"[A Commentary on Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness] represents, I believe, a very important beginning of a deservingly serious effort to make the whole of Being and Nothingness more readily understandable and readable. . . . In his systematic interpretations of Sartre's book, [Catalano] demonstrates a determination to confront many of the most demanding issues and concepts of Being and Nothingness. He does not shrink—as do so many interpreters of Sartre—from such issues as the varied meanings of 'being,' the meaning of 'internal negation' and 'absolute event,' the idiosyncratic senses of transcendence, the meaning of the 'upsurge' in its different contexts, what it means to say that we 'exist our body,' the connotation of such concepts as quality, quantity, potentiality, and instrumentality (in respect to Sartre's world of 'things'), or the origin of negation. . . . Catalano offers what is doubtless one of the most probing, original, and illuminating interpretations of Sartre's crucial concept of nothingness to appear in the Sartrean literature."—Ronald E. Santoni, International Philosophical Quarterly
Being and Nothingness is without doubt one of the most significant books of the twentieth century. The central work by one of the world's most influential thinkers, it altered the course of western philosophy.
At the end of Being and Nothingness, French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) claims that his ethics follow from his ontology and are based on it. Zheng (philosophy, St. Cloud State U.) investigates whether, and to what extent, that is true. After studying in detail the important notions in his early ontology and ethics, including some notorio
In this important book, Thomas R. Flynn reinterprets and evaluates Sartre's social and political philosophy, arguing that the existential ethics of Sartre's early phase is consistent with the Marxist-inspired views of his later writings. Displaying his mastery of Sartre's entire corpus, Flynn reconstructs Sartre's social ontology with its sensitive balance of the existentialist's respect for moral responsibility and the Marxist's sense of social causation. Flynn focuses on the issue of collective responsibility as a particularly apt test-case for assessing any proposed union of existentialist and Marxist perspectives. The study begins with an examination of the uses of "responsibility" in Being and Nothingness and in several postwar essays. Flynn then concentrates on the Critique of Dialectical Reason, offering a thorough analysis of the remarkable social theory Sartre constructs there. A masterful contribution to Sartre scholarship, Sartre and Marxist Existentialism will be of great interest to social and political philosophers involved in the debate over collective responsibility.
by Wolfe Mays It is a great pleasure and honour to write this preface. I first became ac quainted with Herbert Spiegelberg's work some twenty years ago, when in 1960 I reviewed The Phenomenological Movement! for Philosophical Books, one of the few journals in Britain that reviewed this book, which Herbert has jok ingly referred to as "the monster". I was at that time already interested in Con tinental thought, and in particular phenomenology. I had attended a course on phenomenology given by Rene Schaerer at Geneva when I was working there in 1955-6. I had also been partly instrumental in getting Merleau-Ponty to come to Manchester in 1958. During his visit he gave a seminar in English on politics and a lecture in French on "Wittgenstein and Language" in which he attacked Wittgenstein's views on language in the Tractatus. He was apparently unaware of the Philosophical Investigations. But it was not until I came to review Herbert's book that I appreciated the ramifications of the movement: its diverse strands of thought, and the manifold personalities involved in it. For example, Herbert mentions one Aurel Kolnai who had written on the "Phenomenology of Disgust'!, and which had appeared in Vol. 10 of Husserl's Jahrbuch. It was only after I had been acquainted for some time with Kolnai then in England, that I realised that 2 Herbert had written about him in the Movement. The Movement itself contains a wealth of learning.
"Displaying a masterful grasp of the texts, the author shows how otherness forces itself upon the existentialist Sartre, gradually constraining him to modify his understanding of consciousness as omnipotent. The issue is Sartre's discovery of the social and its conceptual assimilation into his individualistic, consciousness-oriented philosophy." -- Thomas R. Flynn "This very successful and accessible scholarly book... is simultaneously a succinct and clear overview of Sartre's philosophical works.... and a fresh consideration of Sartre's body of work." -- Choice "Busch's admirably clear and compact discussion is essential reading for Sartre scholars, since it powerfully addresses many issues dividing them... " -- Ethics "... a useful overview of the evolution of Sartre's thought... " -- Review of Politics "... a thought provoking reassessment of Sartre's philosophical career." -- Man and World "... succinct, richly documented survey... " -- International Studies in Philosophy