre’s philosophical works.... and a clean attention of Sartre’s physique of work." ―Choice

"Busch’s admirably transparent and compact dialogue is vital examining for Sartre students, because it powerfully addresses many concerns dividing them... " ―Ethics

"... an invaluable evaluation of the evolution of Sartre’s thought... " ―Review of Politics

"... a inspiration upsetting reassessment of Sartre's philosophical career." ―Man and World

"... succinct, richly documented survey... " ―International reviews in Philosophy

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Extra resources for The Power of Consciousness and the Force of Circumstances in Sartre’s Philosophy

Example text

Since these modalities are irreducible to one another, Sartre rejects Husserl's reduction of being with the result that his phenomenological ontology settles into an ontological dualism.  The phenomenon can be studied and determined as such, for its is absolutely indicative of itself" (BN, lxvi).  This dramatic language used to portray the tension between for­itself and in­itself marks the point where the phenomenological ontology enters into relations with the metaphysics of Being and Nothingness.

The ontological discourse of negation serves to preserve a certain autonomy for the present moment, founding Sartre's contention in The Transcendence of the Ego that each present moment is a creation ex nihilo: "that heavy plenitude of being (the past) is behind me, there is an absolute distance which cuts it from me and makes it fall out of my reach, without contact, without connections" (BN, 118).  I am convinced that the very notion of the in­itself is a muddled one because Sartre fluctuates, in presenting the notion, between a phenomenological ontology and a speculative metaphysics.

And since his theory of the active, free self heavily stresses the constitution of a world of meaning and value, he will offer an ontology that will guarantee the reality of forms of otherness­than­self. Page 18 Two Self/Other While Being and Nothingness can be considered to be a synthesis of the major concerns of the earlier works—freedom, contingency, flight—its aims are limited.  In the process, the themes of freedom, contingency, and flight receive a new level of intelligibility. 2 We will look at the conjunction in Being and Nothingness of the theory of being and the theory of reflection to determine whether, on the ontological level, Sartre can clarify the relation of the transcending power of consciousness to its situatedness in the world.

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