Posts concerning Sartre

Vocabulary from Sartre

23:47 12 Mar 2007

Reading Sartre (specifically Essays in Existentialism) tends to be fairly frustrating, primarily because comprehending what he’s talking about isn’t easy (at least for me). One of the reasons that it’s not easy is vocabulary. I’m not even counting explicitly foreign words like ebschattungen, or explicit (foreign) neologisms like négatité.

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Reading Sartre

23:13 13 Feb 2007. Updated: 02:24 17 Feb 2007

It’s been a little over a year since Seth and I started reading Sartre’s Essays in Existentialism. We haven’t met quite every week, but probably haven’t missed more than six or so sessions.

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Sartre on Psychological Determinism

10:08 26 Sep 2006

I love this line:

Psychological determinism, before being a theoretical conception, is first an attitude of excuse, or if you prefer, the basis of all attitudes of excuse.
—p137, Jean-Paul Sartre, Essays in Existentialism, Kensington, New York 1993

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Parsing Sartre

22:55 03 Apr 2006. Updated: 07:20 08 Jan 2007

This evening Seth and I spent a couple of hours getting through about a page of *Essays in Existentialism*. That’s slightly slower than our usual rate… and most of that time was spent on the first half-page. We ended up having to re-word it significantly in order to make sense of it. (More accurately, to make what we thought was sense out of it—naturally it’s unclear if we were correct about that.) Presented below are the original and our parsing—please note that I’m not making any claims about the comprehensibility or even sensicality of our version, either in relation to the original or independent of it…

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23:53 06 Feb 2006. Updated: 07:21 08 Jan 2007

This evening Seth and I finally restarted our reading project, and began *Essays in Existentialism*, a collection of Sartre essays. We did the first section, “The Humanism of Existentialism”. I’ve read it before, a long time ago, probably 1993. I recall that my initial reaction to it was one of recognition. This time, I had the same feeling, or a stronger version of the same feeling. Many of the fundamental tenets of existentialism as laid out by Sartre are and were bedrock beliefs of mine. “Man is nothing but what he makes of himself.”—check. “There is no reality except in action.”—check. Fundamental personal responsibility—check.

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